Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin' To Thread - Forum Home

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Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin'

28 May 97 - 02:01 PM (#5859)
Subject: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Susannah Cox

I'm looking for lyrics to "Froggy went a-courtin'" for sentimental reasons (my dad used to sing it to me, and now I sing it to my daughter).

I realize there are several versions of this song and I'd be interested in reading any of them. What I remember of Dad's version follows:
    Froggy went a-courtin' and he did ride (uh hum) (repeat)
    Froggy went a-courtin' and he did ride,
    A sword and a pistol by his side.

    Rode till he came to the mouse's door,
    Where he had been many times before.

    Said, "Miss Mouse, will you marry me,
    While I'm here on bended knee?"

    Well, not without Uncle Rat's consent,
    Would I even marry the President.

    What will the wedding supper be?
    A cornbread crumb and a black-eyed pea.
That last line is where I get a little fuzzy (I might have made that up). Is this how anyone else remembers it? I'd be interested to hear any other versions, too.

Thanks!

Susannah Cox
dcox@emmanuel-college.edu

Link to Froggy Central (click)


28 May 97 - 06:32 PM (#5870)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: dani

This is also one of my favorites! See the postings of 4/29 for a whole bunch of versions.


28 May 97 - 08:01 PM (#5873)
Subject: Lyr Add: MR. FROGGIE WENT A-COURTIN' (from B Ives)
From:

There's more versions of this than of ROSEWOOD CASKET. Guess one more won't hurt. Here's the BURL IVES version:

MR. FROGGIE WENT A-COURTIN' - As Recorded by Burl Ives

Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride, (uh hum) (repeat)
A sword and a pistol by his side, (uh hum)

He went down to Missy mouse's door, (uh hum) (repeat)
Where he had been many times before, (uh hum)

Missy Mouse are you within?, (uh hum) (repeat)
Yes kind sir I sit and spin, (uh hum)

Took Missy Mouse upon his knee, (uh hum) (repeat)
Said Missy Mouse will you marry me, (uh hum)

Without my Uncle Rat's consent, (uh hum) (repeat)
I wouldn't marry the President, (uh hum)

Uncle Rat laughed and shook his fat sides, (uh hum) (repeat)
To think his niece would be a bride, (uh hum)

When Uncle Rat gave his consent, (uh hum) (repeat)
The Weasel wrote the publishment, (uh hum)

Next came in was a Bumblebee, (uh hum) (repeat)
Danced a jig with a 2-legg'd flea, (uh hum)

The Owl did hoot and the birds they sing, (uh hum) (repeat)
And thru the woods the music rang, (uh hum)

Where will the wedding breakfast be, (uh hum) (repeat)
Way down yonder in a hollow tree, (uh hum)

What will the wedding breakfast be, (uh hum) (repeat)
Two Green Beans and a Black-eyed Pea, (uh hum)

They all went sailing across the lake, (uh hum) (repeat)
And got swallowed up by a big Black Snake, (uh hum)

There's bread and cheese upon the shelf, (uh hum) (repeat)
If you want any more you can sing it yourself, (uh hum),

Gene Graham

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 24-Sep-02.


30 May 97 - 01:59 PM (#5949)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: lindahl@pbm.com

Then there's always the 1609 version in Ravenscroft's Melismata:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ravenscroft/melismata/

Number 21.

-- g


31 May 97 - 12:33 PM (#5981)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: sos@oz.plymouth.edu

John McCutcheon sings two different versions of this song. One is delightfully rowdy, and the other very melodic and beautiful. The chorus to the first goes (my own spelling - I haven't seen the words): "Kie-man-eero, down to Cairo, Kie-man-eero, Cairo, strada-ladda-ladda-bobba-ladda-bobba-linctum, rinctum body minch-cambo." Or something like that, honest! The other one has a chorus something like, "Here's to Cheshire, here's to cheese, here's to the pears and the apple trees, here's to the lovely strawberries, ding-dang-dong go the wedding bells." I think they both have the very fine line, after the cat breaks up the wedding party, "guess there won't be tadpoles covered with fur." Your library should have a book of folk songs with at least one version of this song in it. -Steffan


31 May 97 - 12:44 PM (#5985)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Les Blank

I remember a chorus that goes (phonetically !!)

Oh Mo-hen-jo-daro, in the land of Cairo, Cairo

Come a rat trap clip clap polly doodle rattle bugger

Sing song Kitty, can't you Ky-Me-Oh.

I thought this was the chorus to the Burl Ives version,

but your mention of John McCutcheon now causes me to

think again.


31 May 97 - 02:41 PM (#5995)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From:

you need to set the 'age' box to 90 to see the postings from 4/29....


15 Jul 02 - 09:48 PM (#748605)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: GUEST,Steve

I am looking for the same thing for the same reason


15 Jul 02 - 10:32 PM (#748618)
Subject: Lyr Add: KEMO KIMO (from Vance Randolph)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

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.


16 Jul 02 - 07:42 PM (#749324)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Bev and Jerry

For more on this song click here

We have twice participated in a workshop on this song where, for an hour each time, everyone sang versions. Very enlightening.

Bev and Jerry


16 Jul 02 - 08:53 PM (#749362)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Susan of DT

Search for something like "he did ride", go to one of the versions, note that there is a DT # on it - DT #306, then search for #306 - 5 versions in the database.


16 Jul 02 - 08:59 PM (#749363)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: GUEST

Or just put DT #306 in the search box


16 Jul 02 - 09:26 PM (#749380)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

I am surprised at how few versions of Froggy and Kemo Kimo are in the Forum and DT. Here are some links to material in the Forum:
176, Frog in the well (wedding): Frog-well

1155, Frog in the Well (inc. Cheshire vers.): Frog-well
2338, Frog in the Well: Frog-well
Frog in the Well: The Frog's Courtship (4) in DT.

1681, Froggy (inc. Burl Ives vers.) and Kemo Kimo (Randolph): Froggy
7261, Dylan Froggy (no lyrics): Dylan
11630, Dylan lyrics: Froggy
Mister Frog went a-courting: In DT

6853 Kemo Kimo, Beaver Creek vers.: Beaver
2951, Kemo Kimo (Old Mr. Rat): Kemo
8291, Kemo Kimo: Kemo
22217 Froggy discussion (but Kemo vers.): Kemo
22252, Kemo Kimo, inc. McCurdy: Kemo
23903, Kemo Kimo: Kemo
9323, Kimo Kimo, disc. only: Kemo
Kemo Kimo: In DT.
Puddy and Mouse,1, 2, 3: In DT

ANY MORE THREADS?

No minstrel versions have been posted yet.


16 Jul 02 - 09:46 PM (#749390)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

29514, Kemo Kimo, inc. Mr. Rat: Kemo rat
(2951, given in error, is blank)


21 Jul 02 - 04:21 PM (#752077)
Subject: Lyr Add: HERE'S TO CHESHIRE (Leslie Haworth)
From: Susanne (skw)

The second version whose chorus Steffan quotes above as sung by John McCutcheon is called 'Here's to Cheshire', a fairly recent re-write by Cheshire fruit farmer Leslie Haworth and recorded by The Spinners in 1964. I haven't checked Dicho's links but I think it unlikely this is among them, so here goes:

HERE'S TO CHESHIRE
(Trad / Leslie Haworth)

Chorus:
Here's to Cheshire, here's to the cheese
Here's to the pears and the apple trees
And here's to the lovely strawberries
Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells

There was an old frog lived in a well
Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells
A pretty little mouse lived in a mill
Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells

Froggy went a courting and he did ride
He said 'Missy Mouse you must decide'

For I am rich and I am brave
What better husband could you have

I'll not take your word for that
You'll have to satisfy Uncle Rat

Rat said, I'm very much afraid
If you don't take Froggy then you'll die an old maid

So the knot was tied secure and fast
She's off her uncle's hands at last

Open the oysters spill champagne
Never will there be such a feast again

Tune up the fiddle and let's have a square
Top couple must be the happy pair

As they were going it hot and strong
The old grey cat come prowling along

Into the window and out of the yard
Didn't bring no invitation card

Uncle Rat like a hero stood
Puss wet her whiskers in his blood

Miss Mouse she made a dive for a crack
Puss made a pounce and broke her back

Where was the valiant frog this while
Just about broke the four minute mile

Came to a brook and he didn't stop to look
The old drake knabbed him in his fluke

That was the end of him and of her
Won't be no tadpoles covered in fur

Lines 2 and 4 are invariably 'Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells'. I've left them out for reasons of space.


21 Jul 02 - 05:12 PM (#752098)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

"Here's to Cheshire" posted by Bert Hansell, thread 1155, as I posted above. Also in the DT, as "The Frog's Courtship (4).
Everything is up to date in Mudcat! Well, almost.


21 Jul 02 - 05:18 PM (#752101)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Has anyone a copy of Pete Seegar's version of "Here's to Cheshire?" Curious as to whether he changed any of it.


21 Jul 02 - 05:44 PM (#752111)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Hazy_Jane

Also, I believe a lesser known version of "froggy went a-courtin'" exists in one of the Bagpuss episodes (could be wrong - was quite little at the time). Yay for that old saggy cloth cat. . .


21 Jul 02 - 06:11 PM (#752121)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Hazy_Jane- The Frog Princess. All 13 episodes available on video from www.blackstar.co.uk


21 Jul 02 - 08:27 PM (#752169)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: masato sakurai

Pete Seeger's "Here's to Cheshire, Here's to Cheese (Froggy)" is on his Children's Concert at Town Hall (sound clip is HERE).

~Masato


21 Sep 04 - 06:31 PM (#1277732)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: GUEST,Froggy Central

Well, I noticed my old link to "over 160 verses from 27 sources" is in this thread, but I moved my website and left no trail. So here is the quickest way to the site (it's been updated a few times since). In your URL field, just enter:

clik.to/frog


If that doesn't work, try the long form:

http://home.earthlink.net/~highying/froggy/froggy.html

I expect to update it again soon with some of the sources I spotted on this thread. Thanks for the leads. As always, any helpful feedback is appreciated (Froggy Central ).

I hope never to change webservers, but if I ever do, I'll try to keep the shortcut (clik.to/frog) working. It's the only one I can remember.

thanks,
david


21 Sep 04 - 07:44 PM (#1277788)
Subject: RE: Froggy went a-courtin'
From: Juan P-B

I think my favourite version was in a 'Tom & Jerry' Cartoon when Jerry Mouse's country cousin visits with his guitar and sings a 'stuttering' rendition...........

"Froggie went a-courtin' & he did ride
With a sword and a p-p-p-p-p.......revolver by his side"

"he rode up to Missy Mouse's door,
He knocked and knocked 'til his hand got s-s-s-s...painful"

Whenever he broke a guitar string he just yanked out one of Tom's whiskers, tuned it up and carried on

Still makes my kids laugh 20 years on


21 Aug 08 - 11:46 AM (#2419473)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin'
From: GUEST,Os

Here's a website with over a hundred verses and lots of background about this song
Frog Went a-Courtin' -or- A Frog He Would a-Wooin' Go

-or- a shortcut

Trak to Froggy Went a Courtin

regards,
Os