Johnny Rotten (John Lydon) - Cockney?

I hate spam   Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:38 pm GMT
Does he have a Cockney accent?
Googler   Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:57 pm GMT
probably. Google turns up a lot of results for "Johnny Rotten Cockney"
Lazar   Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:06 am GMT
Wikipedia ( ) says that he grew up in London, so it would make sense that he would have a Cockney or Estuary accent.
Robin   Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:47 am GMT
Without using Google, I have noticed in the past that John Lydon spoke badly in a London type accent, not necessarily Cockney. I also noticed that he did have a certain way with words.

London is a very large city, that is comprised of a large number of smaller units, each of which would have had slightly different way of speaking in the past.

There is a definition of Cockney, which is born within the sound of the Bow Bells. The bells being the bells of a particular church.

Obviously you can fill out and extend what I have said by looking at Google. Google will give you where John Lydon was born, where he went to school, etc.

John Lydon sounds totally uneducated. On the other hand, he is someone who has made a very sucessful living in 'show biz'. So, his accent could well be less natural than you might think at first.

Incidently, I always associate 'Blondie' with New York, and as having a New York accent.
Liz   Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:35 am GMT
<<John Lydon sounds totally uneducated.>>

Sometimes he does, sometimes he does not. His accent is obviously working class ("uneducated" as you wrote) but his speech style is not (always). He can be quite eloquent if he wants to. We all know he likes acting out, and he likes playing with the language I reckon. Sometimes he is obscene, other times he is well-spoken. It happens that he is mixing the two, which seems absurd to me.
Adam   Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:27 pm GMT
Not all Londoners are Cockneys. You have to be born withing hearing range of the Bow Bells, which are the bells of St Mary-le-Bow church, a historic church in the City of London, off Cheapside.

The church is immortalised in the British nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons." It is said that to be a true Cockney, you must have been born within earshot of the bells. The bells are also credited with having persuaded Dick Whittington (who died in 1423 and every British schoolchild reads a character loosely based on him in children's books) to turn back from Highgate and remain in London to become Lord Mayor (three times in the story but four times in reality).

Oranges and Lemons is a British nursery rhyme which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London. In its common version, the lyrics refer to, in turn, St Clement Eastcheap, St Martin Orgar, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, St Leonard's, Shoreditch, St Dunstan's, Stepney, and St Mary-le-Bow. Some claim that the St Clement's mentioned is actually St Clement Danes. The tune is reminiscent of change ringing, and the intonation of each line is said to correspond with the distinct sounds of each church's bells.

Today, the Bells of St Clements Danes actually ring out the tune of this rhyme.

Here it is (although I can't explain to you the tune that it is sung in)

"Oranges and lemons," say the bells of St. Clement's
"You owe me five farthings", say the bells of St. Martin's
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow rich," say the bells of Shoreditch
"When will that be?" say the bells of Stepney
"I do not know," says the great bell of Bow
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed
"And here comes a chopper to chop off your head! "
Adam   Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:31 pm GMT
So if you want to know what sound each of those churches' bells make when thing go DING DONG DING DONG just learn the tune to Oranges and Lemons.


"When I grow rich," say the bells of Shoreditch

So the tune to "When I grow rich" is the same tune the churchbells of Shoreditch make when the go "ding dong ding dong." It's clever.

I know this has nothing to do with Johnny Rotten but I thought I would mention it.
Guest   Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:15 pm GMT
Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clements

You owe me five farthings
Say the bells of St Martins

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey

When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney

I'm sure I don't know
Says the Great Bell at Bow