Thursday, 9 June 2011

GET THE LOOK - Oranges and Lemons

I live in the East End of London (Bow Road), and if you walk from Bow towards Stratford/Bow Church you pass one of the Churches from the nursery rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons' - St Mary atte Bowe!  So that inspired my next theme:







According to Wiki:
"Oranges and Lemons" is an English nursery rhyme and singing game which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London. It is listed in the Roud Folk Song Index as #3190.

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 do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head![1]
Here is a longer version:
Gay go up and gay go down,
To ring the bells of London town.

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clements.

Bull's eyes and targets,
Say the bells of St. Marg'ret's.

Brickbats and tiles,
Say the bells of St. Giles'.

Halfpence and farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

Pancakes and fritters,
Say the bells of St. Peter's.

Two sticks and an apple,
Say the bells of Whitechapel.

Pokers and tongs,
Say the bells of St. John's.

Kettles and pans,
Say the bells of St. Ann's.

Old Father Baldpate,
Say the slow bells of Aldgate.

You owe me ten shillings,
Say the bells of St. Helen's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

Pray when will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.

Chop chop chop chop
The last man's dead![2][3]

The Churches:

  • St. Martin's may be St Martin Orgar or St. Martin's Lane in the city, where moneylenders used to live.


  • St Sepulchre-without-Newgate (opposite the Old Bailey) is near the Fleet Prison where debtors were held.


  • St Leonard's, Shoreditch is just outside the old city walls


  • St Dunstan's, Stepney is also just outside the city walls


  • Bow is St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside



  • St. Helen's, in the longer version of the song, is St Helen's Bishopsgate, in the city.


  • St. Clements's may be St Clement Danes or St Clement Eastcheap both of which are near the wharves where merchantmen landed citrus fruits.


  • In case you want a look at Bow's history: http://www.kingsleyhall.co.uk/bromleybybow.htm

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