St Pauls2

St. Paul's Steeple

was published in 1650 by John Playford in the first edition of his 'English Dancing Master'. In recent times the song has been thought of as a nursery rhyme. It featured in The Baby's Opera by Walter Crane (1877).

The current St Paul's cathedral is the fourth to be built at the same site. The previous cathedral, often referred to as 'Old St Paul's' was largely destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666. Old St Paul's was completed in 1314 and had one of the tallest spires in Europe at 149 metres. The spire was, however, destroyed by lightning in 1561 and was not replaced. The song was thought to be written soon after this.

The melody of the song is meant to sound like a peel of bells. The melody of outro of the arrangement is the nursery rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons' which refers to the chimes of several churches, all in our near to the City of London.

The harmonised vocal in the first two verses is by Simon McKechnie and Mike Flynn. Mike has worked with Simon on many projects. He was originally a session guitarist and is currently on tour with the show 'American Anthems'.

The lead vocal on the second half of the song is by Mike and Helen Dodd. Helen is friend of Simon's. He had been looking for someone to sing in an old school, Maddy Prior way, and happened to overhear Helen singing a Sally Oldfield song to herself.

6 String

St Paul's Steeple

Upon Paul's Steeple stands a tree,
As full as apples as may be.
The little boys of London Town,
They run with hooks to pull them down.
And then they run from hedge to hedge,
Until they came to London Bridge