The Inch Worm

Kisses On The Bottom album artwork - Paul McCartneyWritten by: Frank Loesser
Recorded: 2011
Producer: Tommy LiPuma
Engineer: Al Schmitt

Released: 6 February 2012 (UK), 7 February 2012 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals
Diana Krall: piano
John Pizzarelli: guitar
Robert Hurst: bass
Karriem Riggins: drums
Chloe Arzy, Evyn Johnson, Makiah Johnson, Michael Johnson, Delany Meyer, Ilsey Moon, Sabrina Walden, Sasha Walden: children's choir, conducted by Scottie Haskell

Available on:
Kisses On The Bottom

The Inch Worm, written by Frank Loesser, was originally performed by Danny Kaye in the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen.

The Inch Worm - Kisses On the Bottom


Occasionally known as Inchworm, the children's song is best known for its arithmetical chorus. The versus are repeatedly sung in counterpoint with the chorus towards the end of the song.

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

The two-part invention is an example of contrapuntal duet, in which two independent musical lines sound harmonious when played simultaneously.

In the film Hans Christian Andersen, a children's chorus repeatedly sings the arithmetic section inside a small classroom, while Andersen (Kaye), listening outside, sings the main section of the song while gazing at an inchworm crawling on the flowers.

The Inch Worm was Loesser's favourite song in the film. His score and Danny Kaye's performance were praised by critics,
and the success of the soundtrack was boosted by Goldwyn's decision to sell the album in cinema lobbies.

In June 1953 Loesser received a handwritten letter, dated "Now", with no return address.

Dear Loesser your song Inchworm makes me very happy; not only from an inchwormitarian point of view (I know you must realize that 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 just 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.

I'd like to send you a leaf or something in appreciation of the delight your song has given me, but since that probably wouldn't be the correct thing to do, I'll close by promising you that after this I'll try to admire the marigolds. Respectfully, a Kansas inchworm. (Please excuse the writing. It is not a customary practice, and besides, my back has been aching a little today. Have been following my hunches a little too often lately.

Loesser noticed that the letter bore a postmark from Lawrence, Kansas. His secretary found the local newspaper with the widest readership, the Daily Journal World, and Loesser placed a five inch square advertisement.

INCHWORM

F.L. SAYS
THANKS FOR
THE LETTER

The mystery sender replied with a telegram which read: "GRATITUDE GRATEFULLY AND HAPPILY RECEIVED". A follow-up letter explained that the author was Emily Preyer, a kindergarten teacher and daughter of a piano tutor.

"I have always made up stories for the children, so when I knew I had to write to you about "Inchworm" I just made up a story for you," she wrote. "Your 'thanks' in our paper was one of the nicest things that ever happened to me."

The Inch Worm has been recorded numerous times, including John Coltrane, Doris Day, Kenny Loggins, Kurt Wagner and Mary Hopkin (produced by Paul McCartney on her 1969 debut album Post Card). Danny Kaye and Charles Aznavour performed it on separate occasions on The Muppet Show.

In the studio

The Inch Worm was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. The rhythm arrangement was by Diana Krall.

Lyrics

Inch worm, inch worm
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?

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
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far

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

Inch worm, inch worm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far

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

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