The weird bit about nursery rhymes is, that in your native language, they just roll off your tongue. You can find yourself belting out impromptu renditions of row, row, row your boat or rock a bye baby during playtime, bath time, hug time or anytime really. Unfortunately, in my second language, where there should be rhyme there is often just a pregnant pause.
Of course, I have spent a good deal of time learning the words and tunes to various classic French nursery rhymes but somehow they just weren’t rolling off the tongue the way I would like. I decided this simply had to be down to the lack of nostalgia. I have no connection back to my own childhood when singing a nursery rhyme to Poppette in French.
And then I stumbled upon: -
L’araignée Gypsie monte à la gouttière,
Tiens, voilà la pluie, Gypsie tombe par terre,
Mais le soleil a chassé la pluie.
L’araignée Gypsie r’monte à la gouttière.
For those of you who don’t speak French - L’araignée Gypsie is effectively Incy Wincy Spider – one of my favourite childhood rhymes. It even has the same little actions that go along with it.
I feel like I have hit pay dirt. A rhyme that I connect with in French almost in the same way as I do with the rhymes that are hard wired into my brain from infancy.
But I am sure this one little rhyme will begin to wear thin for all involved if I keep singing it at the rate I have been doing for the past couple of days.
So I am appealing to anyone who may know more rhymes with a similar French/English crossover – could you please let me have details?