Two and two are fourI'd always thought of Inchworm as merely a fun children's song until this afternoon when ABC FM played Frank Loesser's original version as sung by Danny Kaye in the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen. It is quite lovely.
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two
Apparently Loesser was incredibly proud of the seemingly simple countrapunt - the round like double tune near the end of the song. When an admirer sent him this anonymous letter using the pseudonym 'a Kansas inchworm', Loesser was so pleased that he placed a quarter-page thankyou note in Kansas' largest daily paper, prompting the writer to reveal herself.
Dear Loesser your song Inchworm makes me very happy; not only from an inchwormitarian point of view ( I know you must realize people will not be so repelled by us after this) but from the aspect of downright beauty. It is conceivable that if Robert Burns and the god Pan, and Antoine de St. Exupery, and Euclid had gotten together for three days and three nights, they might have been able to write almost equally good words, but as I see it no group of musicians nor any other one musician could have written the beautiful music. It is simple, yet it is so intricate, the harmony is perfect and the counterpoint - well it gives me a headache when I think of what it would be like to try to write it tho I suppose for you it was easy.Fascinating stuff!!
Frank Loesser Thomas Laurence Riis 2008
Anyhow, here's the song. I hope you like it. Have any of you seen the film? It looks delightful. Is it?