Ride a cock horse

November 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady on a white horse,
Rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.

A fine lady upon a white horse illustration by Richard Caldecott This is an illustration by Randolph Caldecott, from the later half of the 1800s, the height of Victoriana. Like Walter Crane, he illustrated some classic collections of children’s nursery rhymes and songs, ‘This is the House that Jack’ built probably being the best known.

The history of the song seems quite sketchy, as it isn’t known who the fine lady was, and there isn’t a cross at Banbury anymore.. but it is nice to imagine what a lady might look like with bells on her toes! Wikipedia has some more serious background.

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