on Ubuntu, just make sure you've got VIM (vim-nox package) installed, it's enabled by default.
on other systems,
vi ~/.vimrc autocmd BufNewFile,BufFilePre,BufRead *.md set filetype=markdown
mark first character with e.g. 'a' tag, go to last char, cut,
m a d ' a
then paste where you like (p or P).