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digging, unlikely

There was a pig went out to dig, Chrissymas Day, Chrissymas Day; There was a pig went out to dig, Chrissymas Day in the morning. Oh yes there was.

One of the side-effects of growing older, pleasurable so far, is having more and more stocked in my memory and capable of popping up at the most irrelevant moment. Now, what was it brought this industrious animal to mind? I've really no idea: but it was the start of quite a search.

Family first, because I thought it was probably something I'd heard on Listen with Mother. Mixed results: Mother herself agreed that was probably where it come from, but remembered nothing more about it. Jon remembered about as much, though more positively. Mo and Chris were united in scepticism; Mo thought it was something we'd made up while staggering home from the pub, Chris wondered if it might not be some fiendish Nielsen variant on false-memory syndrome.

Friends and acquaintance were not more help, providing only more of the same. The BBC site was no help at all, not least because its search engine refused to accept listen with mother as a search string. "The word with is ignored", it said smugly, thereby returning the most extraordinary search results for listen mother pig.

Eventually, I did what I should have done first of all and posted a question in the most civilised, grown-up, knowledgeable newsgroup I know. Subscribers to came up with the reference in a matter of hours, and were even able to tell me where to find it. OK, so I was a bit embarrassed by the hearty tweeness of the Revels site even if I might (perhaps; maybe; you never know) enjoy the experience should I ever fail to escape: but I did order Chris a copy of the book as a Christmas present, and now he too knows (and has been known to sing, in moments of absent-mindedness) there really was a pig went out to dig.