Today on the tray: Oranges and lemons… and Beefaroni

oranges and lemonsMarch 31 is Oranges and Lemons Day.

According to, on this day in London, “Children who go to the St Clement Danes Church of England Primary School attend a service, after which the church’s bells are rung and the children are given each an orange and a lemon.” But you can celebrate this citrus-y holiday wherever you are.

Do you remember the old song/rhyme, “Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement’s. You owe me five farthings, say the bells of St. Martin’s…”? Here are the full lyrics. It closes with, “Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head.”

Oranges and Lemons, English children’s song

If you watched TV in the ’70s or ’80s, you might recognize the tune from this Chef Boyardee commercial. In their version, the lyrics are not about oranges and lemons, but about children rushing home at lunchtime to eat canned pasta. And the whole head-chopping-off thing has also been omitted. Watch it and see if it “rings a bell.”

Chef Boyardee commercial with bells (1986)


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