Why Does China Change our Nursery Rhymes?

During my days living in China I’m beginning to find that it’s the little irregularities that are sticking out at me the most.


A good example is the song ABC.
Kids sing the song differently here and while the change isn’t huge and the song isn’t a big deal in itself, this little difference is one of the biggest things that makes me feel like I’m in a foreign country.
Ok so try to imagine the melody while reading it spelt out below, and try to sing it in your mind. First the version I’m use to –

a b c d e f geeeee
h i j k elemenopeeeee
q r esss
t u veeeee
w x y and zeeeee
now I know my a b ceeeee
next time won’t you sing with mee

Now this is the version I hear in China

a b c d e f geeeee
h i j k l m ennnnn
o p q
r s teeeee
u v w
x y zeeeeee
x y zeeeee
now you seeeee
I can sing my a b ceeeee

Are you thinking what I was thinking!? I just about passed out! You could have tripped over the chin that I had just thrown on the floor.
Whatever happened to integrity..


The last part has literally dozens of variations. I’ve heard,
“There you seeeeee abceeeeee I can sing my a b ceeee”
I’ve heard “Now you seeee, I can siiiing, next time you will sing with meeee”
And many other similar versions.

It wasn’t hard to work out the origins of this catastrophe, once again using my powers of deduction and nothing else actually factual.
I figure it’s because their Chinese teachers teach them lots of preschool English songs, especially ABC because they use our letters in their everyday life.
They even use our letters to text on their phones, people write out the Chinese words with English letters and the phone autocorrects it into Chinese characters.
This answered a massive puzzle for me as I use to wonder “how do they fit 6,000 Chinese characters on a keyboard??”

I haven’t discovered any other variations of classical English high class music yet, if you know of any  let me know!

They’re welcome to take a crack at ‘London Bridge’ or ‘ Ring a Rosie’, those songs could really use an update.

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