“Banbury Cross”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1784 (Gammar Gurton's Garland, according to Opie-Oxford2)
Keywords: nonballad music horse
Found in: US(SE) Britain(England)

Description

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

Notes

This little item has prompted the usual wild speculation: That the lady is Lady Godiva, or Elizabeth I, or one Celia Fiennes (fl. 1697). - RBW

References

  1. BrownIII 140, "Banbury Cross" (1 text, a composite of "Banbury Cross," "Ring Around the Rosie," and an item about learning to ride (?))
  2. Opie-Oxford2 29, "Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross" (2 texts)
  3. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #619, p. 247, "(Ride a cock-horse to Banbury cross)"; cf. #617, "(Ride a Cock Horse)"; #618, "(Ride a cock-horse)"
  4. BI, Br3140