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James Callow Folklore Archive

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN, FALLING DOWN,
LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, MY FAIR LADY.
BUILD IT UP WITH STICKS AND STONES, ETC.
STICKS AND STONES WILL FALL AWAY, ETC.
BUILT IT UP WITH IRON BARS, ETC.
IRON BARS WILL BEND AND BREAK, ETC.
BUILD IT UP WITH PINS AND NEEDLES, ETC.
PINS AND NEEDLES WILL BEND AND BREAK, ETC.
TAKE A KEY AND LOCK HER UP, ETC.
TWO CHILDREN JOIN HANDS TO MAKE THE BRIDGE. THE OTHERS
FORM A SINGLE CIRCLE, PASSING UNDER THE BRIDGE, AND SKIP
AROUND THE CIRCLE. AT THE END OF EACH STANZA, THE
CHILDREN REPRESENTING THE BRIDGE DROP THEIR HANDS AND
CAPTURE WHOEVER IS BETWEEN THEM. THEY ASK "WHAT WILL YOU
PAY, SILVER OR GOLD?" BEFORE EACH STANZA THEY HAVE
SECRETLY AGREED WHICH ONE OF THEM SHALL CAPTURE SILVER,
WHICH GOLD. THE CAPTURED CHILD RESPONDS, AND HE IS TOLD
TO STAND BEHIND THE PERSON WHOSE METAL HE HAS GUESSED.
WHEN EVERYONE HAS BEEN CAPTURED, THERE WILL REMAIN TWO LINES
ONE BEHIND EACH SIDE OF THE BRIDGE, EACH CHILD HOLDING
ON TO THE WAIST OF THE ONE IN FRONT. THE GAME ENDS

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.523
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