DESCRIPTION: "Simple Simon met a pieman, Going to the fair, Said Simple Simon to the pieman, Let me taste your ware." The pieman demands payment, which Simon does not have. He tries to catch a whale; he seeks plums on a thorn; he does not succeed
EARLIEST DATE: 1764 (chapbook published by Dicey and Marshall, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: food injury fishing money
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 476, "Simple Simon met a pieman" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #60, pp. 68-69, "(Simple Simon met a pieman)"
Jack, p. 190, "Simple Simon (1 text)
Dolby, p. 34, "SImpe Simon Met a Pieman" (1 text)
NOTES: The term "Simple Simon" seems to be very old, but that didn't prevent Katherine Elwes Thomas coming up with a crazy explanation for this rhyme; she suggested that it is an account of James VI moving south to become James I of England. Slightly more probable is Jack's note that St. Simeon of Ermesa was the patron saint of holy fools. On the other hand, neither of my dictionaries of saints mentions a sixth century St. Simeon, so he can't be very well known. - RBW
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