When sitting in traffic with Sons 1 and 2 – usually on route to Nippers or Soccer – I put on an audio-book or CD of kids’ music. It keeps the boys under control in the back – Son 1 once even told me to be quiet so he could listen to the Famous Five. And it means my wife and I don’t need to argue about radio stations (i.e. who has the worse taste in music*).
A couple of weekends ago, we tried out a new CD of nursery rhymes. We’d picked it up at a garage sale, so I didn’t have high hopes. But, even so, it was shockingly bad. For one, the guy sounded like he’d recorded it in a garage with a cat and owl mewl-hooting along. His guitar was out of tune, and may have been missing a string. His voice was breathy, strained, hoarse, too loud and too high. He was self-accompanied by one of those early keyboard-drum machines that had two settings: a funereal Viennese waltz and a ‘funky bosonova’.
But most distracting of all, was the singer’s accent: in equal parts, French, Texan and what may once have been Scottish. After listening, stunned, to “Himpdy Dermpty set un ze warl” and “Bor Bor Bleek Shep”, I’d had enough and switched the CD over to Fantastic Mr Fox.
Now, we’re spoiled for choice in Australia, with stalwarts like The Wiggles and more recent entrants like the Zoo Boyz putting out some great stuff. But for me, there’ll always be one – and only one – way to listen to nursery rhymes sung with an Australian accent. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Ms Pasty Biscoe and her greatest work:
When I was growing up in the – ahem – early 80s, my sister and I loved to bound around the house listening to Patsy’s clear, sweet voice performing nursery rhymes (admittedly, we only had 1 1/2 TV channels where we lived). For those of you a tad younger, Patsy was a superstar of children’s TV, including Fat Cat and Friends and Here’s Humphrey. She’s sold more than half a million records (like CDs but bigger and black).
Patsy’s gone on to do some interesting things with her life you can read about here. Thanks to the marvels of the Internet, you can see Patsy performing some of her hits below and download her songs via here.
* Answer: alas, it is I.
- Do we spend too much time on rhyming books? What else should we do to pre-schoolers to read?
- Jack and Jill and that hill
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).