Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bi-Lingual Singing

I cannot carry a tune, I think I'm tone deaf and I have no rhythm.  None of that stops me from singing out loud, usually in the confines of the car or shower, or when I'm home alone.  I don't mind singing in front of Hilary and Liam.  I often get the words "wrong" according to Hilary which drives her crazy and then she feels the need to correct me.

Did you know that the words to  "In the Still of the Night"  aren't really "Shut up and show me love?"  I always thought that was a little risky for the '50s......

One thing that I've noticed recently, is that when I sing on my own, without singing along to the radio, is that I ALWAYS sing in French.  Growing up I went to French school up to grade 10 and while I do consider myself bi-lingual, I haven't used my French with any regularity in over 15 years.  It's funny what sticks with you from childhood though.

I only know the words to the French versions of Christmas carols.  I can start Oh Canada off in English, but by the second verse I've switched over to French without even realizing it.  The only lullabies that I ever sang to Liam were in French, though I have no idea where I learned them, since I don't recall my parents ever singing me French lullabies.

I don't have a huge repertoire of songs that I randomly sing, so Liam has heard the same ones over and over.  And every now and then he joins in.  Even though he claims to hate all things French and refuses to speak it with me ever (despite have French classes at school for the last 6 years), he doesn't seem to mind the singing.

That is when he's willing to put up with his tone deaf, off key mother singing in the first place.

1 comment: said...

It's fascinating to me how the mind switches between languages - or compartmentalizes them. I lived in France only a few months a looooong time ago; "lived" French for only 6 months. But by the end, I'd dream in French and still occasionally do.

But if I try to speak it, I'm a mess. I wonder whether singing in a language is "stored" in another part of the brain...?

Anyway...I'm not sure what I clicked to find your blog, but interesting entry! Glad to find it!