The poet Kallias wrote a Greek alphabet song in the fifth century BC. I discovered several years ago that it can be sung to the hymn tune CLONMEL, which Baptists may know as the tune to “We Praise You with Our Minds, O Lord.” If anyone can suggest additional, more widely known tunes that will work, I’d appreciate it.
ἔστ’ ἄλφα, βῆτα, γάμμα, δέλτα καὶ τὸ εἶ,
Est’ ahl-fah, vee-tah, gahm-mah, dhel-tah, keh toh ee
There’s Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and the E,
ζῆτα, ἦτα, θῆτα, ἰῶτα, κάππα, λάβδα, μῦ,
zee-tah, ee-tah, thee-tah, yoh-tah, kahp-pah, lahv-dhah, mee,
Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Labda, Mu,
νῦ, ξεῖ, τὸ οὖ, πεῖ, ῥῶ, τὸ σῖγμα, ταῦ, τὸ ὖ
nee, ksee, toh oo, pee, roh, toh seeg-mah, tahv, toh ee
Nu, Xi, the O, Pi, Rho, the Sigma, Tau, the Y
φεῖ, χεῖ τε καὶ ψεῖ καὶ τελευταῖον τὸ ὦ.
fee, khee, te keh psee keh te-lef-teh-ohn toh oh
Phi, Chi, and also Psi and finally the O.
Delightful – I posted my rendition of the Hebrew a-b-c on my Sunday school blog – there is a wav file somewhere – but the written out song is on page 13 of this pdf (one of two suitable for printing.) The rest of the book is reachable from here http://stbarnabasvictoria.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-draft-of-alef-bet-book.html
Hm, I’m Baptist and I’m not familiar with that tune, nor is there a tune in our church hymnal by the name of Clonmel. Any suggestions as to where I can find out how this tune goes? I want to teach my class a Greek alphabet song, with the correct pronunciations, as this has.
Welcome, Linda. The tune is in the 1975 Baptist Hymnal and (I think) the new Celebrating Grace hymnal from Mercer University Press. To hear how the tune goes, try this link: http://smallchurchmusic.com/Lyrics/D01/S01445.php