Mudcat Café message #1408420 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78391   Message #1408420
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
13-Feb-05 - 04:51 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: London Bridge Is Falling Down
Subject: RE: London Bridge is Falling Down
Additional verses following 'We will set a man to watch---'

Suppose the man should fall asleep,
Fall asleep, fall asleep,
Suppose the man should fall asleep,
My fair lady.

Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
Smoke all night, smoke all night,
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
My fair lady.
(Oxford Nursery Rhyme book, I. and P. Opie, 1955(1960), p. 76. This version also sung in Boston prior to 1883. p. 208, W. W. Newell, 1883 (2nd. ed 1903) Dover reprint 1963

The version with 'lock her up' was sung in Boston prior to 1883.

You've stole my watch and kept my keys,
My fair lady!

Off to prison she must go,
My fair lady!

Take the key and lock her up,
My fair lady!

A version called "Charleston Bridge" was printed in 1786 in the chap-book, "Mother Goose Melodies." Also from Newell.

Charlestown Bridge is broken down,
Dance o'er my Lady Lee;
Charlestown Bridge is broken down,
With a gay lady.

How shall we build it up again?
Dance o'er my lady Lee, etc.

Build it up with silver and gold,
Dance o'er etc.

Silver and gold will be stole away,
Dance o'er etc.

Build it up with iron and steel, etc.
Iron and steel will bend and bow, etc.

Build it up with wood and clay, etc
Wood and clay will wash away, etc.

Build it up with stone so strong, etc.
Huzza! 'twill last for ages long,
With a gay lady.

The 'needles and pins' verse seems to be fairly recent.