Friday, May 22, 2015

Froggie Went a-Courtin'

Froggie wants to wed.
He gets his mouse, snake eats her,
And a duck eats him.

"Frog Went a-Courting," also known as "A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse," "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" and by other titles, has been around for nearly 500 years, judging by the evidence that I dug up in my research (on the, uh, Internet). I know it because I remember a music teacher making our class sing it a long time ago. Whatever we sang, it didn't end as grimly as the version that Dylan performed on his 1992 album "Good As I Been to You." The story is straight, if not succinct, and it's a murder ballad. I even wrote a haiku about it for those of you who don't have six minutes. Here are the lyrics (my favorite verse is the last one, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy his version, which closes a wistful album on a wistful note):

1. Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride, Uh-huh,
Frog went a-courtin', and he did ride.
With a sword and a pistol by his side, Uh-huh.

2. Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door, Uh-huh,
Well he rode up to Miss Mousey's door.
Gave three loud raps and a very big roar, Uh-huh.

3. Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said he, "Miss Mouse, are you within?" Uh-huh,
Said, "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Yes, kind sir, I sit and spin," Uh-huh.

4. He took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee, Uh-huh,
Took Miss Mousey on his knee.
Said, "Miss Mousey, will you marry me?" Uh-huh.

5. "Without my uncle Rat's consent, Uh-huh
"Without my uncle Rat's consent, Uh-huh
"Without my uncle Rat's consent.
I wouldn't marry the president, Uh-huh

6. Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides,.
To think his niece would be a bride, Uh-huh.

7. Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat went runnin' downtown.
To buy his niece a wedding gown, Uh-huh

8. Where shall the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
Where shall the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
Where shall the wedding supper be?
Way down yonder in a hollow tree, Uh-huh

9. What should the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
What should the wedding supper be? Uh-huh,
What should the wedding supper be?
Fried mosquito in a black-eye pea, Uh-huh.

10. Well, first to come in was a flyin' moth, Uh-huh,
First to come in was a flyin' moth, Uh-huh,
First to come in was a flyin' moth.
She laid out the table cloth, Uh-huh.

11. Next to come in was a juney bug, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a juney bug, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a juney bug.
She brought the water jug, Uh-huh.

12. Next to come in was a bumbley bee, Uh-huh
Next to come in was a bumbley bee, Uh-huh
Next to come in was a bumbley bee.
Sat mosquito on his knee, Uh-huh.

13. Next to come in was a broken black flea, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a broken black flea, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a broken black flea.
Danced a jig with the bumbley bee, Uh-huh.

14. Next to come in was Mrs. Cow, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was Mrs. Cow, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was Mrs. Cow.
She tried to dance but she didn't know how, Uh-huh.

15. Next to come in was a little black tick, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a little black tick, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a little black tick.
She ate so much she made us sick, Uh-huh.

16. Next to come in was a big black snake, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a big black snake, Uh-huh,
Next to come in was a big black snake.
Ate up all of the wedding cake, Uh-huh.

17. Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat, Uh-huh,
Next to come was the old gray cat.
Swallowed the mouse and ate up the rat, Uh-huh.

18. Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook, Uh-huh,
Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook, Uh-huh,
Mr. Frog went a-hoppin' up over the brook.
A lily-white duck come and swallowed him up, Uh-huh.

19. A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf, Uh-huh,
A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf, Uh-huh,
A little piece of cornbread layin' on a shelf.
If you want anymore, you can sing it yourself, Uh-huh.



No comments:

Post a Comment