Mozart had his own version of Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.

Mozart had his own version of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”.

Mozart had his own version of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”.

Before the nursery rhyme and other similar children’s songs like the “Alphabet Song” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” appeared in English popular culture, the song was known as “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”. The French song was far from a children’s nursery rhyme. It’s a song about a daughter telling her mother that she was seduced.

Legend has it that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the original composer of the piece, when he was only 5 years old! Sadly, this is not the case. It’s true that the original melody first appeared in 1761, when Mozart was around 5 years old, but Mozart was in Salzburg, and the song was from France. However, he came up with his own version 20 years later in 1781: Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”. While he’s not the original composer, it’s still worth noting that “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (which was first published in 1806) was a composition from Mozart 25 years before it became an English nursery rhyme.

Here’s Mozart’s Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman” for your enjoyment. It actually gets pretty complicated, but the video has the music so you can play along.

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