Simple Simon and the pie man, according to Denslow
The verses used today are the first of a longer chapbook history first published in 1764. The character of Simple Simon may have been in circulation much longer, possibly appearing in an Elizabethan chapbook and in a ballad, Simple Simon's Misfortunes and his Wife Margery's Cruelty, from about 1685. Another possible inspiration was Simon Edy, a beggar in the St Giles area in the 18th century.
In the 1936 Merrie Melodies Cartoon I Love to Singa during the amateur hour segment, the country bumpkin bird (voiced by Joe Dougherty, who was the original voice of Porky Pig) stuttered through the first and almost all of the second verse of Simple Simon before rejecting himself.
^ abcI. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 333-4.
^Walter Thornbury, Edward Walford (1880), Old and New London: Westminster and the western suburbs Volume 3 of Old and New London: A Narrative of Its History, Its People, and Its Places, Old and New London, Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, p. 207