This video is a set of variations inspired by the children's counting song The Ants Go Marching One-by-One, which uses as its theme the Civil War tune When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again. I always enjoyed singing this song with our kids at bed-time when they were younger. When ants visited our kitchen this past fall, I remembered the song, and had an idea. Suppose I created a set of variations, each in a different folk style and meter, by adding one extra beat for each additional ant in the song. Playing the accordion makes me smile and seemed the right instrument for such a piece.
Last week I read that famous biologist, naturalist and prolific author Edward O. Wilson had died. Wilson's specialty was myrmecology (the study of ants). His 1991 encyclopedic tome with Bert Holldobler, The Ants, won the Pulitzer Price for General Nonfiction. Wilson also wrote many books about bio-diversity, socio-biology, the evolutionary history of human society, and most recently his final book, Tales from the Ant World.
This piece is dedicated to E.O. Wilson, and to having fun with kids.