Oranges and LemonsOranges and Lemons
is an English nursery rhyme
. The lyrics are as follows:
- "Oranges and Lemons" say the bells of St. Clements.
- "You owe me five farthings" say the bells of St. Martins.
- "When will you pay me" say the bells of Old Bailey.
- "When I grow rich" say the bells of Shoreditch.
- "When will that be" say the bells of Stepney.
- "That I don't know" says the great Bell of Bow.
The song refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London
. They are in turn, St Clement Eastcheap
, St Martin Orgar, St Sepulchure without Newgate, St Leoanard's Shoreditch, St Dunstan's, Stepney
, and St Mary-le-Bow
The nursery rhyme figures in Nineteen Eighty-Four as a symbol of forgotten and forbidden knowledge.
The song is used in a children's party game with the same name, in which the players file, in pairs, through an arch made by two of them, who join both hands. A couplet is added at the end:
- Here comes a candle to light you to bed.
- Here comes a chopper to chop off your HEAD.
On the last word, the children forming the arch lower their hands to catch the pair of children currently passing through, who are then "out" and have to link on behind the children forming the arch, one to each side - so the arch gets bigger and the players have to run faster to get round it. The game works best with a pianist to play the tune, so that unpredictable changes of tempo can be introduced.