My twin nieces, however, my sister Helli's girls, who used to spend their summers for several years at our parents' house in Brighton, had a thing about a song Mum sang about two little sausages, a tale of star-crossed love and happy endings among charcuterie folk. They made her sing it over and over (she was nothing loath) until they had it off by heart as well as she did. Being twins, shared things, jokes, songs, memorised repartee, have great sticking power with them. They carried The Sausage Song around with them into adulthood, after Mum died, until the internet came along and enabled them to rescue it from the fragile oral tradition, locate its place in history, and reconstruct any words missing from the fossil record. Though the form they learned it in, along with any errors it may contain, is dear to them as 'the way Grandma sang it', so many corrections have not been made. It has long been a party piece of theirs, and as it is in fact a duet the form suits them.
It's actual provenance is from a musical comedy of multiple authorship of 1907, seven years before my mother was born, called The Girls of Gottenberg, It only had a short run so where she heard it we don't know, except her brother had a gramophone and records. Fifty years later she was still singing it to the twins.
Thirty years on, one of them now lives in Australia, the other, who I saw last month, in England. Bee, the Australian twin, decided during a recent get-together that it was time her partner, cousins - my sister Alison's three children - and their partners were initiated into the joys of Two Little Sausages, and a performance was devised, arranged, videoed and sent to her sister, who shunted it over onto my laptop when I was there ( by means of a USB key in the shape of a dinky toy Land Rover, which is another story). So the Two Sausages live on, for as it says in the final lines of the song
... on any day you'll meet'em
for there's no one wants to eat'em
The video is, of course, daft as a brush - it's only a truncated version of the first verse and very short, all the lyrics can be found here, and an MP3 of the tune can be heard if you go to this page and click on no.20, if your interested and find the song as delightful and amusing as we do, which you might not, but the words are funny, and perhaps it's something other people remember, I'd be interested to know.
I just find it rather marvellous that a silly song from more than a hundred years ago was preserved in one child's memory into old age, handed on to two other children who kept it until the internet came along, and it can now be seen and heard being sung by a motley collection of 20 to 40 year olds, naturalised and native Australians, New Zealanders and Spanish, boat builders, airline workers, psychotherapists and hotshot young academics.
So I give you Bee, Hywel, Hamish, Mikey, Isabelle, Elen and Bel * with Two Little Sausages, courtesy of their late grandmother Marjorie.
* Hywel, Isabelle and Elen are Alison's children, Mikey is Bee's shaggy boatbuilder, Hamish is Elen's other half, and Bel is Hywel's lovely Spanish girlfriend.