Simple Simon

“Simple Simon” is a traditional nursery rhyme dating back to the 18th century England.

There is no clear reference about who was Simple Simon. The earliest reference of the character is related to an illustrated ballad chap-book from 1685 called “Simple Simon’s Misfortunes and his Wife Margery’s Cruelty” published by a certain L. How in London.

The ballad tells the story of Simple Simon’s adventures after the first day of his marriage with his unkind wife and how some unhappy accidents puts him in a very bad position in front of her cruelty.

According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951) the Simple Simon’s lyrics as known today were first recorded in a historical booklet from 1764.

“Simple Simon” Lyrics

Modern version

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

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