Music by Joe Raposo
Lyrics by Jon Stone and Joe Raposo
Date 1970
Publisher Instructional Children's Music Inc.
Jonico Music Inc.
EKA Episode 0096
Sesame Street ABC-DEF-GHI Song

Sesame Street ABC-DEF-GHI Song

Big Bird sings "ABC-DEF-GHI," from the first season of Sesame Street.

Big bird alphabet signs

1972 version


1980's version

"ABC-DEF-GHI" is a Sesame Street song performed by Big Bird from the show's first season. In skits featuring this song, Big Bird sees the alphabet (often, written on a board in the courtyard) and interprets it as a long word that he doesn't understand. He sings it aloud, pronouncing it "ab-ca-def-gi-jeckle-mi-nop-kwer-stoov-wix-iz," attempting to decipher whatever meaning this word may have. He is eventually reassured by the adults that "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ" is not a word but the alphabet.

In 1972, the sketch was retaped (EKA: Episode 0535), using the soundtrack from The Sesame Street Book & Record, and in the 1980s, the original song was shown as a flashback in a sketch where Big Bird and some kids found a scroll of the alphabet in a trunk. (EKA: Episode 2453) Big Bird also sang it on the Season 12 premiere, while visiting a kindergarten classroom where he sees the alphabet scrolled across one of the walls. During the scene, he lipsynced to the original soundtrack from the first season. He last performed "ABC-DEF-GHI" on Sesame Street on the Season 34 premiere, at a karaoke night that Alan hosted at Hooper's Store.

Outside of Sesame Street, Big Bird has performed "ABC-DEF-GHI" on several occasions, including with Flip Wilson on the premiere episode of The Flip Wilson Show, in Big Bird and the ABCs (a Sesame Street Live stage show), and on Evening at Pops: 2001. He also sang a verse of the song during the ending "Songs" medley in Elmopalooza.

Elmo sang his own version of "ABC-DEF-GHI" in a 1989 episode, which later appeared on the album Sing the Alphabet. Big Bird's Mexican cousin, Abelardo, sang the song in an episode of Plaza Sésamo after seeing Manuel and Daniela make some letters. Even Stinky the Stinkweed sang a version of that song along with Big Bird in an episode from 2000.


Audio (sung by Big Bird)
Audio (sung by Elmo)
Audio (performed by The Boston Pops)
Video (original version)
Video (1972 version)
Video (1980s version)
Online (original version)


See also