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London Bridge is falling down

Eltab

Is this a moon, or is it a space station?
Northeast Indiana here (this part of the Midwest got the New England / New York settlement wave, not the Southerners).

London Bridge is falling down. It could be rebuilt with sticks and stones (which bend and break), bricks and mortar (not sure what happens to them), iron and steel (which rust away), silver and gold (no recollection of next verse).
I've heard "take the key and lock them up" rarely.
Never any salt and pepper in this song.

I've always thought the 'lock and key' was oral folklore about a corrupt incompetent construction manager. That is just a guess, though.

edit: I always make important connections after I hit 'Post':
If everything above is accurate, 'lock them up' would follow 'build it up with silver and gold'; all that money spent but no bridge to show for it will tick off the nobles and merchants who spent the money.
 
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Techgirl89

First Post
Grew up south of at Louis and have never heard the salt and pepper version. However we just bought a singing elephant and no lie he sings the salt and pepper version!!!! How crazy is that!
 


ccs

41st lv DM
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.

Substitute falling down for broken down & you have what I learned.
Always assumed it was just British lore about building an ever better/more expensive Bridge. That building this Bridge was so important that it had trickled down to child level....

I have heard the keys version & other nonsense lyrics (including salt). I figured those were just to prolong the game.
 


Janx

Hero
Grew up in New York state, in the Hudson Valley about 1.5 hours from NY City. I learned them as:

London Bridge is...
Take the key...
Build it up with iron bars...

and

Great big globs of greasy grimey gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat, chopped by baby parakeets.
Eyeballs rolling up and down the bloody street.
And I forgot my spoon.
stimulated monkey nuts,
chopped up baby birdy butts
Great green globs of greasy grimey gopher guts,
swimming in your blood
 



Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Build it up with sticks and stones
Sticks and stones, sticks and stones
Build it up with sticks and stones
My Fair Lady

Sticks and stones will wash away,
Wash away, wash away,
Sticks and stones will wash away,
My fair Lady.

... then it goes through Bricks and Mortar (will not stay), Iron and Steel (which Bend and Bow), Gold and Silver (get stole away)

But you Americans are weird
 
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Am I alone in thinking when I saw the title of this thread, that another horrible disaster had just been added to the tail end of 2020? :D

It really has been a horrible year.
 



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