Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

London Bridge is Falling Down: the Song as Illustrated by Peter Spier

Posted on: January 11, 2017

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london-bridge-is-falling-down-spier
London Bridge is Falling Down (The Mother Goose Library, Peter Spier)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Peter Spier
An Illustrated Rendition of the Song LONDON BRIDGE

Peter Spier’s illustrations have no peer.  They are brilliantly detailed, beautiful, and engaging.

His illustration of LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN (for The Mother Goose Library) is no exception.  This amazing illustration includes an essay (at the end of the book) detailing the history of The London Bridge.  Since the book was published in 1967, the essay covers the history only until the.  For the full history, try this wiki article.

The book also features printed music (complete with guitar chords, easy ones, just C and G7) and lyrics for 18 verses printed in the book.  Fantastic!!

The song’s lyrics, which can also be a singing game, loosely tells the history of the London Bridges that spanned the Thames River.

PS:  Peter Spier’s book, marvelous and detailed includes a looooooong list of verses.  When we sing this in classrooms, I’m going to skip pages.  That way, it won’t be too long for the kids and it’ll come out a little differently every time (which will also add to the fun).

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SONG SHEET WITH GUITAR CHORDS

I created this song sheet to facilitate playing guitar while singing the song with Peter Spier’s amazing illustration.  I used the same guitar chords from the little musical chart printed at the end of the book and numbered the verses accordingly.  I numbered the the verses through the book as well.  While I play the guitar, I will plan for someone to hold the book for the children and turn pages as we move through the song.  It would be fine to choose verses and random (calling out the numbers), but I think these verses tell the story pretty well:  1-6, 9-11, 18.

london-bridge-w-chords
LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Song sheet arranged by ELEG for SBWE
To be sung with Peter Spier’s illustration
To view or print this page, click here:
london-bridge-w-chords

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Traditional Words and Tune (as they are printed in Peter Spier’s Illustration)

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

How shall we build it up again?
Up again, up again?
How shall we build it up again?
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 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 gravel and stone,
Gravel and stone, gravel and stone,
Build it up with gravel and stone,
My fair lady.

Gravel and stone will fall away,
Fall away, fall away,
Gravel and stone will fall away,
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.

Then we must set a man to watch,
Man to watch, man to watch,
Then we must set a man to watch,
My fair lady.

Suppose that 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.

Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
Fall and break, fall and break,
Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
My fair lady.

The we will set a dog to watch,
Dog to watch, dog to watch,
Then we will set a dog to watch,
My fair lady.

Suppose the dog should run away,
Run away, run away,
Suppose the dog should run away,
My fair lady.

Then we shall chain him to a post,
To a post, to a post,
Then we shall chain him to a post,
My fair lady.
(I’m not singing the verse above)

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

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Related Posts

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, IN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/london-bridge-is-falling-down-an-illustrated-song/

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EMBERLEYS

Singable Picture Books by the Emberleys (Ed, Barbara, Rebecca)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/singable-picture-books-by-the-emberleys/

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PETER SPIER
The Singable Picture Books of Peter Spier
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/singable-picture-books-of-peter-spier/

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MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES: SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/sing-books-with-emily-songbook-series-mother-goose-nursery-rhymes/

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MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES FOR SBWE
A compilation of Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme titles linked to posts about the rhymes so you can learn more and sing along
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/nursery-rhymes-and-mother-goose-for-sbwe/

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MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYMES – INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED
Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes with Individually Illustrated Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/mother-goose-and-nursery-rhymes-with-individually-illustrated-singable-picture-books/

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MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYME COMPILATIONS

A list containing compilations of Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme Singable Picture Books, including links and resources for learning, singing, and playing the tunes
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/mother-goose-singable-picture-books-rhymes-and-songs-in-compilations/

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MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES (ACTION SONGS)
Get Movin’!  MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/get-movin-movements-finger-plays-and-dances-in-singable-picture-books/

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USEFUL TUNES IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/useful-tunes-in-the-public-domain/

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