Thursday, August 06, 2020
It Warms The Cockles & Mussels Of Our Hearts
Jamus Lim's now famous English saying (which many of us learnt during our school days) has brought some memories to surface. One of them is James Kwok who sent me the video Cockles and Mussels, a song from way back Brit times in Singapore schools. It was one of many tunes we had to learn during the colonial days. These were songs that were totally British, Irish, Scottish or Welsh using words and terms we could not understand but had to remember. It was fun.
As school boys and girls, "It warms the cockles of our hearts..." is a phrase many would be familiar with. Now the children have grown up and have become Seniors today.
But let's read what James has to say:
Back in primary school in the 1950s we had music class when we learnt to sing British songs such as Molly Malone and Sing a Song of Six Pence a Packet Full of Rye. I didn't know what's Six pence or rye, but just sang along, after my negative experience with the British national anthem.
Early in the year we were taught to sing. God Save the Queen. I remember asking music teacher Miss Lee what's happened to the queen and I was given an angry stare and told to behave myself and to shut up. Things were different then, that's Pr 1, 1954.
The famous Molly Malone with 'Cockles and Mussels', one of many songs we had to learn as a child during British colonial times in Singapore. Sung by Ruby Murray above. YouTube video by IAN ANDERSON. Thank you.
Then came self government and Majulah Singapura and in secondary school we had the Victoria School song plus other Singapore songs with subtle nation-building themes composed by Pak Zubir Said and others who inspired us with their works.
Back in my Pr 1 days, a song which I loved to sing and was considered harmless is now judged by some to be politically incorrect, even racist, so its title has been altered to BAA BAA SHEEP SHEEP. Things are different now, this being 2020.
Colonial Vocabulary Or Nouns Unlearnt:
Written by: James Kwok.
Images: A Google Mix Bag.