Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Come for the Food, Stay for the Pied Piper

Interesting facts about the Pied Piper of Hamelin:

  1. "Pied" means "clothed in many colors". Therefore, the piper in the stories is a loud dresser.

  2. According to Wikipedia (where I'm getting all of this stuff) the story has been made into a movie 12 times. One version starred Donavan Leitch as the Piper.

  3. Robert Browning wrote a poem about the Pied Piper which is frequently alluded to as the source of piper metaphors. For example, Atom Egoyan's THE SWEET HEREAFTER throws it all over the place.

  4. IT'S THE PIED PIPER, CHARLIE BROWN retold the story in 2000, using Snoopy as the piper and substituting mice for rats, because Charlie Brown's sister Sally is scared of rats.

  5. Jonathan "Dr. Smith" Harris played a sinister inter-galactic Pied Piper in an episode of LAND OF THE GIANTS.

  6. Though the tale is said to be based on an actual event, nobody seems to be able to pin down what the event was. All agree that the children of Hamelin disappeared all at once. The plague has been suggested as a cause, or Chorea. On the other hand, some have suggested that the kids were led off to fight in a children's crusade, and the Piper was a recruiter. There are some villages in Europe which were founded by children, perhaps the Hamelin youth did that. Or, of course, it could just be a massive paedophilia/murder case.

  7. Given his legal troubles, R Kelly's self-proclaimed title as "the Pied Piper of R&B" has taken on unfortunate overtones.

  8. DC's THE FLASH comic series has a supervillain called The Pied Piper, though his real name is Hartley Rathaway, and he retired from crime after the death of Flash alter-ego Barry Allen.

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