Traditional Nursery Rhyme/Singing Game

Lyrics

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling 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 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.

Take the key and lock her up,
Lock her up, lock her up,
Take the key and lock her up,
My fair lady.

[Note: because this is a folk song, many different versions of the lyrics are known – the above is just one way to perform it]

Background

“London Bridge Is Falling Down” is a children’s folksong found in different versions all over the world.  The original London Bridge dates from the twelfth century and although the song’s meaning in unknown it may  simply refer to its deteriorated condition (which led to it being it was rebuilt in its present form in 1823).  And no-one knows the identity of the mysterious “fair lady.”

Performances

Here is a swinging version by Count Basie & His Orchestra. The vocal starts at 1:40, but only the first section sung keeps the original lyrics.