I Before E

The song sung by Charlie Brown and Linus in A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

"I Before E Except After C" is a song that appears in the 1969 film A Boy Named Charlie Brown. It was written by John Scott Trotter.

In the song, Charlie Brown is trying to memorize rules which will help in the spelling-bee in which he is to compete. Linus comes in to help Charlie Brown study by singing this song. Snoopy accompanies the song by playing a Jew's harp, which appears again later in the movie on the bus ride home and during school.


This is one rule I must remember.
I before E except after C
Or when sounded like A as in Neighbor and Weigh.
Words ending in I, E
Drop the E and change the I to Y before adding
I before E except after C
Let's see:
I before E except after H,
No, I after E After C –
I before E after -
No, E before I after C!
When a word has a C for an ending,
Like Frolic, 
Or Colic?
Or Comic, and Mimic, and Picnic,
You always add a K before appending!
You know, sticking an E or I or Y –
Oh sure!
For example – Colicky, Frolicker, Picnicker, Mimicker!
And Hickory Dickory Docker!
On the other hand, if suffix is maintained (page 43),
Then E must be retained after C!
You mean before the ending able?
Right! That keeps the spelling stable!
So that’s why –
Of course, let’s try!
Noticeable, Serviceable, Embraceable, Replaceable,
Peaceable, Enforceable, Pronounceable, Untraceable!
Sleigh, Stein, Fahrenheit –
Excepting: Fiery, Hierarchy, Hieroglyphics!
E I is also used in special words, that merit careful study – 
E before I after C –
Seizure, Leisure, Seize, Skein, Protein,
Weird, Either, Neither, Codeine, Caffeine!
Siege, however is spelled I E –
Otherwise, use I E in Thief, Believe, Fiend, Niece,
Field, Brief, Grief, 
Cashier, Achieve, Yield!
Only one word in the language ends in SEDE –
Three others end in CEED –
Exceed, Proceed, Succeed!
All others end in CEDE
Accede, Concede, Intercede, Precede, Recede, Secede!
E before I after C
When a word ends in C like Frolic and Mimic and Picnic, 
Insert a K before adding a suffix!
Beginning with F, I or Y,
E I is used immediately after the letter C – 
The single exception is Financier!
E I is used in words in which it has the sound of A,
Or the sound as I as in Height, 
Sleigh, Stein, Fahrenheit!
E I is also used in special words –
Leisure, Seizure, Seize, Skein, Protein,
Weird, Either, Neither,
Codeine, Caffeine!
Use I E in Thief,
Fiend, Field, Brief, Grief, Yield, Achieve, Cashier,
Except after C as in Accede, Proceed,
Succeed, Exceed, Concede
Intercede, Precede, Recede, Succeed…
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