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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Rhyme-Games - London Bridge

"London Bridge;" is a well-known and widely played game, though here and there with slightly different rhymes. Two children - the tallest and strongest, as a rule--standing face to face, hold up their hands, making the firm of an arch. The others form a long line by holding on to each other's dresses, and run under. Those running sing the first verse, while the ones forming the arch sing the second, and alternate verses, of the following rhyme:-

London bridge is fallen down,
Fallen down, fallen down;
London bridge is fallen down,
My fair lady.

Question.—What will it take to build it up? (With repeats.)
Answer.– Needles and preens will build it up.
Question.—Needles and preens will rust and bend.
Answer.—Silver and gold wilI build it up.
Question.—Silver and gold will be stolen away.
Answer.---Build it up with penny loaves.
Question.—Penny loaves will tumble down.
Answer.—Bricks and mortar will build it up.
Question.--Bricks and mortar will wash away.
Answer.—We will set a dog to bark.
Question.--Here's a prisoner we have got.

At the words ''a prisoner," the two forming the arch apprehend the passing one in the line, and, holding her fast, the dialogue resumes:--

Answer. Here's a prisoner we have got.
Question. What's the prisoner done to you?
Answer —Stole my watch and broke my chain.
Question.— What will you take to set him free?
Answer — A hundred pounds will set him free.
Question —A hundred pounds I have not got.
Answer.--- Then off to prison you must go.

Following this declaration, the prisoner is led a distance away from the rest by her jailers, where the questions are put to her, whether she will choose "a gold watch" or "a diamond necklace." As she decides she goes to the one side or the other. When, in like manner, all in the line have chosen, a tug-of-war ensues, and the game is ended.

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