Simple Simon (nursery rhyme)

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"Simple Simon"
Roud #19777
Simple Simon 1 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg
William Wallace Denslow's illustrations for Simple Simon, from a 1901 edition of Mother Goose
Written byTraditional
Published1764
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme
 
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"Simple Simon"
Roud #19777
Simple Simon 1 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg
William Wallace Denslow's illustrations for Simple Simon, from a 1901 edition of Mother Goose
Written byTraditional
Published1764
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme

"Simple Simon" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19777.

Lyrics[edit]

The rhyme is as follows;

Simple Simon met a pieman,
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Let me taste your ware.
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
Show me first your penny;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Indeed I have not any.
Simple Simon went a-fishing,
For to catch a whale;
All the water he had got,
Was in his mother's pail.
Simple Simon went to look
If plums grew on a thistle;
He pricked his fingers very much,
Which made poor Simon whistle.[1]

Origins[edit]

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.[1] 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.[1] Another possible inspiration was Simon Edy, a beggar in the St Giles area in the 18th century.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Said the pieman to Simple Simon,
"Show me first your penny."
Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
"Scram! Ya don't get any!"
(And a pie in the face)

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. 333-4.
  2. ^ 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 

External links[edit]