Thursday, 26 May 2011

Childhood Songs in English and Chinese

During my roadtrip, I had a funny conversation with my roadtripees about the songs we used to sing when we were kids. I hadn't thought about this for a while, but I remember a few years back I suddenly came to realise how the rhymes and songs I learnt when I was a kid had the same tune but different words and in a completely different language.

Now I know that a lot of you who read this blog aren't Chinese, so you will have no idea what I am talking about, so you can either move onto a different site or revel quietly at the ridiculousness of my English translations. For those of you who know, brace yourself for my significant findings...

1) English tune: London Bridge is Falling down
Chinese song: A small bird has fallen into the water, fallen into the water, fallen into the water, a small bird has fallen into the water, it's been washed away.

2) French tune: Frere Jacque
Chinese song: Open the mosquito net, open the mosquito net, there is a mosquito, there is a mosquito, quickly get a fan, quickly get a fan, fan it away, fan it away

3) English tune: Jingle Bells (dashing through the snow) (Newly remembered today)
Chinese song: By the river is a sheep, by the sheep is an elephant, by the elephant is a little monkey that looks just like you!

Isn't it fantastic? Did the Chinese people come up with it first? I'd be fascinated to find out the history of children's songs! It seems amazing that two countries that have little links have the same tune for songs but different words.

By all means, if you want me to sing these songs to you, I will be more than happy. For some reason I know all of them, including the French ones! Hahaa. It was just an interesting observation which I thought I'd share, and something people wouldn't know unless they're British Born Chinese like me! :) Haha. Yay for BBCness! :)

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