Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Simple Simon: Simon’s Song

Posted on: February 18, 2017

THIS POST IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

To sing the

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Simon’s Song (Simple Simon)
Traditional Tune
Traditional Rhyme Adapted by Barbara Emberley
Illustrated by Ed Emberley

I absolutely love, love, love, love, love Ed Emberley’s wood cut pictures in primary colors.  This book was published in 1969, and the artistic sensibility that goes into the art really makes my heart swell with nostalgia. The pictures are funny and all the characters look like toys.  They capture Simple Simon’s goofiness without making fun of him.  He’s just a clown out to have a fun day. He is likable and all the characters in the book like him, too.  Everyone and everything is fun in this book.

Barbara Emberley adapted the words of the original rhyme and added a whole bunch of new adventures for Simple Simon and his pals.  In my favorite verse, similar to my favorite verse in ONE WIDE RIVER when she adapts the lyrics to have some of the animals enter the Noah’s Ark by roller skate, Barbara Emberley has Simple Simon and his friends going to ice skate in June so they can arrive before all the crowds.  In the illustration, Simple Simon is giving his best go at skating on the river while a duck paddles from a little boat and frogs play instruments on top of a floating log with a big bright sun in the sky. It’s all joy.

Barbara and Ed Emberley’s version of Simple Simon comes with printed music and lyrics in the back of the book. The credits do not specify who made the musical arrangement, so I’ll assume it was Barbara. I love her melody and guitar chords for this, but the arrangment uses a lot of chords (including the pesky F chord), so I decided to simplify this Simple Simon a little. The setting has a pretty bridge used, so I’ll keep the one F chord for that. Playing one isolated F chord at the beginning of a phrase won’t be nearly as tricky as switching to it in the middle of the musical line.

Like with many Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, Simple Simon can be fitted to many different tunes.  The tune for YANKEE DOODLE works.  I like to use an adaptation for the tune used by LITTLE MISS MUFFET

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INFO ABOUT SIMPLE SIMON

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Simple Simon song origins:
https://treasuryislands.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/1871/

From the above article, I especially appreciate this:

‘Simple Simon’ is part of a tradition in nursery rhymes and children’s songs of making an example of ignorance or bad behaviour (other examples include ‘There Was a Little Girl‘) and s By ridiculing Simple Simon for his attempts to catch a whale in a bucket or buy pies with no money, we internalize the notion that ignorance equals social stigma and cement in ourselves the idea that knowledge and learning are a good thing.

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Simple Simon wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Simon_(nursery_rhyme)

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Related Posts

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MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES: SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/sing-books-with-emily-songbook-series-mother-goose-nursery-rhymes/

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MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES FOR SBWE
A compilation of Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme titles linked to posts about the rhymes so you can learn more and sing along
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/nursery-rhymes-and-mother-goose-for-sbwe/

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MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYMES – INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED
Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes with Individually Illustrated Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/mother-goose-and-nursery-rhymes-with-individually-illustrated-singable-picture-books/

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MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYME COMPILATIONS

A list containing compilations of Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme Singable Picture Books, including links and resources for learning, singing, and playing the tunes
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/mother-goose-singable-picture-books-rhymes-and-songs-in-compilations/

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Singing Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and Little Songs to Children Gives them a Profoundly Useful Tool for Learning and Relating to Others
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/singing-mother-goose-nursery-rhymes-and-little-songs-to-children-gives-them-a-profoundly-useful-tool-for-learning-and-relating-to-others/

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