Song Time

I sing to (and dance for) the Duchess ALL of the time.  I sing to her about getting dressed, about the bath, about the dog, about her dummy, and the list goes on.  I fear that when she becomes older and heads off to pre-school she will think life is like a musical and become ‘that socially awkward girl who sings to (and dances for) people instead of talking to them,’ because obviously preschoolers’ categorization of people is that specific.

So when I went to a Parents and Babies group for the first time this week and they had ‘Song Time’ I thought, “Great!  We’ll be right in our element.”  The Duchess was just finishing her elevenses so we hadn’t joined the circle when they started the first song, I think it was ‘The Wheels on the Bus,’ but I heartily join in from the sidelines singing to The Duchess:

The Wheels on the Bus go round and round

Round and round

Round and round

The Wheels on the Bus go round and round

All through the town……wait….what?  What’s that?  They don’t go all through the town? 

I suddenly realized I was singing different words.  Apparently, British buses run on a 24 hour timetable and so they feel the need to emphasize that the wheels go round and round ‘all day long’ instead of ‘all through the town.’  And the babies don’t cry, they wriggle, so the mom/mums don’t ‘Ssh! Ssh! Ssh!’ Oh, the confusion.  (I have so much to say about this, it’s ridiculous.  The Husband and I are arguing lyrics as I type.  We have attributed the lyrical differences to the lack of an infrastructure in America to support buses that run all day long and to the more rural areas.)

Hoping that no one had noticed my loud American voice singing about a culturally different bus, I decided to join in on the next one, which was ‘Wind the Bobbin Up.’ I’ve only heard of this song since I moved here and the entirety, or what I thought was the entirely, of the lyrics were learnt through our 2 year old godson who just sings the first verse over and over again, so of course for ages I thought you just keep winding the bobbin up, pulling and clapping.  But no, there is more.  You have to wind it back again and point at things and as I hadn’t reeeeally learnt those lyrics when I got to that bit I did that awkward thing people do when they don’t really know the lyrics to a song playing on the radio:

 Wind the Bobbin Up

Wind the Bobbin Up

Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap

 Wind er ra ra ra

Wind er ra ra ra

Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap

 Et cetera, et cetera

I think perhaps I need to spend some time on Google learning the British lyrics and practice at home for next week’s visit.

What are your favourite nursery songs to sing to your little ones?  American?  British?  Other?   Maybe I’ll use your suggestions to become well-schooled in American and British nursery songs. 

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3 thoughts on “Song Time

  1. Lauren

    I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. Over the past month or so, Kendall has really taken to a couple of tv shows. She’s currently OBSESSED with Caillou and The Wiggles. There’s an episode of The Wiggles where they sing “Ring Around the Rosey.” American version: Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posey, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.” Right? Australian version: Ring a ring a rosey, a pocket full of posey, a tissue, a tissue (complete with a sneeze imitation), we all fall down. Umm, what?? I was so confused.

    Reply
  2. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

    My dear Christina–Hilarious, right? Haha. I think if ever you have children who are raised in the UK you shall be well ahead of the game by reading my blog because you’ll know what differences to anticipate. After 7 years here, I was pretty good as a cultural insider, but then realized that was just as an adult sans kids. I am going to need some help with songs and systems and school jargon when she heads off to school. I think I shall be okay when she turns 22.

    Lauren–Didn’t even think about the differences in imported tv shows. Of course. The Brits sing ‘Ring Around the Rosy’ the same way as Oz. The American version is more morbid since the song IS about the Plague! They are both really morbid and creepy, actually. (Shudder)

    Interesting because older Brits sometimes complain about how young people here are becoming more Americanized in their speech because of the American tv shows they watch. Maybe Kendall will have an Australian lilt to her voice for a few years. 😉

    Reply

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