Oranges and lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clement's

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow

Here comes a candle to light you to bed
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

This British nursery rhyme, as are many nursery rhymes, is thought to be disguised social and political commentary rather than just an innocent children’s rhyme, song or game. There is a game played to it that would probably be familiar to Brits, anyone Brit-schooled or formerly Brit-governed. The rhyme was published in 1744 is actually about the bells of several churches within close proximity to central London.

Amongst other things, it is thought to refer to :

·    The arrival of shipments of citrus fruit at London’s wharves that were always signalled by the ringing of the bells of St Clements church.

·    Child sacrifice

·    Public executions

·    The marital woes of King Henry VIII.

The term  “St Clements”  is commonly used to describe edibles that feature both orange and lemon as flavour accents, including both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.