The Programmer's Alphabet

Lyrics © 1981, 1984 Stephen Savitzky. CC-by-nc-sa To the tune of ``Sweet Betsy from Pike''

My first computer song, based on various sailors' alphabets.


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Lyrics [pdf] [txt] [cho]

C G7 C
  A is for ASCII, our  Alphabet's  name
C G7
  B is the Bugs, for which  we get the blame.
  C the Computer, which  never works  right, and
C G7 C
  D is Debugging, the  rest of the  night.

E is the Elegant problems we're set
F is old Fortran we try to Forget.
G is the GOTO we're trying to kill, and
H is the Hacker who uses it still.
C G7 C
  Programming, programming,  all through the  night,
C G7
  We're stuck here until our new  program works right.
  Programming, programming,  isn't it  fun?
C G7 C
  The maintenance starts when deb ugging is  done!
I is the Input we handle with care
J is the Jump to nobody knows where
K is the Kludge with which we got by, and
L is for Later to fix it we'll try.

M is the Memory, dropping a bit,
N the New version, that doesn't quite fit.
O is the Op'rating system we buy, and
P is the Patch to make our programs fly.

Q is for QWERTY, of typewriter lore,
R is the RAM that we used to call core.
S is the Standard we'll follow some day, and
T is the Teletype, banging away.

U is the User, that Unhappy man,
V is the Vengeance he wreaks when he can.
W is Work, it's the manager's call, and
X is the Xerox machine down the hall.

Y is the Yes you reply by mistake, and
Z is the Zeros all over your tape.
There may be more verses they wanted to send,
But they've all gotten clobbered, so this is the end.
no chorus after last verse

Loosely inspired by various sailors' alphabet songs.