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No, not that type of E...

Magic E makes the vowel say its name.

You need me, I’m Magic E!
Magic magic eeee,
magic magic eeee.

A strip
gets a stripe with me,
a pip
makes a pipe with me,
what you do with me;
add magic magic eeee,
magic magic eeee.

change around with me,
when they are found with me,
how they sound with me;
I’m magic magic eeee,
magic magic eeee.

A pin
makes a pine with me,
becomes twine with me.
What you do with me,
add magic magic eeee,
magic magic eeee...

This song featured in the educational BBC television show Look and Read in the 1970s and 80s, and was performed by the magnificent Derek Griffiths (written by Roger Limb, with the lyrics penned by Rosanna Hibbert). It was a simple composition; the vocals backed by a drum beat with a few fills, a bassline, and some electronicy treble sounds between the verses.

During the programme, the song was accompanied by a simple animation, involving a wizard character performing the magic transformation on large colourful versions of the examples in the song. Numerous versions were shown over the years, with slight alterations to the lyrics (a cap is a cape with me - the format and tune were always very similar).

A 'Magic E' on the end of a word modifies the vowel sound that immediately precedes it, causing it to be a 'long' sound, voiced similarly to the 'name' of the letter. This concept forms a useful pronunciation and spelling guide for your average primary-schooler.

(A version of the song is available for download at http://ben.clarke.free.fr/downloads/music/LR_SONG_MagicE_cape.mp3 )

Note also - rap becomes rape with Magic E; a cautionary tale for the hip-hop generation, as noted on www.playgroundlaw.com

CST Approved

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