London Bridge: Sing-Along Song Video for Kids

Transport your kids across the Atlantic with this interactive song.
London Bridge Is Falling Down
London Bridge Is Falling Down

London bridge is falling down
Falling down
Falling down
London bridge
is falling down
My fair lady

Take the key
and lock her up
Lock her up
Lock her up
Take the key
and lock her up
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.

If you're familiar with the lyrics, you can likely venture a guess as to the nursery rhyme's meaning: "London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down! London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady!" This sing-along song is based on one of the most well-known landmarks in London -- a bridge that once spanned the River Thames.

As the lyrics suggest, the bridge didn't hold up so well over the years. In fact, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The bridge was first built by the Romans, possibly as early as 50 A.D. Over the course of hundreds of years, London Bridge succumbed to battle, storms, and fires, and each time it was rebuilt with new and improved materials. Eventually a new bridge, erected north of the old one, opened in 1831. That same year, the old London Bridge was auctioned to the highest bidder and transported, piece by piece, all the way to Lake Havasu in Arizona, of all places, where it remains a popular point of interest today.

The story doesn't end there, however. In 1904, it was discovered that the new bridge was sinking. An even newer one opened in 1973. Given its history, it's no wonder someone saw fit to make light of London Bridge's streak of bad luck by penning the song. But whoever did so could not have guessed that the song would go on to become one of the more popular nursery rhymes years later.

Those who sang this song as children may recall the game that goes along with it, which kids have been playing for many years. Two children hold their arms up, bridging them together at the hands. As all the kids sing along, the remaining children form a line and walk through the arch single file. At the end of the song, the "bridge" collapses, capturing whichever child is beneath the arch at the time. The game continues until all the children are captured, the last one left being the winner.

The lyrics are just one example of how even nursery rhymes are often used as oral tradition to relay historical events from one generation to the next. Even though the original London Bridge hasn't spanned the Thames in more than a century, the song remains a favorite among many young children even today.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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