The Paul McCartney Project

The Inch Worm

Written by Frank Loesser

Album This song officially appears on the Kisses On the Bottom Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2012

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“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:

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.

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.

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.

Last updated on February 22, 2014

Lyrics

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far

Inch worm, inch worm
Measuring the marigolds
Could it be, you'll stop and see
How beautiful they are

(Chorus:)
Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two
Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far

Solo
(Chorus:)
Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Inch worm, inch worm
Measuring the marigolds
Seems to me, you'll stop and see
How beautiful they are

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far

(Chorus:)
Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two
Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Officially appears on


Kisses On the Bottom

Official album • Released in 2012

3:43 • Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Tommy LiPuma:
Producer
Diana Krall:
Piano, Rhythm arrangement
Karriem Riggins:
Drums
Robert Hurst:
Bass
John Pizzarelli:
Acoustic guitar
Eddie Karam:
Orchestra conductor
Assa Drori:
Concertmaster
Johnny Mandel:
Orchestra arrangement
Chloe Arzy:
Children's choir
Evyn Johnson:
Children's choir
Makiah Johnson:
Children's choir
Michael Johnson:
Children's choir
Delany Meyer:
Children's choir
Ilsey Moon:
Children's choir
Sabrina Walden:
Children's choir
Sasha Walden:
Children's choir
Scottie Haskell:
Children's choir conductor

Studio:
Capitol Studios, Los Angeles


Kisses On The Bottom - Complete Kisses

Official album • Released in 2012

3:43 • Studio version

Bootlegs


Kisses on the bottom - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:42 • Studio version

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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