Sometimes I notice that we are not singing the same words, such as in Wind the Bobbin up. There are even certain songs where we sing slightly different tunes. If Rhymetime were a performance, this would be a disaster. But it’s not. I love the way we all have learnt our own versions, from our parents or sometimes from other English-speaking countries, but that we can still sing them together, the disparity meaning less than the experience of singing in community.
I suppose it’s like a patchwork quilt, or rag rug. Way back in the summer holidays, when the sun was warm and the days were long, I took up a new project. Using the instructions on this video, I cut up old duvets and pieces of fabric bought for long-forgotten crafts, and spent hours pulling and tugging the material into a rug. It’s made of odds and ends of material. Some I bought at a charity shop. Others hold memories. The deep orange section is made of a duvet cover my mother-in-law bought me when Graham and I first got a flat together. The pale blue is a curtain I used as a bedspread when at University. The green section was a cover used by my daughter when she first slept in a proper bed, with only a duvet rather than cot bars to keep her from tumbling to the floor at night. It became threadbare and torn several years ago but I didn’t want to throw it away.
Now, when I see my children lying on it while they read, I see all those memories woven together. And when you sing ‘hokey pokey’ as I sing ‘hokey cokey’, I hear your childhood songs woven together with mine. Vive la difference!