When I was very young

[per sapere il significato delle parole evidenziate,
passaci sopra con il mouse senza cliccare]

I’m sure most of us can probably dig out some childhood memories of being obliged to go for long walks after lunch when all you really wanted to do was to play with your mates or just stay in and watch TV. Those walks, as I remember, would often end up with us kids dragging our heels and repeatedly saying, “Mummy, when are we going to go home?” Well, it was on one of those occasions that my mum suddenly came out with this clever little ditty that unexpectedly turned our grumpiness into an all-new, rhymthic challenge: a march! The ditty was based on the double meaning of the words right (avere ragione, destra) and left (andarsene, sinistra). It went like this:

  • His father said he was right, (pausa) right, (pausa) right,
  • Sua padre diceva che aveva ragione, ragione, ragione
  • He had a good job but he left, (pausa) left, (pausa) left.
  • Aveva un buon lavoro ma se ne andò, se ne andò, se ne andò.

The challenge was to make sure that as you repeated the ditty, your right foot hit the ground every time you said right and your left foot hit the ground every time you said left. In order to do this you had to say the ditty to the correct rhythm, the one that I have tried to illustrate in the picture above. It is a circular ditty so when you reach the end of each line you must start the next line immediately or you’ll lose the rhythm.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!


2 comments

  1. I’m really moved by this story, Tony!
    I can immagine the scene you’ve described here.
    I remember I said to my mum like that “Mum haven’t we arrived yet?”
    Mum repeatedly said ” Just one more minute”.

    1. I think it’s a classic situation that crosses all borders!
      Have you tried saying the ditty while you walk?

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