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Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

The Bells St. Giles

The Bells of St. Giles

 

In 1090 a Norman church stood on this site but was rebuilt in 1394 during the reign of King Richard II. The church escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666 but was badly burnt in the Cripplegate Fire of 1897 and was hit by a bomb during World War II. Oliver Cromwell was married in the church on 22nd August 1620. The "Brickbats and Tiles" refers to the bricks and tiles used by nearby builders. The reference to bricks is interesting as bricks were introduced to London by Judge Popham, who resided over the trial of Guy Fawkes immortalised in the Nursery Rhyme Remember, Remember the 5th November.

 
 
 

 

 

Picture of St. Giles Church, Cripplegate 
 

The Bells of St. Giles

"Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town
"Oranges and Lemons" say the Bells of St. Clements
"Bullseyes and Targets" say the Bells of St. Margaret'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
"Maids in white aprons" say the Bells at St. Katherine's
"Pokers and Tongs" say the Bells of St. John's
"Kettles and Pans" say the Bells of St. Anne'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" say the Great Bell of Bow
Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town

The Bells of St. Giles

 

Note: A Rhymes lyrics and the perceived origins of some Nursery Rhymes vary according to location

 

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Written By Linda Alchin