Mudcat Café message #1975731 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99266   Message #1975731
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Feb-07 - 03:46 AM
Thread Name: Query: Peggy Seeger's London Bridge
Subject: RE: Query: Peggy Seeger's London Bridge
Hi, Lisa-
Songs for Political Action has lots of notes on Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger, but nothing on the song itself except for the lyrics:
That's it. The recording lasts 1:07 minutes, most of which is a narrative on the 8-string dulcimer tuning.
The notes:I can't find anything in Our Singing Country, either - a page reference would help. I do have the song in the Oak songbook, Folk Songs of Peggy Seeger - holler if you need info from that one. I couldn't find it in any of the three Ruth Crawford Seeger songbooks (American, Animal, and Christmas Folk Songs for Children) I have - I don't have Twenty Two American Folk Songs.
Here's the entry form the Traditional Ballad Index:

London Bridge Is Falling Down

DESCRIPTION: Upon learning that "London Bridge is (falling/broken) down," the singers must decide what to do, e.g. "Shall we build it up again?" "Mud and clay will wash away" "Iron and stone will stand alone"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1744 (Tom Thumb's Pretty Song Book)
KEYWORDS: playparty technology
FOUND IN: Britain(England) US(MW,NE,So) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 578, "London Bridge is Falling Down" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown, p. 45, "London Bridge" (1 text)
Linscott, pp. 34-36, "London Bridge" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H48h, pp. 11-12, "Broken Bridges" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase, p. 189, (no title; part of a section called "Granny London Tells About Old Times") (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 81, "London Bridge" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Opie-Oxford2 306, "London Bridge is broken down" (4 texts)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #641, pp. 254-255, "(London Bridge)"
Fuld-WFM, p. 337+, "London Bridge"

ST R578 (Full)
Roud #502
Pratt children and friends, "London Bridge" (on Ritchie03)
Pete Seeger, "London Bridge" (on PeteSeeger33, PeteSeegerCD03)

cf. "Rock-A-By Ladies" (tune & meter)
Greenberg Shop is Moving South (Greenway-AFP, p. 126 note)
Notes: The notes in Baring-Gould mention the theory that this pertains to the breaking of London Bridge by Olaf of Norway in the reign of Ethelred II Unraed ("the Unready," c. 978-1016). Of course, any song about that would have had to be in Old English.... - RBW
File: R578

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.