Tell someone you live in Banbury & they’ll start reciting:
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.
Considering how well-known that little ditty is you’d think we’d know a lot about its origins but we don’t. We don’t know
- which cross they are talking about
- who the woman riding to that cross
- how many versions of the rhyme there are
- when the rhyme first showed up
- what they meant by cock-horse
- how the frog fits in
The answers to these mysteries (or at least my best guess in some cases), is to be found in Who’s Riding to What Cross over on The Banburian.