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who was my fair lady?

magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

who was my fair lady?

who was my fair lady  in the nursery rhyme 'london bridge is falling down' ?
15 REPLIES
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

here is a picture of the bridge in question drawn in 1682
some already known details on the bridge
Various arches of the bridge collapsed over the years, and houses on the bridge were burnt during Wat Tyler's Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and Jack Cade's rebellion in 1450, during which a pitched battle was fought on the bridge.
The new bridge was built 100 feet (30 m) west (upstream) of the original site by Rennie's son (of the same name). Work began in 1824 and the foundation stone was laid, in the southern cofferdam, on 15 June 1825. The old bridge continued in use as the new bridge was being built, and was demolished after the latter opened in 1831. The scheme necessitated the building of major new approach roads, which cost three times that of the bridge itself. The total construction cost of around £2.5 million (£186 million as of 2010)
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: who was my fair lady?

Several attempts have been made to identify the 'fair lady', 'lady gay', or lady 'lee/lea' of the rhyme. They include:
   * Matilda of Scotland (c. 1080–111Cool Henry I's consort, who between 1110 and 1118 was responsible for the building of the series of bridges that carried the London-Colchester road across the River Lea and its side streams between Bow and Stratford
   * Eleanor of Provence (c. 1223–91), consort of Henry III who had custody of the bridge revenues from 1269 to about 1281.
   * A member of the Leigh family of Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, who have a family tradition that a human sacrifice lies under the building
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

below is part of the rhyme
Build it up with iron and steel, iron and steel, iron and steel
Build it up with iron and steel, my fair lady

The steel process was introduced to England in about 1614
more likely  to be after
The Life of King Henry VIII (1491-1547)
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: who was my fair lady?

considering when the rhyme was published and the didnt have google to refer to
"London Bridge Is Falling Down"
Roud #502
London Bridge (1616) by Claes Van Visscher
Written by Traditional
Published c. 1744
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery Rhyme
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

hi pierre
the bridge is now made in iron and its now the 1890's 
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: who was my fair lady?

well that one was Stone and the stupid  yanks thought it was Tower bridge and shipped it to Lake Havasu in Arizoma
By the end of the 18th century, it was apparent that the old London Bridge— by then over 600 years old— needed to be replaced. It was narrow and decrepit, and blocked river traffic. In 1799, a competition for designs to replace the old bridge was held, prompting the engineer Thomas Telford  to propose a bridge with a single iron arch spanning 600 feet (180 m). However, this design was never used, because of uncertainty about its feasibility and the amount of land needed for its construction. The bridge was eventually replaced by a structure of five stone arches, designed by engineer John Rennie. The new bridge was built 100 feet (30 m) west (upstream) of the original site by Rennie's son  (of the same name). Work began in 1824 and the foundation stone was laid, in the southern cofferdam, on 15 June 1825. The old bridge continued in use as the new bridge was being built, and was demolished after the latter opened in 1831.

The bridge was constructed by contractors John Mowlem and Co[15] from 1967 to 1972, and opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 March 1973.[16] It comprises three spans of prestressed-concrete box girders, a total of 928 feet (283 m) long.
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

what made me ask is
I thought the fair lady in the rhyme may be queen victoria
but the date the rhyme was  published was a few  years  before that time
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

So I dont know who she is
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

I cant find anything about her except for the later musical adapted  from the nursery rhyme which is a love story
I can find nothing out there on who she actually  is 
i've always imagined she would be a  woman  dressed in play  like audrey hepburn 
singing 'why cant a woman be more like a man '
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: who was my fair lady?

As with all these old poems and rhymes, the words do change over time.  I suspect the iron and steel verse could have been added much later.  I sort of like the idea of it being good old queen Matilda, but who knows.  The only thing I know about Matilda was that she led one side in a civil war against King Stephen (and lost). It would be nice to think she could be remembered for something better.
John
Javert
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Posts: 241
Registered: 06-04-2008

Re: who was my fair lady?

Quote from: giro
I cant find anything about her except for the later musical adapted  from the nursery rhyme which is a love story
I can find nothing out there on who she actually  is  
i've always imagined she would be a  woman  dressed in play  like audrey hepburn  
singing 'why cant a woman be more like a man '

The musical “My Fair Lady”, by Lerner & Loewe, was based on George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion”.  The song, “Why can’t a woman, be more like a man?” (it’s title is actually “A Hymn to him”) is performed by Professor Henry Higgins.
A bit more research reveals: Other titles considered for the show included: ‘Pygmalion - Fair Eliza’ (the provisional title), “Come to the Ball”, and “Lady Liza”.  Finally, they took the title they disliked least - "My Fair Lady" (an allusion to the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down”).

magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

Quote
As with all these old poems and rhymes, the words do change over time.  I suspect the iron and steel verse could have been added much later.

so i looked into early english history and found out a little more
this  rhyme relates to supposed destruction of London Bridge by Olaf II of Norway in 1014 (or 1009)

    London Bridge is broken down. —
    Gold is won, and bright renown.
        Shields resounding,
        War-horns sounding,
    Hild is shouting in the din!
        Arrows singing,
        Mail-coats ringing —
    Odin makes our Olaf win!
translated from the norse sagas (tales of norway's kings) the Heimskringla
it looks like the nursery rhyme starts here and some  fair maiden is added sometime  later


magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: who was my fair lady?

as no one person owns the rhyme  today your entitled to add your own modern  fair maiden
and add your own extra  parts and make up your own rhyme
ie 
london bridge is falling down 
my fair lady
Gone with the wind just like a leaf that has flown away
gone with the wind  London bridge has blown away
my fair lady
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Re: who was my fair lady?

Quote from: pierre_pierre
well that one was Stone and the stupid  yanks thought it was Tower bridge and shipped it to Lake Havasu in Arizoma

That, apparently is an urban myth. Both Robert McCulloch, who bought the bridge, and Ivan Luckin, who sold the bridge, deny that McCulloch thought he was buying Tower Bridge.

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