In choir, we are rehearsing The Night Before Christmas:
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle…
After practicing the above, the guy next to me turned to the guy next to him and said, “Those were the good old days, when people actually knew how to use the simple past!”
“What, instead of ‘He sprung to his sleigh’?” To which a wit replied, “No, today it would be ‘He done sprung to his sleigh’.”
Except that that wouldn’t scan.
Isn’t language fascinating?
One shift in structure can destroy a thousand years of rhythm and poesy.