Mudcat Café message #748618 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1681   Message #748618
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
15-Jul-02 - 10:32 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin'
Subject: Lyr Add: KEMO KIMO (from Vance Randolph)
The song "Keemo Kimo" with the line "Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo" (one of many variations) originated with the minstrel song "There Was an Old Frog" which appeared in among others, Christy and Wood, 1854, "New Song Book."
Whether this is descended from the English nonsense song "Froggy Went A-courting" is not entirely certain (Kittredge, Sharp and Campbell thought so).
Of the many versions, here is one of those given by Vance Randolph, Ozark Folk Songs, vol. 2, pp. 164, from Missouri:

Lyr. Add: KEMO KIMO

Way down yonder on Beaver Creek,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo,
Darkies grow to be ten feet,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo.

Kemo kimo dee ro art,
Me-he me-hi me hum drum penny winkle,
Tit, tat, pitty pat, blue-eyed pussy cat,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo.

They go to bed but it ain't no use,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo,
Feet stick out for the chickens to roost,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo.

Our dog went out to get a bone.
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo,
He looked at me and I run home,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo.

Our cow won't give milk in summer,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo,
So we have to take it from her,
Sing song kitty cain't you kimeo.

There are versions in many folk song books, and probably in the DT as well. Verses from Buckeye Jim, Black dem Boots and Going down to Cairo, etc., are often mixed in.