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Piggy with a house

For my own edification in the ways of foreign childrens' songs, I went to the local library baby and toddler singalong today. Fifty percent of the songs were unfamiliar to me. For another quarter, I knew the words, but not the tunes to which they were being sung.

And then there were moments like this, when what is probably - I hypothesize - a usual British Englishism I've been hearing for years stood out like a metaphorical sore thumb in what was an otherwise familiar sequence.

Where did the piggy stay?

This little piggy stayed home.
61(56.5%)
This little piggy stayed at home.
47(43.5%)

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Comments

sam_t
Sep. 28th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
I think that they probably sound pretty much the same, but the lines you (that is, one, not you personally) compare are probably different. Theory:

UK:
AABB pattern
2x line with the rhythm of 'This little piggy went to' + 1 or 2 syllables
2x line with the rhythm of 'This little piggy had' + 1 or 2 syllables

US:
ABAB pattern, where A is a longer line and B is a line of 7 syllables with a rhyme or half-rhyme.

Just a thought, but it might explain why both sides are convinced theirs scans better - they're consciously or unconsciously expecting that line to match a different pattern. Or of course, it could just be a case of the version you're used to sounding better.