DESCRIPTION: "Georgie Porgie [or Rowley Poley], pudding and pie, Kissed the girls and made them cry, When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away."
EARLIEST DATE: 1844 (Halliwell)
KEYWORDS: courting escape food
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 181, "Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #294, p. 170, "(Rowley Powley, pudding and pie)"
Jack, p. 44, "Georgie Porgie" (1 text)
Dolby, p. 67, "Georgie Porgie, Pudding and Pie" (1 text)
cf. "Charley Barley" (lyrics)
NOTES [204 words]: Well-known in the twentieth century, but poorly attested historically -- the first version is Halliwell's, and it mentions "Rowley Powley," not "Georgie Porgie." This makes it interesting that many attempts have been made to link it to an historical George. The suggestions I have seen made for identifying George include:
- George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (for whom see the notes to "A Horse Named Bill"), the favorite and perhaps the lover of James VI and I; despite his relationship with James I, he was heterosexual and did pursue women; the flight, in that case, might refer to the attempts to curb his influence, or to his 1627 expedition with James's son Charles I that ended disastrously.
- Charles II, who had many mistresses but obviously wasn't named either "George" or "Rowley"
- George I, King of England 1702-1727, who put away his wife and had some of the ugliest mistresses known to the British court
- George IV, King of England 1820-1830 and Prince Regent before that, who also had a complicated sex life but is considered something of a coward.
If I absolutely had to pick one, I think I'd go for Buckingham, since he's the only George who was actually attractive to women, but I'm far from sure. - RBW
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