Song Lyrics

The London Bridge Song

by Joni Mitchell

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London Bridge is falling down
Say the people in my town
They're the ones who bring it down
My fair lady-o

London Bridge is falling up
Say the tea leaves in my cup
Guess the cup is cracking up
My fair lady-o

London Bridge is up for sale
Booze heads put my friend in jail
Spent my bridge money on bail
My fair lady-o

If the bridge belonged to me
I would serve you tarts and tea
Smiles, that's all the tolls would be
My fair lady-o

On the bridge there stands a car
Painted with peculiar flowers
It's the Beatles' it's not ours
My fair lady-o

London Bridge is falling down
London Bridge is coming down
Coming down on London Bridge
Ice cubes melting in my fridge

Coming down on London Bridge
Mutton rotting in my fridge
Coming down on London Bridge
My fair lady-o

© 1966; Gandalf Publishing Company


Joni introduced the song like this on October 12, 1967:

"Speaking of London--we were somewhere...there... (strums) While I was over there--oh, I don't need that one... While I was over there I picked up a little song about London and a little information about London. Apparently, London Bridge is actually falling down. That's not, you know, just a nursery rhyme; it really is falling into wrack and ruin. And what they do with their points of historical interest when they're falling into wrack and ruin is to rent them out to people. And all they have to do is keep it reasonably clean--you know, the castle or whatever it is that they're renting--and, uh, memorize, like, who sent the silverware it belonged... the drapes... and Louis That and Henry That and, you know... and take people people through their living rooms on Sunday afternoons.

"So now London Bridge is truly falling down and they've put it up for sale and, uh, I got to thinking a while about who should buy it, and what would happen if certain people bought it, and certain things would be drastic. But if The Beatles bought it and painted it bright fuchsia and had the same people who painted their Rolls Royce, with flowers all over it and also their gypsy caravan with the little steps up the back and the two fine matched Clydesdale horses--who aren't painted, just the caravan is!-- To paint the bridge, it might be kind of fun in London."

Transcriptions of London Bridge Song


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paulmassicameli on

This song actually is on the CD "Joni Mitchell Live At the Second Fret, 1966". The CD is a recording of a concert Mitchell performed Nov. 17, 1966 in Philadelphia; it was broadcast live on WRTI, the Temple University radio station. {ed note: this is a bootleg] A number of her songs that are hard or impossible to find - Ballerina Valerie, Go Tell the Drummer Man, Brandy Eyes, Winter Lady, Mr. Blue, Born To Take the Highway, and Eastern Rain - can be found on this CD. For people who like her early music, listening to it for the first time is an amazing experience - and then it becomes a kind of addictive experience, sort of like "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" if you bought that record when it first came out. Throughout the concert, she talks about her inspirations for her songs; Both Sides Now, for example, she explains as an extended meditation on a section from Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King.