Oranges and lemons

'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' say the Great Bells of Bow
'Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed
Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head
Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's Dead.'

There is a dance dating back to 1665 called Oranges and Lemons. This rhyme (17xx) tells us about the everyday life of people living in London and in particular criminals, today children mostly sing this rhyme while playing a game.

In that game, if your caught in the arms of the other children, you get your head chopped off (Pretence).

The last 3 lines were added by children to the original rhyme and tell us about the executions of notorious criminals and debtors. The bells would signal stages of those executions.

Rhymes Thirty Days Wise Old Owl Tom Piper House Jack Built Seesaw Margery Daw Bo Peep Little Piggy Boy Blue Jack Sprat Jack Horner Miss Muffet Tommy Tucker Ladybug Mary Mary quite contrary Old King Cole Cry Baby Bunting Hush A Bye Baby Doctor Foster Georgie Porgie Goosey Gander The Grand Old Duke Of York An Apple A Day St Ives Baa Baa Black Sheep Old Mother Hubbard Robin Red Brest Oranges And Lemon Banbury Cross Jack Be Nibble Twinkle Star Dicky Birds Willie Winker Sugar and Spice Cock Robin Old Women Diddle Diddle Hickory Dickory Hot Cross Buns Humpty Dumpty Ding Dong Bells Itsy Bitsy Spider Jack and Jill Christmas is coming Fish Alive