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The Tragical Death Of An Apple Pie

September 18, 2015
by the gentle author

It has been a record apple harvest this year and – as I have no doubt the thoughts of my readers will be turning towards Apple Pie – I take this opportunity to present The Tragical Death of an Apple Pie, an alphabet rhyme first published in 1671, in a version produced by Jemmy Catnach in the eighteen-twenties.

Poet, compositor and publisher, Catnach moved to London from Newcastle in 1812 and set up Seven Dials Press in Monmouth Court, producing more than four thousand chapbooks and broadsides in the next quarter century. Anointed as the high priest of street literature and eager to feed a seemingly-endless appetite for cheap printed novelties in the capital, Catnach put forth a multifarious list of titles, from lurid crime and political satire to juvenile rhymes and comic ballads, priced famously at a halfpenny or a ‘farden.’

A An Apple Pie

B Bit it

C Cut it

D Dealt it

E Did eat it

F Fought for it

G Got it

H Had it

J Join’d for it

K Kept it

L Long’d for it

M Mourned for it

N Nodded at it

O Open’d it

P Peeped into it

Q Quartered it

R Ran for it

S Stole it

T Took it

V View’d it

W Wanted it

XYZ and & all wished for a piece in hand

Dame Dumpling who made the Apple Pie

You may also like to take a look at

Old Mother Hubbard & Her Dog

Jemmy Catnach’s Cries of London

5 Responses leave one →
  1. September 18, 2015

    Just wonderful! Thank you for sharing this marvelous and charming rhyme. I enjoyed both the graphics and words immensely.

    I did not get enough apples on my trees this year to make apple pies, with barely enough to snack upon sadly. Last year proved to be my bumper crop.

  2. Jacqueline Sarsby permalink
    September 18, 2015

    Oh it makes me want to write an alphabet story like this too! Such fun!

  3. September 18, 2015

    A very fine ancient graphic design for a nice idea of an alphabet rhyme! Love it.

    Love & Peace

  4. September 19, 2015

    Lovely – and most appropriate for the season! You may like to know that two of Charles Hindley’s books on the Catnachs, father and son, have been reissued as paperbacks: and

  5. Zippi permalink
    December 9, 2017

    I, who inspected it, is missing!

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