Georgie Porgie

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"Georgie Porgie"
Roud #19532
Written byTraditional
Published1840s
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme
 
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"Georgie Porgie"
Roud #19532
Written byTraditional
Published1840s
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme

"Georgie Porgie" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19532.

Lyrics[edit]

The most common modern lyrics are:

Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.[1]

Origins and meaning[edit]

The first recorded version of the rhyme was collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-19th century with the lyrics:

Rowley Powley, pumpkin pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry;
When the girls began to cry,
Rowly Powley runs away.[1]

However, the version with Georgie Porgie was known to George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) in his childhood and so may be at least as old.

There are various theories that link the character Georgie Porgie to historical figures including George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628), Charles II (1630-1685) and George I (1660-1727), but there is no evidence to corroborate such claims.[1]

There is a further theory, equally unsubstantiated, but traditional in families which supported the Stuart line to the throne. That this is an old Jacobite rhyme and that it relates to the 1745 rebellion (of mainly Scots). In this account, the rhyme relates to King George II, who, as the Jacobite army headed further and further south ("When the boys came out to play"), fled England for the safety of Europe ("Georgie Porgie ran away"). Similarly, the convention of using "ie" instead of "y" or "ey" at the end of words, is prevalent in Scotland.

Cultural references[edit]

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die is the US title of the 1966 James Bond parody Se Tutte le Donne del Mondo.[2] Kiss the Girls is the title of a 1995 James Patterson detective novel, adapted as a film with Morgan Freeman in the major role in 1997.[3] In music the rock group Toto recorded a song called "Georgy Porgy" on its 1978 debut album that includes lines from the nursery rhyme. The song was written by Toto keyboard player David Paich.[4] The first line is sung by Supercat near the end of Sugar Ray's song 'Fly'. A reference to the rhyme is made in Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World (1932), Chapter five:

Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at one with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 185-6.
  2. ^ Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (1966) at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Kiss the Girls (1997) at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ [1].