nursery rhyme crime


an ice cream van has started to come down our street every day at about this time.

it plays oranges and lemons and being of a certain age i start to sing along in my head.

all is good until it gets to the great bells of bow.

then it used to upset me at 4 years old and puzzle me at 12 years old.

oranges and lemons

say the bells of st clements

i owe you 5 farthings

say the bells of st martins

when will you pay me

say the bells of old bailey

when i grow rich

say the bells of shoreditch

when will that be

say the bells of stepney

i do not know

say the great bells of bow.

here come a candle to light you to bed

and here comes a chopper to chop off your head.

how sick is that?

at 12 my baby sister wanted me to say rhymes but i always missed that one out.

after all he only owed 5 farthings and my clever little brain worked out how much 5 farthings would be in old money and new money!

not the foggiest nowadays!

carole x

hi carole,i hope he does not come down my street!!

i know, you don’t need chimes giving you nightmares!

sensitive teeth so no ice cream for me.

Have you ever read the original version of the Grimms fairy tales - definitely not bedtime readings what with feet cut off to fit shoes or evil stepmothers being make to dance in red hot iron shoes til she falls down dead. It must have been the olden day equivalent of Grand Thief Auto. That’s how people got their fix of violence

JBK xx

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carole xx

At least you get a nursery rhyme. One near me plays the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

I don’t know which I am?1?

We used sing and to act out Oranges & Lemons in the playground when I was little. It never bothered me. When we got to the great bells of bow we’d pretend we were holding a candle and on our way to bed and form a little line. Two children would stand opposite each other and link arms and make chopping motions around us as we passed between them and say chop, chop, chop and eventually catch one of us little ones then we’d be dead! We thought it was a great game.

Tracey x

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Yeh, why did it have to have such a nasty ending?

It’s like Rock a bye baby…a nasty ending too!


Think most were depicting some horrible event…ring a ring a roses was great plague I think, guess it was a way to teach the younguns of events and not to steal etc…

wee willy winky? All children in beds by eight was it? Mine need to learn that one

yes you’re right.

it was supposed to be fun.

guess i was over-thinking things!

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No, over thinking good. I agree that they are all kind of gruesome, we live in a pretty sanitised world sometimes especially for kids. Life and the world are hard, I don’t suppose it’s too healthy to pretend otherwise. Still love nursery rhymes xx

What about Goosey Goosey Gander - he threw an old man down the stairs because he wouldn’t say his prayers … Another violent ending. I used to love all the nursery rhymes though and sang them all to my son.

His favourite was Rock a Bye Baby because I sang it with a bit of a rock twist and made him giggle whilst rocking him none too gently! He told me that he was at a pub quiz recently and one of the questions was who were the three men in the tub from Rub a Dub Dub - he remembered that one too because I never sang that one seriously either … I’m glad I made such a lasting impression when he was pre-school

Tracey x