Mudcat Café message #1943966 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98271   Message #1943966
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Jan-07 - 02:05 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Keemo Kimo/Possum in a Simmon Tree
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Keemo Kimo/Possum in a Simmon Tree
Interesting version you have there, Cherene. The "Keemo Kimo" I know, is a version of "Froggy Went A-Courting." This is a different song, but with that same "Keemo Kimo" chorus.
Seems like there's a real tradition of singing about possums in persimmon trees. Here's an excerpt from a version of "Bile Them Cabbage Down":We've got possums here in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and we have a persimmon tree - never seen a possum in our 'simmon tree.
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Kemo Kimo

DESCRIPTION: Non-ballad. Some texts have brief stories (e.g. about "darkies" ten feet tall and too big for their beds), but the basic characteristic is the nonsense refrain pattern: sing song kitty kitchie kimeo / kemo kimo, Delaware, me hi me ho and in comes Sally...
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1854 (Christy & Wood, _New Song Book_)
KEYWORDS: nonballad nonsense animal
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Randolph 282, "There Was an Old Frog" (2 texts plus an excerpt and a fragment, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 239-241, "There Was an Old Frog" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 282A)
Belden, pp. 494-499, "The Frog's Courtship" (7 texts in 3 groups, 2 tunes; several of the texts are short, and IB at least appears to be "Kemo Kimo")
BrownIII 120, "The Frog's Courtship" (3 texts in the appendix to this song)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 244-248, "The Frog He Went A-Courting" (3 texts; the third, with local title "The Gentleman Frog" and tune on pp. 420-421, is probably this piece the first two texts are "Frog Went A-Courting")
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 156-157, "Cree-Mo-Cri-Mo-Dorro-Wah" (1 text plus a fragent, 1 tune); also p. 201 (no title) (1 fragment); also p. 285, "Keemo Kimo" (1 text, the Christy/Wood version)
Brewster 78, "Keemo-Kimo" (3 fragments)
Eddy 45, "The Opossum" (2 fragments, 2 tunes)
Linscott, pp. 204-206, "Frog in the Well" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, pp. 132-133, "Frog in the Well"; p. 135, "Get to Bed" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 84, "Kitty Alone and I" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner 68, "The Bull Frog" (1 text, 1 tune)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #69, pp. 77-79, "(There was a frog liv'd in a well)" (a complex composite with a short version of "Frog Went A-Courting" plus enough auxiliary verses to make an almost complete "Kemo Kimo" text)
Gilbert, p. 42, "Polly Won't You Try Me O" (1 fragmentary text)

Roud #16
Lawrence Older, "Frog in the Spring" (on LOlder01)
Prairie Ramblers, "Beaver Creek" (c. 1935; on CrowTold02)

cf. "The Carrion Crow/A Kangaroo Sat on an Oak"
cf. "Raccoon" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Frog Went A-Courting" (floating lyrics, theme)