Oliver Cromwell: Cromwell's Head

Creating My Cambridge invites you to compose your own pieces, songs, raps, poems, dramas, stories inspired by the story of the Cambridgeshire man, born in Huntingtonshire, who rose to prominence in Parliament, and lost his head back in Cambridge!

This is a short round written by CBBC Horrible Histories writer Dave Cohen about Oliver Cromwell:

Cromwell's Head

Cromwell's head is

Buried in Cambridge

Near the supermarket

Buy one get one free


There is also a curious song with funny words written by an important composer who lived in East Anglia called Benjamin Britten.

Benjamin Britten composed a tune to sing the Suffolk set of quirky verses telling the story of Oliver Cromwell's head buried in the garden and an apple tree growing over his head.   Oliver Cromwell famously led the Parliamentary side against King Charles I in the English Civil Wars of the seventeenth century.  He was born in Huntingtonshire, Cambridge in 1599 and died in 1653, but his body was dug up when the monarchy was restored in 1666, and it was then that he was hung as a traitor. See the bonkers lyrics about burial and the old lady having a drop and going hippety hop! 

 Benjamin Britten is a famous british composer, who lived between 1913 and 1976, writing many pieces for children, and supporting young musicians with the Aldeburgh Young Musicians programme.  The song about Cromwell is now offered by Boosey & Hawkes free of copyright restrictions with sound files and score performed as part of the Aldeburgh Friday afternoon series here: http://www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk/song/oliver-cromwell-benjamin-britten

Download Oliver Cromwell melody score, (.pdf)
Download Oliver Cromwell lyrics (.pdf)
Download Oliver Cromwell audio file (.mp3)


Oliver Cromwell

 Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead,
Hee-haw buried and dead,
There grew an old apple tree over his head,
Hee-haw over his head.

The apples were ripe and ready to fall;
Hee-haw ready to fall;
There came an old woman to gather them all,
Hee-haw gather them all.

Oliver rose and gave her a drop,
Hee-haw gave her a drop,
Which made the old woman go hippety hop,
Hee-haw hippety hop.

The saddle and bridle they lie on the shelf,
Hee-haw lie on the shelf,
If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
Hee-haw sing it yourself.

Oliver Cromwell: Cromwell's Head


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