Rhymes trivia quiz
nursery rhyme lyrics & origins
rhymes trivia quiz
nursery rhyme lyrics & origins

Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins

London Bells Nursery Rhyme

Alternative lyrics to the Oranges and Lemon rhyme


The Bells of London Nursery Rhyme evolves into Oranges and Lemons!
The Oranges and Lemons Nursery Rhymes refers to many of the Churches and Institutions found near, or within the City of London. The alternative lyrics to Oranges and Lemons rhyme is the London Bells Nursery Rhyme which is the original version of Oranges and Lemons!

The Children's Choice!
Over the course of time the original lyrics have been forgotten - the cut-down version is much easier for children to remember. The section at the end of the Oranges and Lemons rhyme "Here comes the candle..." was added at a much later date, enabling children to play the party game.

Our Heritage is conveyed in Nursery Rhymes!
The words of the London Bells rhyme accurately reflect the history of London and maintains our heritage - the traditions and customs practised in London's bygone days.

The Bells of London are telling us Stories!
The stories relating to the Bells of London reflect the history of the city and the people who lived there. At first glance the 'Bells of London' and the newer version of 'Oranges and Lemons' Nursery Rhymes look to be interesting poems which include the most famous bells and churches of London. But the rhyme is actually very clever for the words the bells are saying, such as " Oranges and Lemons", "Bullseyes and Targets" and "Pokers and Tongs", reveal the many long-gone trades practised and wares sold by the people who lived in the great city of London. They also reveal the history of life in London!

Lord Mayors, Torturers, Executioners and Money Lenders!
Lord Mayors, Torturers, Executioners and Money Lenders are all referred to in the words of the bells! The secret history and origins of the Bells of London Nursery Rhyme are revealed - once again a seemingly innocent Nursery Rhyme for children hides sinister undertones!


the tower of London - london bells rhyme



Picture of the Tower of London
"Bells of St Johns" in St John's Chapel in the White Tower

London Bells Nursery Rhyme

"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

Origins and History of the London Bells Nursery Rhyme!
Each of the fifteen 'Bells of London' referred to in the rhyme have been fully researched
and can be accessed via the links in the text of the Nursery Rhyme.



St. Margarets

St. Giles

St. Martin's

St Katherine Cree

St. Peter's

St. John's

St. Ann's & St Agnes

St. Helen's


Clements Lane and King William Street, Eastcheap

Lothbury (a street name)

Cripplegate, Barbican

Martin Lane, Eastcheap

Leadenhall Street


Tower of London

Gresham Street


Life in London

Citrus Fruit unloaded at
the nearby wharves

Archery practise


Money lending

Leadenhall Market

Bakers & Fast Food!



Lord Mayor, Money Lender

The above Churches are featured in the London Bells Nursery Rhyme

London Bells Nursery Rhyme

Nursery Rhymes - Lost Lyrics and Origins

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


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Written By Linda Alchin