“Oranges and Lemons” is a wonderful nursery rhyme to teach your little ones. It is a traditional English song referring to the bells of several churches in London.
This poem is generally sung in the manner of a game. It counts down all the names of churches in the city and those in the nearby town.
However, there are numerous theories revolving around this nursery rhyme. Are you eager to know about them?
Moreover, are you looking for the complete lyrics of this song? Get everything from printable pdf, photo lyrics, and other things about “Oranges and Lemons” now!
So, let’s get started!
Oranges and Lemons Written Lyrics
Here are the complete lyrics of “Oranges and Lemons.” Take a look below.
Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
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.
I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Two Sticks and Apple,
Ring ye Bells at Whitechapple,
Old Father Bald Pate,
Ring ye Bells Aldgate,
Maids in White Aprons,
Ring ye Bells a St. Catherines,
Oranges and Lemmons,
Ring ye bells at St. Clemens,
When will you pay me,
Ring ye Bells at ye Old Bailey,
When I am Rich,
Ring ye Bells at Fleetditch,
When will that be,
Ring ye Bells at Stepney,
When I am Old,
Ring ye Bells at Pauls
Oranges and Lemons Printable Lyrics
Stop your search for the printable lyrics of this song, as you can directly download them from here.
Oranges and Lemons Photo Lyrics
Find the YouTube video link to “Oranges and Lemons” and dance along with this song with your kids!
History and Origin
This nursery rhyme was popular during the 18th century in England. Tommy Thumb published this song in “Pretty Song Book” in 1744.
The origin of this song indirectly relates to a singing game named “Oranges and Lemons.”
References to this square dance were found in the 3rd edition (1665) of a dancing manual published by John Playford in the 1660s, “The English Dancing Master.”
The name of the churches mentioned in the lyrics keeps on changing throughout each version - thus becoming a subject of various discussions.
The concluding lines of the final version were collected by James Orchard Halliwell back in the 1940s.
Besides, the song’s tune originated from the sound of church bells. Today, the bells of St. Clement Danes, London, imitate the tune of this song.
Furthermore, the song has a game similar to “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
This rhyme was a way to remember the topography of London by the illiterate people. With the bells and churches, people used to relate to whatever incident occurred in the specific town. Finally, it turned into a song, and there is evidence of it being a dance in 1655.
This song indirectly represents the successful eradication of the English culture by The Party. Most British people will definitely relate to this nursery rhyme.