John Liptrot Hatton belonged to a class of entertainers at the piano who were highly popular in Victorian Britain. Despite a rudimentary musical education, he was a prolific composer, his works embracing religious and stage music as well as songs. He toured America, as well as Britain, and was recognised as a jolly character, with a head one lady admirer likened to ‘a boiled egg with a fringe round it’. His character seems to be reflected in this 1850s song about the wine-loving Simon, which became a favourite of Victorian baritone Charles Santley, who—like Hatton himself—was from Liverpool.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2003