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London Bridge is falling down

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Barendd Nobeard said:
We played it as a game, so I don't know where this crazy "salt & pepper" stuff comes from. :)

The "take the key and lock her up" version made sense, since the game involved trapping people in the bridge. (Sort of the opposite of 'musical chairs' but without the chairs). I also remember other verses: "build it up with iron bars" and "iron bars will bend and break" and "build it up with silver and gold" - in my childhood, extra verses were just an excuse to keep playing the game a bit longer.

I remember the game aswell, two kids would form the bridge by holding hands and raising them like an arch with two spans. The other kids would walk underneath and lock her up the arms would come down either side and trap a kid. During the bend and break verse, you'ld sway them back and forth in your arms until they broke the bridge.
 

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Nellisir

Adventurer
Eeralai said:
The silver and gold part also is in a similar game with a song called "Oranges and Lemons" which is imortalized in the book 1984 about "Here comes a chopper to chop off your head."

I don't actually recall learning to sing "London Bridge" at all, and all I know is the chorus. I have vague recollections of some kind of game, but nothing solid.

My mother had a decent collection of fairy tale/nursery rhyme books, most of which I have now, and I found both "London Bridge" and "The Bells of London Town" (in which the final line is "And here comes a chopper to chop off your head.") in "Marguerite de Angeli's Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes", copyright 1953, 1954. It's not what I learned to sing, though.


London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down,
London Bridge is broken 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 night,
Watch all night, watch all night,
Set a man to watch all night,
My fair lady.
 



Desdichado

Adventurer
Crothian said:
Do I smell a book coming?? :D
Nah, just a dissertation with a handful of copies mouldering away in various academic libraries and private collections. :D

I've heard many verses of the song, actually, mostly because as a child, I owned the Peter Spier book on London Bridge. I don't remember one about salt and pepper, though, although I do remember the locking girls up, the silver and gold, the iron bars, and various other verses.
 



Raging Epistaxis

First Post
Central Ilinois early 70's, IIRC we just sang the chorus of London Bridge.

I don't remember how the gopher song went - I never got much past the first line. Now, "On top of Spaghetti..." had several different configurations, some more gruesome than others.

But now that I have young'uns of my own, I've heard most of the other verses listed here for London Bridge except the salt and pepper. Also, one of the CD's has a verse that goes:

Build it up with penny loaves, penny loaves, penny loaves
Build it up with penny loaves
My Fair Lady

Can't say I'd ever heard that one before that recording either.

R E
 

Thotas

First Post
I grew up with "Girls {or Boys; the opposite sex of the singer, of course} are made of greasy grimy gopher guts, chopped up monkey meat, concentrated chicken feet, french fried eyeballs rolled in a pot of blood. Now ain't that a dandy treat?"
 

rich1051414

First Post
no way

I grew up in tennesee with:

Big Green Gobs of greasy grimey gopher guts
Mutilated monkey feet
Chopped up parakeet
All these things are good for you and me to eat
But i forgot my spoon
 

Great big gobs of:
greasy grimy gopher guts,
mutiliated monkey meat,
toasted little birdy's feet.

Great big eyeballs
floating in a pool of blood,
And weeee, forgot our spoons.
(Brought our straws!)
 

OakwoodDM

First Post
Eeralai said:
I thought London Bridge was in Arizona, and so did they when they bought it ;)

It is. The problem is that they thought they were buying Tower Bridge when they asked for London Bridge. More fool them!

I'm pretty sure I only knew the chorus of the song, although I do have vague recollections about the different materials verses...
 

Zander

Explorer
Nellisir said:
London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down,
London Bridge is broken down,
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.
I was brought up in London and remember it as "London Bridge is falling down" etc followed by the part about iron and steel above.
 

Dog Moon

Adventurer
Why was this brought back after 3 years?

Anyway, I don't remember which version I learned cause all I could ever was the London Bridge is falling down part. It's not a song I've felt compelled to sing for YEARS and even if I do not, I couldn't sing anything more than the chorus...
 

Thunderfoot

First Post
No salt and pepper. (that just seems more than bizarre...)

And as far as the gopher song..

Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
mutilated monkey meat, chopped up little babies feet
French fried eyeballs swimmin' in a pool of blood
don't ya wish you had a spoon....

and another classic...

Comet, it makes your mouth turn green
Comet, it's tastes like gasoline (Listerine)
Comet, it makes you vomit
so get some Comet, and vomit today....
 


TemplarSaint

First Post
I'm from NOLA, and the version I learned had you "build it up with sticks and stones" and ended with somthing like "chip, chop, off with her head."
 

ssampier

First Post
'London bridge is falling down' and that's all I remember.

Which one do you sing?

Big green gobs of greasy grimey gopher guts,
1. Mutilated (2. munched up ) monkey 1. meat (2. feet),
1. Little dirty birdie feet, 2. Chopped up little piggie feet, 3. Chopped up baby parakeet


joe b.

Mutilated monkey meat! Amazing what can trigger our memory.
 


Misty Wyrick

First Post
Me and my daughter were just talking about this. That's what actually led me here.
We couldn't remember the next verse so I googled it and when I played it we both
looked at each other like HUH!!! because the way we learned it was:

"Shake them up with salt and pepper, salt and pepper, salt and pepper. "
" Shake them up with salt and pepper, my fair lady. "

Anyways, I just had to comment on this when I seen it because I thought it was
weird I couldn't find our version of it. Maybe it's just a Kansas City / Missouri thing.. You know how we do..!! LOL
(yes tha'ts where we are from as well.. <3 )
 
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