Here Come The ABCs

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Here Come The ABCs album cover
Here Come The ABCs
Studio album by They Might Be Giants
First released February 15, 2005
Release details / collectors: Show | Hide
Tracks 25 Last album The Spine
Label Idlewild / Disney Sound Length 41:47 Next album The Else

Here Come The ABCs is They Might Be Giants's eleventh studio album, and second full-length children's album. It was released on the band's own label, Idlewild, and Disney Sound on February 15, 2005.


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After the success of No!, the band's first children's album, TMBG signed with Disney to release their next full-length album for kids. The album focuses on individual letters, learning the alphabet, and reading and writing concepts.

According to John Flansburgh, the album was recorded "in one big blast, tracking at Skyline Studios and Kampo Studios in NYC, along with home brewed tracks. Unlike most albums, it was actually done on deadline for Disney (who have lots of plates spinning all the time and plan things that way)". The recording sessions were held from January to April 2004, and directly coincided with the sessions for The Spine.

To accompany the CD, the band commissioned several artists, such as Divya Srinivasan, The Chopping Block, and others to create videos for the DVD. The DVD also introduced children to The Puppet Johns, who appeared in between-video segments and videos, and the Deeply Felt Puppet Theater. The music videos were created during the summer of 2004, shortly after the main recording sessions had completed. The DVD was authored on December 14, 2004, with promotional copies being issued shortly after, and the music videos began airing on Playhouse Disney (and allegedly PBS Kids as well, although any evidence other than a brief mention from the band has yet to surface) in January 2005 and remained airing for the rest of the year. Bonus videos were included on the version of the DVD, and various bonus songs were included on and Best Buy versions of the CD.

On March 17, 2010, the album was released in Japan as a DVD-only release, with Here Come The 123s being released the same day. The track listing was identical to the initial release, save for the removal of "Fake-Believe (Type B)". Both DVDs had English and Japanese subtitles, the latter of which were literal translations of the lyrics, rather than translations which fit the rhythm of the song. This was due to both DVDs being repurposed to help Japanese children learn English, and the release was partially motivated out of complaints from Japanese parents that the release of Here Comes Science in the region was only in English. Neither ABCs nor 123s did well there, partially due to the relative obscurity of They Might Be Giants, as well as the lyrics being too complicated in some songs.

On April 26, 2024, 19 years after the album's initial release, Here Come the ABCs was released on 180 gram clear vinyl with a gatefold jacket on Idlewild and Walt Disney Records, making it the second TMBG children's album to come to vinyl after Why? in 2015.

Chart success[edit]

A chart showing the historical performance of Here Come The ABCs on the Billboard charts

Through its exposure from Playhouse Disney and other sources, the ABCs DVD quickly reached RIAA-certified Gold status, meaning that it had sold 50,000 copies, on April 29, 2005 (compare to music CDs, for which 500,000 copies must be sold to achieve Gold status). In 2012, the DVD reached Platinum status for selling 100,000 copies. It spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Top Kid Audio chart, peaking at #6 on March 5, 2005. It also spent four weeks on the Billboard Top Internet Albums chart, where it reached #14 on March 12, 2005. According to Nielsen SoundScan, it had sold 110,000 copies in the United States as of February 2008.


The album was named by as the 13th Best Album of 2005 and the best Children's Music album of 2005:

They Might Be Giants use the letters as merely the connective tissue to pursue intriguing flights of fancy that consider everything from the power of letters and sounds to animal hijinks.

Here Come The ABCs also won Parenting Magazine’s Children’s DVD of the Year Award, as well as two National Parenting Publications Awards (NAAPA).

CD track listing[edit]

# Title Length  Lyrics Guitar Tab
1 Here Come The ABCs 0:11


2 Alphabet Of Nations 1:26


3 E Eats Everything 2:43


4 Flying V 1:34


5 Q U 1:09


6 Go For G! 1:14


7 Pictures Of Pandas Painting 2:07


8 D & W 1:37


9 Fake-Believe 1:51


10 Can You Find It? 2:55


11 The Vowel Family 1:59


12 Letter/Not A Letter 1:08


13 Alphabet Lost And Found 2:49


14 I C U 1:49


15 Letter Shapes 1:22


16 Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order? 1:45


17 Rolling O 1:26


18 L M N O 1:43


19 C Is For Conifers 2:37


20 Fake-Believe (Type B) 1:56


21 D Is For Drums 2:21


22 Z Y X 1:21


23 Goodnight My Friends 0:25


24 Clap Your Hands
Bonus Track


25 Here In Higglytown
(Theme to Playhouse Disney's Higglytown Heroes) (Bonus Track)


26 Hovering Sombrero '05
US Combo version and Amazon exclusive Bonus Track


27 I Never Go To Work
US Combo version and Best Buy exclusive Bonus Track


DVD track listing[edit]

# Title Length  Lyrics Guitar Tab
1 Here Come The ABCs (DVD Version) 0:25


2 Alphabet Of Nations 1:26


3 E Eats Everything 2:43


4 Flying V 1:34


5 I Am A Robot 1:29


6 Q U 1:09


7 Go For G! 1:14


8 Pictures Of Pandas Painting 2:07


9 D & W 1:37


10 Fake-Believe 1:51


11 Can You Find It? 2:55


12 The Vowel Family 1:59


13 A To Z 0:28


14 Letter/Not A Letter 1:08


15 Letter Shapes 1:22


16 Alphabet Lost And Found
US Combo version features altered video


17 I C U
US Combo version features alternate video


18 I Am A Robot (Type B) 0:56


19 Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order? 1:45


20 Rolling O 1:26


21 L M N O
US Combo version includes alternate ending


22 C Is For Conifers 2:37


23 Fake-Believe (Type B) 1:56


24 A To Z (Type B) 0:29


25 D Is For Drums 2:21


26 Z Y X 1:21


27 Goodnight My Friends 0:25


28 Here Come The ABCs 0:11


29 Clap Your Hands 1:22


30 Violin
Amazon and US Combo versions only


31 Stalk Of Wheat
Amazon and US Combo versions only


32 Robot Parade
US Combo version only


33 Sleepwalkers
US Combo version only


34 Here In Higglytown
Theme to Playhouse Disney's Higglytown Heroes


DVD/CD combo[edit]

For the combo tracklisting, see Here Come The ABCs/Combo Track Listing.

After the initial success of the separate DVD and CD releases of ABCs, Disney released a new DVD/CD combo version of the set through Amazon on October 25, 2005 in the USA, containing additional videos on the DVD (a different video for "I C U", altered versions of the videos for "L M N O" and "Alphabet Lost And Found", and exclusive in-studio performances of "Robot Parade" and "Sleepwalkers"), and both exclusive CD bonus tracks in one place ("I Never Go To Work" and "Hovering Sombrero '05"). The DVD for this issue was mastered on August 2, 2005, and the CD was mastered a month later, on September 6. A second pressing of the combo set hit the UK market on September 4, 2006. It does not feature any of the changes that the US version had, with each disc featuring the content of their respective standard individual releases.