Nursery Rhyme Places in England

Feb 20th, 2002, 01:37 PM
  #1  
Enid
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Nursery Rhyme Places in England

When we were in England last year, some places sounded so familiar to us, then we realized that they were part of nursery thymes that we have heard since childhood.
Like Banburry Cross, etc. It would be nice to know all the places we can visit where we can sing our favorite rhymes.
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #2  
Dina
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How about going to St. Ives ("met a man with seven wives")? Is there such a place?
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:22 PM
  #3  
Fiona
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Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St. Clement's.
You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.
I'm sure I don't know,
Says the great bell at Bow.
Here come a candle to light you to bed,
Here come a chopper to chop off your head.
Chop, chop, chop
The last man's dead!

Do you know where these places are?
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:47 PM
  #4  
xxxx
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Where is Hickory Dickory Dock?
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #5  
M. Giggle
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Fiona -- lovely London churches, right?

Dina, St. Ives is in Cornwall. Very nice.

As I remember it, "Little Jack Horner" was a gentleman who made out like a bandit on confiscated monasteries in Henry VIII's time, and "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" was Mary Queen of Scots.

Sorry, not places....just random information.
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #6  
Ben Haines
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Fiona: yes, I think I do. Is your question rhetorical ?

I?m afraid I?ve only two to add:

Dr Foster went to Gloucester In a shower of rain
He stepped in a puddle Right up to his middle
And never went there again

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down

But the folk songs go on at length:

As I was going to Scarborough Fair, Fol dee fol dee folderiddleido
I met a maiden taking her wares, fol de ree

Men of Harlech

Speed bonny boat like a bird on the wing
Over the sea to Skye

The bailiff?s daughter of Islington

The Vicar of Bray

The Gresford Disaster

Some songs are still being turned to folk songs:
There?ll be blue birds over The white cliffs of Dover, Tomorrow just you wait and see.
Or were they blue bells ? Oh dear

And in which town where I as born, there is a fair maid dwelling
?.. whose name is Barbra Ellen ? Or is that one of yours ?

Ben Haines, London




 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:05 PM
  #7  
Fiona
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No, Ben, it was a question. Are these churches in London itself?
I notice nursery songs and Beatle songs when I am in England, and find myself humming all day long.
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:12 PM
  #8  
wes fowler
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It's interesting to discover that so many of the children's songs have sinister and macabre undertones. "Ringaround a rosie, pocket full of posey" is thought to refer to the buboes resulting from bubonic plague and the sachet of herbs believed necessary to ward of the evils of the plague. The final line "all fall down" of course describes the multitude of deaths. M. Giggle's "lovely London churches" in the rhyme Fiona quotes mark the way a condemned prisoner travels on his way to the chopping block. What about "London bridge is falling down"? Long ago, legend has it, a child had to be sacrified by drowning in a river to ensure that the river would not destroy its bridges. The song, then, was particularly threatening to children.
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:22 PM
  #9  
a
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Fiona, LOL I was the same way with Beatles songs. When it rained I "got my tan from standing in the English rain." When our tour bus passed the Albert Hall I asked "How many holes does it take to fill?" God, my travel companions must have wanted to kill me!
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:24 PM
  #10  
Nancy
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I was singing "isn't it good, St. John's Wood" to my friend's dismay.
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:36 PM
  #11  
a
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I thought it was "Isnt it good, Norwegian Wood"??
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:41 PM
  #12  
Nancy
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You're right, no wonder they were dismayed. What is the phrase with St. Johns Wood?
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 03:51 PM
  #13  
Dina
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"St. John's wort" is an herb used to treat depression. Don't think there's a song about it....
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 04:46 PM
  #14  
M. Giggle
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Hahaha, Wes Fowler, what a grizly story about the "Oranges and Lemons" churches!

I won't be skipping merrily down the lane singing THAT one any more!
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 04:53 PM
  #15  
Gayle
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"lived in St. John's Wood not in Knightsbridge as before". Can't remember if it's Stones or Beatles. The Ring Around a Rosy was a real revelation. Wow!
 
Feb 20th, 2002, 06:06 PM
  #16  
M. G.
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Gayle: I't the Stones, "Play With Fire:"

"Your mother she's an heiress,
Owns a block in St. John's Wood"

then later:

"Now she get's her kicks in Stedley,
Not in Knightsbridge any more."

That song used to run through my head every time I passed St. John's Wood...over and over and over.
 
Feb 21st, 2002, 04:20 AM
  #17  
kate
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Enid: Banbury Cross is a stone cross on the main crossroads in the centre of Banbury, a pretty market town in Oxfordshire (I think) between Oxford and Stratford. Worth a lunch stop.

Fiona: Oranges and Lemons – yes, all London Churches. Ben Haines will know more than me about the locations, but as a starting point... I believe St Martin's is St Martin's in the Field, Trafalgar Square, Old Bailey is in the city, and Bow is St Mary Le Bow in the city (Chancery Lane?? or is it Cheapside?), the church where you are said to only be a true cockney if you were born within the sound of "Bow bells". You can get a good lunch in the crypt underneath.
 
Feb 21st, 2002, 04:56 AM
  #18  
Dina
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Cheapside! That was the name of the smart-alec Cockney sparrow in the "Dr. Doolittle" books. Didn't know it was a street in London.
 
Feb 21st, 2002, 05:23 AM
  #19  
Patrick Wallace
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There is a book, or series of books, which are held to be the 'bible' about children's games and songs, etc., by Iona and Peter Opie, but I don't know if they go into nursery rhymes in particular. Certainly Oranges and Lemons is very specific to London:
fruit landed on the riverside for Clare Market used to pass through the churchyard of St Clement Dane's, and the church took its cut. And the references to other churches likewise reflect something of their area was known for.
A lot of old songs deal with political events:
'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary': Mary I's counter-reformation in the 1550s (silver bells at the mass, cockleshells for the pilgrimage to Compostela)
'The King of Spain's daughter came to marry me': the failed negotiations in the 1610s for Charles I to marry the Infanta of Spain
'Hush a bye baby on the treetop' - the belated birth of a son in 1688 to James II's Catholic wife and James's subsequent flight and deposition
as well as 'Ring-a-ring-a-roses' being about the plague of 1665 - and 'London's burning' the great fire of 1666 - and so on.
 
Feb 21st, 2002, 10:15 AM
  #20  
Faith
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How interesting, thanks for the facts everyone. I guess alot of these childrens songs have much deeper meanings, I wonder how they become children's songs in the first place?
Or did American's just start teaching them to children after the immigrated to the US?
 

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