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A-Z Blogging Challenge: U is for...Up.

Despite searching and searching I could not find any history behind any of the nursery rhymes beginning with U. In fact, up until yesterday I couldn't even find a nursery rhyme beginning with U but it's amazing what you can come up with if you persist.

So today I am just going to give you the two rhymes that I have found. If anyone knows any of the history behind either/both of them I would be very interested to hear it.

Up at Piccadilly, oh!  
The coachman takes his stand,
And when he meets a pretty girl
he takes her by the hand.
Whip away forever, oh!
Drive away so clever, oh!
All the way to Bristol, oh
He drives her 4 in hand.

This little rhyme was first found in The Nursery Rhyme Book (1897) edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke.

It can also be found in The Real Mother Goose (edition 1916) along with an illustration by Blanche Fisher Wright.

Clearly this is about a coachman picking up a fare (the pretty girl) and driving her from Piccadilly to Bristol. '4 in Hand' is an equestrian driving term which refer to 4 horses being driven by one person - the coachman. I can't help feeling that there is some history behind this rhyme but I cannot find anything at all.


The second rhyme is about going to bed.

Up the wooden hill to Blanket Fair
What shall we have when we get there?
A bucket full of water
And a pennyworth of hay.
Gee up, Dobbin, all the way!

Up The Wooden Hill....
Image courtesy of rubyblossom


Jenni Steel said…
Well the first poem makes me smile as it takes me back to a majestic time where horses and carriages were regular form of transport and a slower more romantic and relaxing way to life.

Unlike, this day and age - where speed of light will still not be fast enough! Before to long we will all have engines fitted to our backs so that once you step out of the car, you'll remain at 70 miles an hour through the office doors, up the stairs and home again. Think how well you will all sleep. Lol!

The second poem - reminds me of my daughter at that age and Smokey Joe the cat. The things you had to do to get her to go up to bed!

Denise said…
Hi Jenni. It would be great to go back to a time when people lived at a slower pace although you never know, there may come a time when it happens.

Children are funny aren't they. They never want to go bed no matter how tired they are, just in case they miss out on something.

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