London Bridge Is Falling Down

London Bridge Is Falling Down
History

The Wooden Bridge
The 'London Bridge is falling down' Nursery Rhyme is based on the one of the most famous landmarks in London. It's history can be traced to the Roman occupation of England in the first century. 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. Many disasters struck the bridges - Viking invaders destroyed the bridge in the 1000's which led to a fortified design, complete with a drawbridge. Building materials changed due to the many fires that broke out on the bridge.
The Stone Bridge
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. The flow of the Thames under the bridge was used to turn water wheels below the arches for grinding grain. By the 1300's the bridge contained 140 shops, some of which were more than three stories high. ( The reference to Silver and Gold in the rhyme relates to the trading which was conducted on the bridge). London Bridge survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 but its arches and foundations were weakened. (Buildings with thatched roofs were banned in London following the Great Fire of 1666 and this ban was only lifted with the construction of the New Globe Theater in 1994 - the following website is highly recommended for further details of the Globe william-shakespeare.info
The Modern Re-builds!
In the 1820s a new London Bridge was built on another site, north of the old one. This new bridge opened in 1831 and the old bridge was demolished. In the 1960s yet another London Bridge was built. The London Bridge of 1831 was transported, stone by stone, to Lake Havasu in Arizona, USA.
NB There is another Nursery Rhyme called 'London bridge is broken down' - its origins relate to Queen Anne Boleyn - fascinating! And for other surprising revelations about Executions, Torturers and Lord Mayors check out London Bells a Nursery Rhyme containing the original lyrics to Oranges and Lemons!

London Bridge Is Falling Down

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
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 bricks and mortar,
Bricks and mortar, bricks and mortar,
Build it up with bricks and mortar,
My fair Lady.


Bricks and mortar will not stay,
Will not stay, will not stay,
Bricks and mortar will not stay,
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.

Build it up with silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Build it up with silver and gold,
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 nigh,
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.
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Pussycat Pussycat

Pussycat Pussycat
History

The origins of the "Pussycat pussycat" rhyme dates back to the history of 16th century Tudor England. One of the waiting ladies of Queen Elizabeth 1st had an old cat which roamed throughout Windsor castle. On one particular occasion the cat ran beneath the throne where its tail brushed against the Queen's foot, startling her. Luckily 'Good Queen Bess' had a sense of humour and decreed that the cat could wander about the throne room, on condition it kept it free of mice!

Pussycat Pussycat poem

"Pussycat pussycat, where have you been?"
"I've been up to London to visit the Queen."
"Pussycat pussycat, what did you dare?"
"I frightened a little mouse under her chair"
"MEOWW!"
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Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill
History

Jack and Jill story - The French (history) connection!
The roots of the story, or poem, of Jack and Jill are in France. Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending! The actual beheadings occurred in during the Reign of Terror in 1793. The first publication date for the lyrics of Jack and Jill rhyme is 1795 - which ties-in with the history and origins. The Jack and Jill poem is also known as Jack and Gill - the mis-spelling of Gill is not uncommon in nursery rhymes as they are usually passed from generation to generation by word of mouth.
Death by Beheading!
On the gruesome subject of beheading it was the custom that following execution the severed head was held up by the hair by the executioner. This was not, as many people think, to show the crowd the head but in fact to show the head the crowd and it's own body! Consciousness remains for at least eight seconds after beheading until lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness and eventually death. The guillotine is associated with the French but the English were the first to use this device as described in our section containing Mary Mary Quite Contrary Rhyme.

Jack and Jill Poem

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up got Jack, and home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.
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Hush Little Baby

Hush, little baby, don't say a word
Mama's gonna buy you a mockin'bird

If that mockin'bird don't sing
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass
Hush Little Baby
If that looking glass gets broke
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

If that billy goat don't pull,
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and mule

If that cart and mule turn over,
Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover

If that dog named Rover won't bark,
Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart

If that horse and cart fall down,
Then you'll be the sweetest little baby in town
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little StarTwinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark;
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
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Froggy Would A-Wooing Go

Froggy Would A-Wooing Go
A Frog he would a wooing go, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
A Frog he would a-wooing go, Whether this mother would let him or no,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

He saddled and bridled a great black snail, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
He saddled and bridled a great black snail, And rode between the horns and the tail,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

So off he set with his opera hat, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
So off he set with his opera hat, And on the way he met with a rat,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

They rode till they came to Mousey Hall, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
They rode till they came to Mousey Hall, And there they both did knock and call,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within?" Heigh-ho, says Roley,
"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within?" "Oh yes, sir, here I sit and spin."
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

Then Mrs. Mouse she did come down, Heigh-ho, says Roley,
Then Mrs. Mouse she did come down, All smartly dressed in a russet gown,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, can you give us some beer," Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, can you give us some beer, That froggy and I may have good cheer?"
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

She had not been sitting long to spin, Heigh-ho, says Roley,
She had not been sitting long to spin, When the cat and the kittens came tumbling in,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

The cat she seized Master Rat by the crown, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
The cat she seized Master Rat by the crown, The kitten she pulled Miss Mousey down,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright, He took up his hat and he wished them "Good night!"
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

And as he was passing over the brook, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
And as he was passing over the brook, A lily white duck came and gobbled him up,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

So there's an end of one, two, and three, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
So there's an end of one, two, and three, The Rat, the Mouse, and little Froggy,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.
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Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I dunno why she swallowed that fly,
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly -
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd, to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly -
Perhaps she'll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog! To swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat.
Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog ...
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat...
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog...
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse -
She's dead, of course.


Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
school one day, school one day,
It followed her to school one day, which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
laugh and play, laugh and play,
it made the children laugh and play to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
turned it out, turned it out,
And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
patiently about, patiently about,
And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
"Why does the lamb love Mary so," the eager children cry.

"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
The lamb, you know, the lamb, you know,
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know," the teacher did reply.
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If Wishes Were Horses

If Wishes Were Horses
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches, I would wear one by my side.
And if "ifs" and "ands"
Were pots and pans,
There'd be no work for tinkers!

One, two, three, O'Lairy
One, two, three, O'Lairy
My first name is Mary,
Don't you think that l look cute,
In my mother's bathing suit!
(Ball against the wall game)
Sit crossed legged on the floor, facing a wall.
Bounce the ball on the floor and onto the wall, then catch it.

Silkworms
by John Williams

They hatch from a batch of small white eggs,
Tiny black worms with tiny, tiny, legs
Covered all over with fine, fine, hair,
And eyes so small they're almost not there.
Their very first thought is for something to munch,
Something for breakfast and supper and lunch.
Their favourite food's from the mulberry tree
And here's where they start their eating spree.
They eat and they eat all through the day,
There's no time for talking and certainly not play.
With all this eating they quickly grow
And lose black skins for ones as white as snow.
For twenty five days they enjoy their fest
And then comes the time for them to rest.
They find a good spot and start to spin
A silky cocoon to cover themselves in.
For three long days the silk is spun
And then, at last, their job is done.
A moth then appears after twenty three days,
And soon a new batch of eggs she lays.
Her work is done so she slips away.
She knows the eggs will hatch, she need not stay.

A Tadpole Tale
by John Williams

On a sunny day in a pond on the farm
A happening was happening and causing alarm.
The tadpoles were swimming and scurrying around
And dropping their tails off onto the ground.
They soon realised there was nothing to fear
It was just that their time to be frogs was so near.
They emerged from the pond all happy and proud
And began croaking their message aloud.
None of them noticed the poor little thing
Who stayed behind with no reason to sing.
She watched in wonder as her friends departed
And felt so really really downhearted.
She could not understand why she hadn't yet shed
The tail that stopped her from moving ahead.
She wiggled and wiggled and wiggled around,
But that stubborn tail wound not fall to the ground.
She started to cry and then fell fast asleep
At the end of the pond where the water was deep.
At dawn she awakened and happily saw
That the troublesome tail was there no more.
She swam to the side and 'hopped' onto a log,
Yes! Yes! She was now a magnificent Frog!
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Five Little Monkeys Music Video



Five Little Monkeys

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

One little monkey jumping on the bed
He fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

No little monkeys jumping on the bed
None fell off and bumped his head
So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
Put those monkeys back in bed!
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Baa Baa Black Sheep Music Video

Baa Baa Black Sheep is a nursery rhyme, sung to a variant of the 1761 French melody Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman. The original form of the tune is used for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the Alphabet song. The words have changed little in two and a half centuries. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 18267.


Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa, Baa a black Sheep,
Have you any Wool?
Yes merry have I,
Three Bags full,
One for my master,
One for my Dame,
One for the little Boy
That lives down the lane.
source: wikipedia
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Humpty Dumpty Song with Lyrics

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
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Jack And Jill Song with Lyrics

Jack And Jill
Jack and Jill went up the hill, To fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down, and broke his crown, And Jill came tumbling after.
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