Old Simeon

DESCRIPTION: Simeon made cans of ale. His journeyman, Jenkin, drank from every can. Simeon asks Jenkin, "to whom drink you?" Jenkin replies, "to you." Simeon says, "I spy a knave [that is, Jenkin] in drinking, Come trole [pass] the bole [bowl] to me"
AUTHOR: William Child (source: Sandys)
EARLIEST DATE: 1652 (Hilton's _Catch That Catch Can_, according to Sandys) [but see notes for earlier references to the first line]
KEYWORDS: request drink nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Williams-Thames, p. 299, "Old Simeon" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 184)
ADDITIONAL: William Sandys, editor, Festive Songs Principally of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (London, 1848 ("Digitized by Google"), #45 pp. 60-61, ("Now God Be With Old Simeon") (1 text)

Roud #1338
NOTES: "Samuel Harsnet, in his Declaration of Egregious Impostures, 1603, mentions a 'merry catch,' 'Now God be with old Simeon' (for which see Rimbault's Rounds, Canons, and Catches of England), which he says was sung by tinkers 'as they sit by the fire, with a pot of good ale between their legs'" (Naylor p. 17; cf. Elson, p. 75; Rimbault, pp. 28-29, refers to "Now God be with old Simeon' in Pammelia, 1609).
Here is a note I don't follow, but since it appears to refer to this catch it may be useful; the apparent reference is to Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 3, ll,55-63: "In 'Twelfth Night,' in the scene where the Clown, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Sir Toby Belch, act 2, scene the 3rd, are singing catches, there is one 'To whom drinke thou, Sir Knave!' The whole of this will be found in a curious old musical work entitled, 'Pammelia Musicks Miscellanie, or mixed varietie of pleasant Roundelayes and delightful Catches, of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 parts. London, 1609, page 7.' Malone supposes Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night in the year 1614, if so, this old work may be considered as containing the original catch; it begins, 'Now God be with old Simeon'" (FQRMaH, p. 137). - BS
That Shakespeare's and Ravenscroft's catches are the same is clear. Like Ben, I rather question the connection with "Old Simeon." -RBW
Bibliography Last updated in version 2.6
File: WT299A

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