Editor's note: This was originally written in honor of Louis Braille's 200th birthday, but we love the song enough to share it every year at this time.
Happy Birthday, Louis Braille! January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852
Sing Song Dedicated to Louis Braille
(Sung to the tune of “Louie, Louie” by Richard Berry, and recorded by The Kingsmen in 1963. Chords: major to C major to D minor, back to C)
Now Louie was a man, born two hundred years ago.
And though he couldn’t see, he learned a lot more then we know.
It bugged him as a kid, that he couldn’t learn to write,
But later on in school, they would read to him at night.
Louie, Louie, oh, oh we got to read now. (Repeat, with: "We got to write now.")
He played the organ well, and taught his friends the way to play,
Yet Louie still believed, he’d read and write someday.
Then an army officer, showed him how to write with dots,
But Louie knew for sure, he had to change the bumps a lot.
He cut the cell in half, and then he wrote the alphabet.
With slate and stylus skills, the dots would help him not forget.
And even here today, his code can help us pass a test,
Though folks have tried to change it, Louie’s code is still the best.
Louie changed our world, gave us words that we can touch,
We can do it on our own, Read in English, French or Dutch,
And on his special day, every one should stand and say:
Thank you Louie Braille, your code has given us the way!
(Repeat last line and out)
Lyrics written by Wayne Siligo, Music Director, California School for the Blind
Performed by by Philip de Steiguer
Timeline of Louis Braille's Life
For the attached timeline I braille the DBT file and cut it in strips by year. Each student gets a strip to decode and then they line up in order of year and each read their strip so we learn the story of Louis Braille’s life. I included the print of the DBT.