Sunday, September 10, 2006

GF9 600 - 32Two things:

While inflicting rampant patriotism on SG in making her watch the Last Night of the Proms, where the the foot-stamping audience shout not 'Bravo!' but 'Jingo!', I discovered that one of the earlier pieces, which was some Russian thing about Moscow Nights, and which could be summed up with 'summer loving; it happened so fast', and which I didn't remotely recognise, is the tune to which SG's mother does the washing up, although with Chinese lyrics and a different meaning.

I know it's not earth shattering stuff, but it never occurred to me that people in Shanghai would be taught to sing about Moscow to a Russian tune.

And now I've got Jerusalem stuck in my head, only can't quite remember all the words (hence the 'oh' wasn't followed by 'clouds unfold'), and can't find a decent mp3 of it. Trawling brings up a twinkly weak version with a Dutch set of lyrics, a hammed up synth-as-organ version [with a couple of wince inducing clashes and which reminds me of some other song, but I don't know which one], and the only sung version I found is a a load of soprano-heavy Americans singing about England's green and pleasant land. Yet in my head it's an organ rumbling the foundations (or failing that a tortured piano played with an anvil touch) as choir and congregation try to see if they can blow the windows out.

And what's all this about "mental fight"? I'm sure it used to be "mental strife", which Wikipedia [sourcelessly] backs me up on. But then I also remember being taught to sing "burnished gold", which it appears the rest of the world hasn't heard of.

The BBC has the burning-fight version read as the original poem [click listen by 'Preface to Milton']; I'd never realised there was meant to be sarcasm in the last line. Never underestimate the power of a nation to overlook an insult.

And while I'm on songs I cannot quite remember, and this might only apply to the former scouts among you, what are the words to 'a ram sash-sha'?

Here's how I remember them:
A ram sash-sha,
A ram sash-sha,
Golly, golly, golly, golly* ram sash-sha,
Akela; kela, kela, kela-hoo

And that's about all I remember, and the Akela line isn't quite right, but I cannot remember what's missing, nor what follows it (I think it goes back to the beginning).

* Or possibly 'Gooli, gooli, gooli, gooli'. Or that might be a cross over from 'Ging, gang, gooli gooli gooli watcha, ging gang goo, ging gang goo, [rpt], Hey la, hey la shay la, hey la shay la hey la ho', which does follow a very similar structure.

And yes, it is the same tune as 'A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken in a Pizza Hut, [rpt], MacDonald's, MacDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken in a Pizza Hut' which comes complete with actions and a hideously overstressed middle syllable in MacDonald's.

All of which isn't anywhere near as much fun as teaching the ten-and-a-halfers the Maori national anthem line by line, with suitable translations (unnecessary lessons in grammar always work well), sung to the same tune as 'God save the Queen', using the lyrics 'O-wa, ta-pra, tie-yam' and then getting them to sing it straight through.

But I'd better stop before I start on the myriad forms of 'oh you'll never get to heaven' or 'quartermaster's stores'*, although they tend to be the easier songs because you can just make them up on the spot, rather than struggling to remember any of the lines above two in 'Green grow the rushes oh'.

* Thank god for names which only provide dull rhymes. Never call your son Alex, and I remember being quite proud of the Chris/syphilis rhyme [apparently not all versions follow this model. God Americans Australians are boring]. And does anyone know why the chorus to that is 'my eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me, I - have - not - brought - my - specs - with - me'?

But the point of this post was to comment on the foodparcel someone sent me. It doesn't actually contain food, but a book and some CDs, which are nourishment of a sort. But one line in the book is something like (I scrawled it in orange marker late at night, foolishly forgot to add the page number and haven't been able to find it again so I can't check):
Ticklishness has something to do with where your head is.

Doesn't that sound awfully depressing [if one ignores the literal meaning]? To be in a state where one does not allow oneself to react? Whereas I still react too much, reverting to the flailed legs protective style of a six year old (think of a breakdancer showing off and you'll get the idea). Only my legs are a bit bigger, heavier and stronger than they were, and I didn't mean to kick you across the room, it just happens.

But I'd better be getting on with other stuff. Don't expect much blogging this week, so you'll have you amuse yourselves; I'll start you off:

There was Az, Az,
Looking kind of spaz*,
In the stores,
In the stores,
There was Az, Az,
Looking kind of spaz,
In the quartermaster's stores.

*It's ok because we didn't know better at that stage (ok, most of us did, but it's fine to use derogatory and insulting words as long as it rhymes, and nothing rhymes with 'challenged').


Four years and nobody has the answer? I'm using your Grauniad/Ugandair on another thread and in return I leave you:

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
a rafi, a rafi
guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam

(If you don't remember, it's a round in two parts.)(rafi is pronounced RAH-fee)

Four years and there's still people reading this?

Golly. Or guli.

Anyway, thank you for reminding of something I'd forgotten not knowing and for letting me know the answer.

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