Mudcat Café message #989221 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37522   Message #989221
Posted By: masato sakurai
23-Jul-03 - 08:13 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Froggy Went A-Courtin'
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin'
Quoted (with typos corrected) from David G. H. Parsons's article linked to above:

Probably the earliest recorded mention is a tune sung by shepherds in Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland of 1549 called "The frog came to the myl dur.'

In 1783 Pinkerton commented on the song in Select Scottish Ballads: "I am told that no. 17 (the frog came to the myl dur) used lately to be sung on the stage in Edinburgh and contains a mock courtship between a frog and a mouse of some satirical merit."

In 1580 "A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Ffrogge and the Mowse" was entered in the Stationers Hall Register, but not until 1611 do we find an extant version: among the "Country Pastimes" of Ravenscroft's Melismata, after which "there is increasing printed evidence of the song's popularity."
The text of The Complaynt of Scotland is at The Oxford Text Archive.