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Banbury Cross

Posted by Lewis on December 19, 2005

In Reply to: "with bells on your toes" posted by ESC on November 29, 2005

: : What is the meaning of: "with bells on your toes"

: The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.

: Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
: A line from the nursery rhyme "Ride a Cock-Horse": "Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, / She shall have music wherever she goes."

: Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
: To see a fair lady ride on a white horse;
: With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
: She shall have music wherever she goes.


Just as a bit of info - the "Fine Lady on a white horse" - was supposed to be a reference to the Fiennes family.

Also - I was initially under the misapprehension that Banbury cross was one of the 12 Eleanor Crosses marking the resting place of the Queen's body on its way back to burial at Westminster, but in fact, when I checked my memory against the body of knowledge that is English Heritage on the internet, I found that the cross was a replica.

In any case, Banbury had 3 crosses and dear loving Mr Cromwell the iconoclast had them smashed up by masons during the Puritan era.
The Osama Bin Laden of England was our Oliver.

On a similarly outraged note - the Bear pub which was centuries old (at least that is suggested by the road name etc) and which I visited in about 1982 - had turned into a Laura Ashley when I returned 20 years later. The defilers are still with us.