Aside from bundles of baby clothes, among the very generous gifts I received before and after my son was born was soothing nipple cream and dark circle concealer. A friend in Sydney sent a CD entitled “Two hundred of the greatest nursery rhymes ever.”
So far we’ve managed to listen all the way through to the letter H in the alphabetically-ordered two-disc compilation. That means I have had the pleasure of experiencing a tuneful rendition of Humpty Dumpty accompanied by dulcet Aussie tones.
Okay, so it was intended as a present for my son but it has served me well in jogging my memory back to my playschool days and enabling me to recall the actions that go with the lyrics.
Now it seems I am set to regress to being a two-year-old again and learn a new bunch of nursery rhymes. In Swedish. Yep, nevermind the changing accent, I’ll be taking on a different language.
I thought it wise to start now in fear my son will be subjected to embarrassing mum syndrome if I don’t know all the words. In a similar vein, I should really take the opportunity to master more than the first two lines of the national anthem and schnapps drinking ditty Helan Går while I’m at it.
Thankfully, when it comes to nursery rhymes, there are some variations on a theme, as you can find below.
Baa baa black sheep/Bä bä vita lamm
The lamb in the Swedish version has changed color to white while the melody has also completely transformed. Rather than a bag for the master, dame and little boy down the lane, there are various woollen garments for mum, dad and younger brother.
Incy Wincy Spider/Imse vimse spindel
The harmony is slightly altered but the plight of poor Incy, whose endeavors are blighted by the rainy weather, remain the same. Happily, the sunshine in Sweden also saves Incy’s adventurous streak.
Twinkle twinkle little stay/Blinka Lilla Stjärna
Same tune, same context. The Swedes also contemplate what this star that twinkles like a diamond in the sky really is but equally come to no conclusion.