World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Inchworm (song)

Article Id: WHEBN0002949890
Reproduction Date:

Title: Inchworm (song)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Frank Loesser, Inchworm (disambiguation), Kurt Wagner (musician), Update (Mal Waldron album), After All (David Bowie song)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Inchworm (song)

"Inchworm", also known as "The Inch Worm", is a song originally performed by Danny Kaye in the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen. It was written by Frank Loesser.

The song has become a popular children's song and is best known for its arithmetical chorus:

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Towards the end of the song, the verses are sung in counterpoint with this chorus. Frank Loesser loved the intellectual challenge of such contrapuntal composition which he also did in other works such as Tallahassee.[1]

The composer received a letter of appreciation, signed pseudonymously, "Your respectfully, a Kansas inchworm",

He was so touched by this that he placed a large advertisement in the largest newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas — the Daily Journal World — in thanks. His correspondent wrote again, revealing herself to be teacher Emily Preyer.[1][2]

In the film, a children's chorus sings the "arithmetic" section over and over inside a small classroom, dolefully and by rote, while Andersen, listening just outside, gazes at an inchworm crawling on the flowers and sings the main section of the song.

It has been recorded by many singers, including Rachelle Ferrell, The Brothers Creeggan, Anne Murray, Paul McCartney, Kenny Loggins, We Five, John Lithgow, Mary Hopkin, Doris Day, Dan Zanes, Kurt Wagner and Patricia Barber, and has been performed in skits on Jim Henson's Sesame Street and The Muppet Show; the song was done once by Charles Aznavour in a regular sketch, and once again with Danny Kaye and the Muppets when he hosted the show. In the Quantum Leap episode Another Mother, Al (Dean Stockwell) sang it as a lullaby. It was used in a 1995 episode of the UK television programme BBC Horizons, entitled "Nanotopia", during a segment explaining the "assemblers" of Eric Drexler. Performed instrumentally, it was a regular feature of the John Coltrane Quartet's repertoire. The song also briefly featured in the popular British schools drama Grange Hill, being sung by the school choir during rehearsals. There was also a Hebrew version of the song, sung by children and a male singer. In 2010, twice Ivor Novello Awards-nominated band The Leisure Society performed the song for the American Laundromat Records kindie compilation, "Sing Me to Sleep - Indie Lullabies." A recording of Danny Kaye singing it was used as the underscoring for a shadow puppet segment on Captain Kangaroo.

The song is also sung as a children's lullaby during episode 17 of the first season on the popular TV sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond".


  1. ^ a b Thomas Laurence Riis (2008-01-28), Frank Loesser, pp. 66–69,  
  2. ^ Susan Loesser (2000-09-01), A most remarkable fella, p. 130,  

External links

  • Song page at
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.