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Encyclopedia > London Bridge is falling down

"London Bridge Is falling down" is a well-known traditional nursery rhyme which is found in different versions all over the world. A nursery rhyme is a traditional song or poem taught to young children, originally in the nursery. ...


The main verse is:

London Bridge Is falling down,
Falling down, Falling down.
London Bridge Is falling down,
My fair lady.

The rhyme is often used in a children's singing game, which exists in a wide variety of forms, with additional verses. The most common is that two players make an arch while the others pass through in single file. The arch is then lowered at the song's end to "catch" a player.

Contents

Lyrics

In its original form[citation needed] (there are several versions), the lyrics are as follows:

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, Falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.
Take a key and lock her up,
Lock her up, Lock her up.
Take a key and lock her up,
My fair lady.
How will we build it up,
Build it up, Build it up,
How will we build it up,
My fair lady?
Build it up with gold and silver,
gold and silver, gold and silver.
Build it up with gold and silver,
My fair lady.
Gold and silver I have none,
I have none, I have none.
Gold and silver I have none,
My fair lady.
Build it up with pins and needles,
pins and needles, pins and needles.
Build it up with pins and needles,
My fair lady.
Pins and needles bend and break,
Bend and break, Bend and break.
Pins and needles bend and break,
My fair lady.
Build it up with wood and clay,
Wood and clay, Wood and clay.
Build it up with wood and clay,
My fair lady.
Wood and clay will wash away,
Wash away, Wash away.
Wood and clay will wash away,
My fair lady.
Build it up with stone so strong,
Stone so strong, Stone so strong.
Build it up with stone so strong,
My fair lady.
Stone so strong will last so long,
Last so long, Last so long.
Stone so strong will last so long,
My fair lady.

Alternative verses

Other verses used include:

We must build it up again,
Up again, Up again.
We must build it up again,
My fair lady.
Build it up with iron and steel,
Iron and steel, Iron and steel.
Build it up with iron and steel,
My fair lady.
Iron and steel will bend and bow,
Bend and bow, bend and bow.
Iron and steel will bend and bow,
My fair lady.
Silver and gold will be stolen away,
Stolen away, Stolen away.
Silver and gold will be stolen away,
My fair lady.
Set a man to watch all night,
Watch all night, watch all night,
Set a man to watch all night,
My fair lady.
Suppose the man should fall asleep,
Fall asleep, fall asleep,
Suppose the man should fall asleep?
My fair lady.
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
Smoke all night, smoke all night,
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
My fair lady.
Here's a prisoner I have got,
I have got, I have got,
Here's a prisoner I have got,
My fair lady.
Take the key and lock her up,
Lock him up, lock him up,
Take the key and lock her up,
My fair lady.
Silver and gold will set him free,
Set him free, set him free,
Silver and gold will set him free,
My fair lady.

The earliest printed English version

In Tommy Thumb´s Pretty Song Book (1744) the text is like this:

London Bridge Is Broken down
Dance over my Lady Lee
London Bridge Is Broken down
With a gay Lady
How shall we build It up again,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Gravel, and Stone,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Gravel, and Stone Will wash away,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Iron, and Steel,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Iron, and Steel, Will bend, and Bow,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Build it up with Silver, and Gold,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Silver, and Gold Will be stolen away,
Dance over my Lady Lee, etc
Then we’ll set A man to Watch,
Dance over my Lady Lee.
Then we’ll set A man to Watch
With a gay Lady
Armando Be Te la vea
La vea, La vea,
Armando Be Te la vea,
My fair Arno.

Meaning

The meaning of the rhyme is obscure. Most likely, it relates to the many difficulties experienced in bridging the River Thames[citation needed]: London's earlier bridges did indeed "wash away" before a bridge built of "stone so strong" was constructed. It has been suggested that the "fair lady" who is "locked up" is a reference to an old practice of burying a dead virgin in the foundations of the bridge to ensure its strength through magical means,[citation needed] although this more plausibly refers to Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Intriguingly, the rhyme is not confined to England and variants exist in many other western and central European countries. This article is about the River Thames in southern England. ... In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death. ... Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine (Aliénor dAquitaine in French), Duchess of Aquitaine and Gascony and Countess of Poitou (1122[1] –April 1, 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Europe during the High Middle Ages. ...


One theory of origin is that the rhyme relates to the destruction of London Bridge by Olaf II of Norway in 1014 (alternatively cited as 1009 (reference 1)). Reportedly Olaf I of Norway also burned the bridge during raids in England during the 980's, the bridge was also destroyed by a tornado in 1091 and burned in 1136. Olaf II Haraldsson (995 – July 29, 1030), king from 1015–1028, (known during his lifetime as the Stout or Thick (Olav Digre) and after his canonization as Saint Olaf), was born in the year in which Olaf Tryggvason came to Norway. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... Olaf Tryggvason (Old Norse: Óláfr Tryggvason, Norwegian: Olav Tryggvason), (960s-September 9? 1000), was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. ... Henry, son of William I attempted a coup against his brothers but failed to seize the English throne. ... Events Completion of the Saint Denis Basilica in Paris Peter Abelard writes the Historia Calamitatum, detailing his relationship with Heloise People of Novgorod rebel against the hereditary prince Vsevolod and depose him Births Amalric I of Jerusalem William of Newburgh, English historian (died 1198) Deaths November 15 - Margrave Leopold III...


Cultural references

  • Modernist poet T.S. Eliot used the first two lines of this rhyme in his poem The Waste Land.
  • The title of the 1993 movie Falling Down was inspired by this song, which is also sung in the movie.
  • In the 1960s, the tune of "London Bridge" was used as a series of jingles for BBC Radio 1, produced by PAMS.
  • On July 4, 2006, Fergie debuted the most modern-day version of "London Bridge" as the first single on her album The Dutchess.
  • Nu-metal band Korn utilizes the popular refrain of the rhyme in their song Shoots and Ladders.
  • In the computer game God of Thunder, the player must ask Relg's TV & Bridge Repair to fix Creekin's Bridge, but among the choices when Thor talks to him are "My dental bridge" and "London Bridge". If the player tries to tell him "London Bridge", Relg says, "Sorry, we only work within a 50 mile radius."
  • The movie Halloween III heavily features an ad jingle for Silver Shamrock to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down": Happy Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Happy Happy Halloween, Silver Shamrock.
  • In the American Dad! episode "American Dream Factory", when Rodger takes over Steve's band, they decide to cover traditional songs, and they play Steve a sample of "London Bridge is Falling Down".
  • In the Animaniacs song "A Quake", part of the song is a parody of "London Bridge is Falling Down", that goes, "L.A. Town is falling down, while the ground moves around, but we won't let it get us down, we're Californians!"
  • The English punk band Anti-Nowhere League uses a segment from the song in a cover version of Streets of London, a song about downtrodden Londoners.
  • The TV series Dark Shadows (1966 - 1971) featured a little ghost girl, Sarah Collins, whose signature action was the singing of London Bridge.
  • The song appears in the trip-hop,gothic rock band Switchblade Symphony's song Gutter Glitter.
  • One of the contestants in NDTV Scholar Hunt Destination UK kept singing the rhyme during his interview round.

This article focuses on the cultural movement labeled modernism or the modern movement. See also: Modernism (Roman Catholicism) or Modernist Christianity; Modernismo for specific art movement(s) in Spain and Catalonia. ... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965), was a major Modernist Anglo-American poet, dramatist, and literary critic. ... The Waste Land (1922), sometimes mistakenly written as The Wasteland, is a highly influential 434-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... This page redirects from Radio 1. See Radio 1 (disambiguation). ... PAMS of Dallas (Production,Advertising and Merchandising Services)was the most famous jingle production company in American broadcasting. ... Stacy Ann Ferguson, professionally known as Fergie (born March 27, 1975), is an American pop and R&B singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. ... Media:Example. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the band. ... Shoots and Ladders is the second single by American nu-metal band Korn. ... For other uses, see God of Thunder (disambiguation). ... Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a horror film released in 1982. ... A jingle is a memorable slogan, set to an engaging melody, mainly broadcast on radio and sometimes on television commercials. ... Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 horror film and the third in the Halloween series. ... American Dad! is a satirical American animated television series produced by Underdog Productions and Fuzzy Door Productions for 20th Century Fox. ... List of American Dad! episodes American Dream Factory Is the eleventh episode in the second season of the animated series American Dad!. The episode begins with the CIA getting a Ping Pong table at their office, and to Stans horror, they put it where his desk goes, causing him... Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, usually referred to as the shorter title Animaniacs, is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Streets of London is a song written by Ralph McTell. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

See also

For other uses, see London Bridge (disambiguation). ... A nursery rhyme is a traditional song or poem taught to young children, originally in the nursery. ... The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: Íslendingasögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

References

1. The Vikings by Michael Gibson, Wayland (Publishers) Ltd 1972 page 73


External links

  • Lyrics and Origin of Lyrics
  • London Bridge Is Falling Down at KidsBuilder.com
  • Video Karaoke preview

  Results from FactBites:
 
London bridge is falling down Nursery Rhyme, History and Origins (427 words)
The 'London Bridge is falling down' Nursery Rhyme is based on the one of the most famous landmarks in London.
The first London Bridge was made of wood and clay and was fortified or re-built with the various materials mentioned in the children's nursery rhyme.
The first stone bridge was designed by Peter de Colechurch and built in 1176 and took 33 years to build and featured twenty arches the dimensions of which were sixty feet high and thirty feet wide and was complete with tower and gates.
Citysongs (495 words)
London is a city of layers, laid one atop the last, rarely according to any particular plan.
A bridge of some sort has existed on the site for almost two millennia, and the very first London Bridge, built by the Romans in the middle of the first century AD, is probably the one referenced by the song.
London is famous for its weather, so much so that George Gershwin's "A Foggy Day in London Town" has been recorded by artists ranging from Fred Astaire to David Bowie.
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