London Bridge.

posted in: Uncategorized 45
London Bridge engraving by J.Woods, 1837. Image: Wikipedia.
London Bridge engraving by J.Woods, 1837. Image: Wikipedia.

 

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.

London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down.
London Bridge is broken 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 bricks and mortar,
Bricks and mortar, bricks and mortar,
Build it up with bricks and mortar,
My fair lady.

Bricks and mortar will not stay,
Will not stay, will not stay,
Bricks and mortar will not stay,
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.

Set a man to watch all night,
Watch all night, watch all night,
Set a man to watch all night,
My fair lady.

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.

Postscript: It seems some people are not understanding the somber tone with which I post these lyrics. I didn’t want to explain it because I thought the message would come across and the doleful image would set the tone for it. I was wrong, it appears, in some cases. The very notion that I would make fun or post a trivial song in light of the London tragedy is absurd and offensive.

I’m trying to stay calm, here. 

These full lyrics to London Bridge to me, echo the despair I’m feeling over the spate of terrorist attacks in the world of late. “London Bridge is falling down,” “Build it up, tear it down,” “Suppose the man should fall asleep?” and the other lyrics in the song echo the hopelessness I feel, the futility of fighting people who will end their lives in order to end others. I am furious. I am furious and inconsolable. 

I can accept if the sentiment didn’t read. Writing is hard. But I would hope my readers know me better than to post a nursery rhyme when people have died. Have you ever bristled at being so misunderstood? I hope you never are. That is all.

— The Management.

45 Responses

  1. Deb
    | Reply

    Mary I usually love your irreverent take on life, but I can’t sing this ditty today.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Not irreverence, Deb. These are original lyrics to the song (from a mid-20th century version, anyway; the song is quite old.) I didn’t know what else to say last night, and there’s a sorrow to these lyrics that suits my black mood.

      • Lut de Meulder
        | Reply

        I think it is the tune that makes it sound like a happy song, but the words do resonate today!

      • Deb
        | Reply

        Mary, I didn’t say I didn’t get it, just that I couldn’t sing it today. It was an expression of being on the same page but in a different way.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Please read the postscript, Deb.

  2. Megan
    | Reply

    I know different words.

  3. Christina
    | Reply

    Burning bridges tonight, my fair lady?
    Hope you’re well.

  4. Kerry Leach
    | Reply

    Thank you.

    xxxx

  5. Samantha
    | Reply

    I grew up with that nursery rhyme. This really isn’t the time.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Samantha. You know me better than this. I’ll put a postscript in. This is not in any way to be flip. The sentiment didn’t come through.

      • Linda Crandall
        | Reply

        These lyrics express the feeling of not being able to win for losing no matter what we do to combat the murderous actions off haters. We must love each other in an act of defiance.

        This song illustrates that there’s no magic answer. We’ll continue to live our lives in loving ways – looking for beauty where we can find it.

  6. Susan
    | Reply

    Oh Dear God! Mary, your post is the first one I read in the morning. I read it and thought it was in reference to your health or state of mind…bad enough to be sure…but then I read Mark Lipinski’s FB post…then hit google and turned on the TV. Madness. Madness… Sadness.

  7. Shirley
    | Reply

    Mary. The same song is going through my head too. Always played that game London Bridge when younger and have always wanted to see it. My heart and prayers are there today. With E glad such sadness the world is enduring.
    Thank you. Shirley

  8. peggy Barcelona
    | Reply

    I usually enjoy your writings but I don’t really feel this is appropriate at this time…..Maybe I just don’t understand your sentiment.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      With all due respect Peggy, you don’t. I’m writing a postscript now.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Peggy, please read the postscript.

  9. Linda
    | Reply

    Mary, if it makes you feel any better, I understood the message you were trying to convey without your postscript. Sadness all around us today.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Thank you, Linda, very much indeed.

    • Georgia Foster
      | Reply

      Amen Linda. I took Mary’s as she intended. Hearts are hurting today.

  10. Jo Chalk
    | Reply

    Mary, it is ok. People read things and interprete them depending on how their brain perceives them. We can’t make others see it differently, oh we can explain how we feel but in their head it just doesn’t connect. It is sad, horribly sad but the poem brings us back to our innocent childhood and reminds us that it just isn’t innocent anymore. Thank you Mary…I understand.

  11. Jane
    | Reply

    I completely understood your post. Anyone who follows you knows how kind and thoughtful you are. Please just chalk this up to someone not ” getting” what you intended to convey. Water under the bridge, so to speak. Again, no pun intended.

  12. Nadine donovan
    | Reply

    I understand completely Mary- and I feel the same sad way. Peace would be good right now

  13. Carla E
    | Reply

    Who could really, possibly think, that Mary Fons, our Mary, was making light of a terrible tragedy?
    What has she ever said or done that would suggest that she’d be gleeful or dismissive of people losing their lives?

    I can understand that the words set to the nursery rhyme song don’t feel right for the situation to everyone, and I can also see how the words themselves absolutely apply. If you don’t think that the song was a good choice, write your own blog post about it, These are Mary’s feelings, and she is giving and generous and brave enough to show herself to the world.

  14. Flavia Rousu
    | Reply

    Mary – I ‘got it’ at first reading.
    I think most folks don’t understand Ring Around The Rosie, either – with a pocket full of ashes symbolizing the plague.
    Neither rhyme was/is meant to be sung in an upbeat manner, that’s for sure.
    Your tender heart is always on your sleeve.

    Love to you.
    Flavia

  15. Janice in California
    | Reply

    Mary, in my head, I heard the song set to a sad and somber tune. Sorry others did not.

    Remember, you can please some people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people, all of the time.

    Keep up the good fight.

  16. Michele
    | Reply

    I understand what you were doing there. Apparently some readers misinterpreted. Perhaps they do not understand that the history of fairy tales and nursery rhymes is, well, no fairy tale. They are usually dark, violent and frightening, revealing something unsavory and often evil about people individually and as a society. I think it’s spot on.

    There you go, Mary, being all meta and watching zip past some people’s noggins.

  17. Pamela Keown
    | Reply

    Your post confused me. I did not know where you were going with this. The violence confuses me too. Thank you for the postscript — Happy Quilting Mary.

  18. Dolores
    | Reply

    Mary, you are the most honest and kind blogger around. Go have a wonderful day. Please don’t let this misunderstanding ruin your Sunday.

  19. Maureen
    | Reply

    Mary, your posting resonated the deep grief and horror we all feel
    at this senseless act of hate and brutality.
    I write with tears streaming down my cheeks, at the insane state of the world today
    and the numbers of depraved minds that inhabit our globe.
    May God help and bless us all.
    Your words were pure and poignant.
    You are always so sweet and gentle.
    You have a heart of gold.
    “God bless. Let no one disturb your peace.
    May you have a fair wind and a following sea”.
    Mary, you are amazing and wonderful.
    Thank you so much for your posting.
    I, like many, many others, knew exactly what you meant.
    Wherever you are today, smile, let the sunshine kiss your face
    and let those you hold dear, know how much you love them.
    Please know that you and your beautiful Mom are in my thoughts.
    Love and best wishes from sunny British Columbia, Canada.

  20. Sharon Hendrix
    | Reply

    Mary, I totally get it and you….I’ve never heard all the words before and I feel they are appropriate….heartfelt words….keep up the good work…

  21. Jo Ann
    | Reply

    The nursery rhyme resonates with me completely, the comparison was spot on. Find it hard that some felt you were being flippant with what I feel was a perfect analogy.

  22. Lynne
    | Reply

    I saw hope in the nursery rhyme. Though it falls down, we rebuild. We try something new, we try again. We hope and try for better. Let’s look for solutions.

  23. Jeanann
    | Reply

    I understood before the postscript, and feel sad that others did not. Thank you for all the verses that show us how to look for solutions.

  24. Margaret
    | Reply

    Just started following your blog recently so I’m not tuned in to your nuances yet. As a Brit whose alma mater is Manchester and with a son in London, I can say we are heartbroken. But we will survive. Thank you for your post script.

  25. Naomi
    | Reply

    I read this with the postscript but I understood your intent completely. Like other readers I knew a little of what the original song is about. Music is story telling too

  26. Cindy
    | Reply

    Mary, I cried.
    I knew what you meant &I apologize for those who didn’t get it.

  27. Cara
    | Reply

    I was confused at first, because​ if I ever knew the full lyrics I didn’t remember them. And then I read it through. Like many nursery rhymes there’s much more to it than I heard as a child. Such a sad time. And a reminder that it’s a cycle we humans seem to repeat over and over. I hope for something different.

  28. Sally
    | Reply

    Mary,
    I can’t believe that some didn’t understand your post. I certainly did, and I feel the same. As an aside, the London Bridge this song is about is now in Lake Havasu City, AZ…just down the road from me.

  29. Rachel
    | Reply

    I wish we lived in a world where all you had to write about was introverts and extroverts yesterday.

  30. Michelle
    | Reply

    Perfect and so poignant. As you pointed out in a post sometime back, Ring Around the Rosy, although a nursery rhyme, is about the plague, not about children happily dancing around in a circle. There any number of nursery rhymes/ditties that are political statements, or commentary regarding celebrated or royal personage geared toward and understood by adult contemporaries at the time of origin.. Literature and history must continue to be required curriculum from elementary through post grad studies!

  31. Ivy
    | Reply

    Mary, I did not need a postscript.

  32. Annie
    | Reply

    Mary, so sorry about those who misunderstood your sentiment in posting the London Bridge song. I found it most appropriate and a perfect analogy of what is going on.

  33. Judy Forkner
    | Reply

    I got it the way you meant it, Mary. In my mind it sounded like a dirge (is that the word?–funereal, maybe?).

  34. Beverly Letsche
    | Reply

    I immediately understood your sentiment and agreed with you. If the picture didn’t explain, nothing would. No need to apologize or explain. Hugs to you and the world. We all need it.

  35. […] Perhaps my lengthy positioning on this is due to the fact that I’ve taken my lumps on this blog when some folks, however well-meaning, didn’t catch a … With all this exposition, I may still feel the sting of public […]

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