Ride a cock horse a nursery rhyme lyrics whose origin is in English history

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Ride a cock horse: lyrics

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



Ride a cock horse - English history origins
The lyrics of this nursery rhyme relate to Queen Elizabeth I of England (the fine lady) who travelled to Banbury (a town in England) to see the new huge stone cross which had just been erected. The lyrics 'With rings on her fingers' obviously relates to the fine jewellery which would adorn a Queen. The words 'And bells on her toes' refers to the fashion of attaching bells to the end of the pointed toes of each shoe! Banbury was situated at the top of a steep hill and in order to help carriages up the steep incline a white cock horse (a large stallion) was made available to help with this task. When the Queen's carriage attempted to go up the hill a wheel broke and the Queen chose to mount the cock horse to reach the Banbury cross. Her visit was so important that the people of the town had  decorated the cock horse with ribbons and bells and provided minstrels to accompany her - "she shall have music wherever she goes". The big cross at Banbury was later destroyed by anti - Catholics.

Ride a cock horse nursery rhyme: origins in history