Nursery Rhyme Places in England

Feb 21st, 2002, 10:48 AM
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Oh, do you know the muffin man, who lives on Drury Lane? The muffin man, the muffin man.
Feb 21st, 2002, 11:22 AM
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If anyone out there is old enough to remember the psychedelic/folkie recording artist from the 60's, Donovan, you might remember a song of his that drives me batty when I'm in London..."Come take a walk down in sunny South Kensington, any day of the week... (see the girl with the silk, Chinese dress on, you know she ain't no freak...)"

I have NEVER been in S. Kensington when it wasn't raining!
Feb 21st, 2002, 11:26 AM
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Now I can't quit singing that stoopid song...
(come take a walk down in sunny s. la la, all the way to the funny farm...)
Feb 21st, 2002, 11:56 AM
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All last week I was humming "Henry the Eighth, I am I am" by Herman and the Hermits. Does this count?
"And every one was a 'enry, wouldn't take a ____ nor a Sam (no Sam)....."
Feb 21st, 2002, 12:04 PM
martha python
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She wouldn't take a Willie or a Sam . . .

The "ring around the rosie"/plague story is a myth:
Feb 21st, 2002, 01:36 PM
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Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman, be he alive or be he dead, I will grind his bones to make my bread.

Is this a grace said before dinner for the kiddies?
Feb 21st, 2002, 01:44 PM
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The Grand Old Duke Of York
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.
Feb 21st, 2002, 02:21 PM
Ben Haines
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Fionaorry I misunderstood. Here goes. But what I say needs checking against the Opies? great book, Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, which does, indeed, look into each nursery rhyme.

St Clements. That?s St Clement Danes in Aldwych, church of the Royal Air Force. My favourite point there is the memorial in the floor to the recklessly brave Poles who flew to defend us. The word ?Danes? marks the fact that Viking traders settled there in the eighth century, in the Old Town, the Auld Wyk.

I doubt it?s St Martin in the Fields, since that?s only eighteenth century, and I think the song is older. More likely is St Martin Within Ludgate, just below

St Paul?sOld Bailey ? as Kate says

Shoreditch. That?ll be Shoreditch Old Church, now set in an ungainly one-way system north of Liverpool Street ststion

I?m afraid I don?t know the original Parish church of Stepney.

I think Bow will be Bow beyond the Mile End Road, out in the East End, not the church on Cheapside (Anglo-Saxon, ?shop place?, as in East Cheap. You can tell where the shops were by street names, Wood Street, Milk Street, and so on. All lost to banking and finance nowadays). But I may be confused by the fact that Victorian cockneys were East Enders.

You?ll see that this marks a procession from west to east. There may have been a place of execution in the East End, but I?m afraid the ones I know of were at Tower Hill and at Tyburn (modern Marble Arch), so I?m not sure that the rhyme was allied to an execution route.

But I do remember the delicious terror of passing between the two children who were the choppers, when I was five. Equally, I recall at that age the pleasurable fear of hearing the giant, offstage, say his ?Fee Fi Fo Fum?? offstage in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. But it was all right: Jack killed the giant.

These rhymes slid from political comment to nursery culture in Britain before they did so in the Thirteen Colonies, or at the same time. They have survived the centuries simply as good surrealist poetry.

Ben Haines
Feb 21st, 2002, 02:49 PM
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Wow, thanks Ben, for all the trouble, glad the children didn't really chop you.
I wonder how new songs for children would be now about current events, if we carried on the theme.
Feb 21st, 2002, 05:14 PM
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Pussycat, pussycat where have you been?
I've been to London to look at the Queen.
Feb 22nd, 2002, 10:08 AM
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Strawberry Fields, Forever!!!!

Where was the church Eleanor Rigby went to?
Apr 16th, 2002, 11:36 AM
Rosemarie the Righteous us
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As political commentary didn't
Georgie Porgie Puddin' Pie...

Kiss the girls and make them cry
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away...

Refer to King George who had the reputation of being a playboy and womanizer?
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