Home | 1611 version | Example of the ballad today | Compilation | Refrains | Sources

Frog Went a-Courtin' -or- A Frog He Would a-Wooin' Go

 Compilation of verses from various sources

 

 

'Twas the Frogge in the well, humble dum, humble, dum. And the merrie Mouse in the Mill, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

15AThere was a frog lived in the well, Whipsee diddledee dandy dee. There was a mouse lived in a mill, Whipsee diddledee dandy dee. This frog he would a-wooing ride, with sword and buckler by his side. With a harem scarem diddledum darum, Whipsee diddledee dandy dee. (buckler=small, round shield)

22There lived a Puddy in a well, Cuddy alone, cuddy alone; There lived a Puddy in a well, Cuddy alone and I. There was a Puddy in a well, And a mousie in a mill; Kickmaleerie, cowden down, Cuddy alone and I. (Puddy=frog)

 

The Frogge he would a woing ride, humble dum, humble, dum. Sword and a buckler by his side, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

1 Frog went a courtin' and he did ride hmm, hmm. Frog went a-courtin' and he did ride. A sword and a pistol by his side hmm, hmm.

22Dirk and a pistol by his side, As being a frog of a Celtic race. (dirk=daggar)

5 A frog he would a-wooing go, Hmm, hmm. A frog he would a-wooing go. He dressed himself from top to toe, hmm, hmm.

12A frog he would a-wooing go, Heigh ho! says Rowley. Whether his mother would let him go or no. With a rowley-powley, gammon and spinach, Heigh ho! says Anthony Rowley.

27There was a bull frog living in the spring. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o. He had such a cold that he could not sing. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o;

 

27Oh, I took him out and laid him on the ground. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o. The bull frog winked and looked all around. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o.

 

15BHe saddled and bridled a great black snail, Heigh ho! says Rowley. And rode between the horns and tail. With a rowley-powley, gammon and spinach, Heigh ho! says Anthony Rowley.

When he was upon his high horse set, humble dum, humble, dum, His boots they shone as blacke as jet, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

27He rode away to get him a bride. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o. With a sword and a pistol by his side. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o.

 

27But the sun shone bright for there was no rain. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o. So the bull frog jumped in the pond again. Sing song Polly won't you ky-me-o. [end of the story in this version]

 

12So off he set with his opera hat, And on the road he met with a rat.

 

12Pray, Mister Rat, will you go with me, Kind Mrs. Mousey for to see?

 

When he came to a merry mill pin, humble dum, humble dum, Lady Mouse beene you within? Tweedle, tweedle, twino.

2 He rode up to Miss Mousie's door, ah-hah, ah-hah! Where he had often been before, ah-hah, ah-hah.

4 He rode up to Miss Mousie's den, ah-hah, ah-hah! He said, "Miss Mousie, are you within?" ah-hah, ah-hah!

7 He rode right up to Miss Mousie's door, uh, huh (x3) And he hit it so hard that he made it roar, uh-huh.

8 He rode into Miss Mousie's hall. Ah hum. Found Miss Mousie upon the wall. Ah hum.

10He went up to Miss Mouse's hall, Um-hm! Um-hm! There he loudly rapped and called, Um-hm! Um-hm!

15AHe rode 'til he came to mouse's hall, Where he most tenderly did call, "O Mistress Mouse, are you at home? And if you are, please come down."

20 He rode 'til he come to Miss Mousie's door. Hey, hey (x3) He give it three raps and a big loud roar. Hey, hey hey, hey.

 

15A"My Uncle Rat is not at home, I dare not for my life come down." Then Uncle Rat, he soon comes home, "And who's been here since I've been gone?"

 

Then came out the dusty Mouse, humble dum, humble dum. "I am Lady of this house," tweedle, tweedle, twino.

 

4 "Oh, Mister Frog, I sit and spin, Just lift the latch and please come in."

5 "Uncle Rat, is Miss Mouse within?" "Yes, in the parlor, learning to spin."

7 Then Miss Mousie let him in, And the way they courted, it was a sin.

15BThen Miss Mousie she did come down, All smartly dressed in a russet gown.

22"Madam, I am come tae woo; Marriage I must have of you."

 

12Pray, Mrs. Mouse, will you give us some beer? For Froggy and I are fond of good cheer.

 

"Hast thou any minde of me?" humble dum, humble dum. "I have e'ne greate minde of thee," tweedle, tweedle, twino.

1 Took Miss Mousy on his knee. Pray Miss Mousy will you marry me?

5 "Oh Miss Mouse, will you marry me?" "Yes, if Uncle Rat will agree."

8 He asked Miss Mousie to be his bride. She opened her eyes so big and wide.

17"I'd like to have you for my bride, uh-hmm, uh-hmm, To sit and spin for me all my life, uh-hmm, uh-hmm.

25For I am rich and I am brave. Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells. What better husband could you have. Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells.

 

Who shall this marriage make? humble dum, humble dum. Our Lord which is the rat, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

1 No, kind sir, I can't do that, Unconsent of old Uncle Rat.

3 "I'll have to ask my Uncle Rat, a-huh, a-huh, See what he will say to that," a-huh, a-huh.

3 "Without my Uncle Rat's consent, I would not marry the President."

7 Miss Mousie says, "I don't know about that. But I believe to my soul you'll have to ask Uncle Rat."

22"Marriage I will grant ye nane, Till Uncle Rottan he comes hame." (nane=none, Rottan=rat)

24"Uncle Rat's in London town, And I don't know when he'll be down."

 

2 Now Uncle Rat when he came home, Says, "Who's been here since I been gone?"

  2 "A very fine gentleman has been here, Who wishes me to be his dear."

18"A pretty little dandy man," says she, h'm, h'm. "Who swears he wants to marry me," h'm, h'm.

22Uncle Rottan he came home, Riding on a great snale alone.

  22His boots were ill, his spurs were waur, For he was all over dirt and glaur. (waur=worse, glaur=mud)

22Uncle Rottan's now come hame, Fye, gar busk the bride alang. (Fye, gar busk=to make ready)

 

8 He asked Uncle Rat for his consent. He came downstairs with his neck half bent.

 

1 Uncle Rat laughed on sugarfat sides, To think his niece would be a bride.

25 Rat said, "I'm very much afraid" Ding! Dang! Dong! go the wedding bells. "if you don't take Froggy then you'll die an old maid."

2 Uncle Rat laughed and shook his side, To think his niece would be a bride.

 

7 The old rat laughed as he give away the bride. He laughed and he laughed 'til he shook his fat sides.

9 Uncle Rat, will you marry Lady Mouse? Yes, kind sir, and half my house

10So Uncle Rat gave his consent, And made a handsome settlement

15AFour partridge pies, with season made, Two potted larks and marmalade, Four woodcocks and a venison pie, Aye, would that at that feast were I. [end of version 15A]

 

11When Uncle Rat gave his consent, Um-hmm! Um-hmm! The weasel wrote the publishment, Um-hmm! Um-hmm!

13Uncle Rat gave his consent, um-hum! So they were married and away they went. um-hum!

18Then Uncle Rat gave his consent And that's the way the marriage went.

 

1 Uncle Rat he rode to town, To get the wedding gown.

2 Uncle Rat on a horse he went to town, To buy his niece a wedding gown.

 

18Who will make the wedding gown? Old Miss Rat from Pumpkin Town.

 

1 Where do you reckon the supper will be? Away down yonder in the holler tree.

 

What shall we have to our supper? humble dum, humble dum. Three beanes in a pound of butter, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

1 What do you reckon they'll have for supper? Two black beans and not a speck of butter.

2 What shall the wedding supper be? Three green beans and a black-eyed pea.

3 What will the wedding supper be? A fried mosquito & a roasted flea.

5 And what do you think they had for supper? Black-eyed peas, corn pone, and butter.

7 What will the wedding supper be? Two butter beans and a black-eyed pea.

8 What shall the wedding supper be? Catnip broth and dogwood tea [or dogwood bark and catnip tea].

 

5 And what do you think they had to drink? Persimmon beer and a bottle of ink.

 

2 Tell us, what was the bride dressed in? A cream gauze veil and a brass breastpin.

7 What did they get for the wedding gown? A piece of the hide of an old white hound.

 

2 Tell us next what was the groom dressed in? Sky blue britches with silver stitches.

6 Now Mister Frog was dressed in green, M-hm, M-hm. Sweet Miss Mouse looked like a Queen, M-hm, M-hm.

 

When supper they were at, humble dum, humble dum. The Frog, the Mouse, and even the Rat, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

 

22Lord Rottan sat at the head o' the table, Because he was baith stout and able.

 

22Wha is't that sits next the wa', But Lady Mouse, baith jimp and sma'? (jimp and sma'=neat and small)

 

22Wha is't that sits next the bride, But the sola Puddy wi' his yellow side? (sola=dirty)

 

28Now we're all in very good cheer Hi Ho said Roly, now we're all in very good cheer, if we had some music here, with me Roly Poly Cabbage and Spinach And hi! for Anthony Roly.

 

1 First came in was a bumblebee. To play the fiddle upon his knee.

28 In came the bumble bee...in came the bumble bee, Clapped a bagpipe on his knee

17The first to come was a Captain Flea. He strung his fiddle across his knee.

3 First to come in were two little ants, Fixing around to have a dance.

5 First came in was the old tomcat, And he danced a jig with Mistress Rat.

6 The first to come in was a little white moth. She spread out the table cloth.

7 The first come in was a big June bug, A dancin' round with a half-pint jug.

23 The first come in was a big Brown Bug, He drowned in the molasses jug.

9 The first to come was a great big bear, And he filled up the old armchair

11The first guest in was a bumblebee. He danced a jig with a crook-backed flea. 20[two-legged flea.]

20First to come was a little lady bug. She had a great big whisky jug.

 

28 Now we're all in very good cheer...now we're all in very good cheer, if we had some dancin' here

 

3 Next to come in was a fat sassy lad, Thinks himself as big as his dad.

3 Thinks himself a man indeed, Because he chews the tobacco weed.

5 Next to come in was the bumblebee, and he danced a jig with old Miss Flea.

6 The next to come in was Missus Cow. Tried to dance but didn't know how.

10The next to come was a great big snail. Carried a fiddle on his tail

13O the next to come in was the bumble bee. Tuned his banjo on his knee.

14The next come was a pesky old fly, Um-hm! Um-hm! He ate up the wedding pie, Um-hm! Um-hm!

14The next come was a little red ant. She Always says, "I can't, I can't."

14The next come was fluffy yellow chick. He ate so much it made him sick.

17The next to come was chickadee. He danced a jig with a bumble-dee-bee.

18Next to come in was a big black bug. On his back was a cider jug.

18Next to come in was Mr. Coon. Waving about a silver spoon.

18Next to come in was the old gray goose, She picked up her fiddle and she cut loose.

26Next to come in was Madame Butterfly, She fanned everyone as she went by.

19Next to come in was a little black tick, M-hm, M-hm. Ate so much it made him sick, M-hm, M-hm.

19Next to come in was Dr. Fly. Said Mr. Tick would surely die.

24Next came in was a bumblebee, She stung little Dickey on his knee.

24Next came in was Doctor Fly, He said that little Dick must die.

23Next to arrive was Parson Fly. He ate so much he nearly died.

18Next to come in was a spotted snake. Weaving 'round the wedding cake.

22Syne cam' the Deuk but and the Drake, The Deuk took the Puddy, and gart him squaik. (Syne=then, Deuk=duck, gart him squaik=made him squeek)

22Then came in the carle Cat, Wi' a fiddle on his back: "Want ye ony music here?" (carle=old man)

9 The second to come was a great big snake, And he eat up all the wedding cake.

7 The third man in was a little gray mouse, And he says, "Mr. Froggie, could I rent you a house.

17The last to come was a crawly bug. He broke the bottles and smashed the jugs.

24Next came in was an old gray mare, Hip stuck out and shoulder bare.

 

9 Mister Rat, will you give us a song? And I hope you won't detain us long

12Pray, Mr. Frog, will you give us a song? Let it be something that's not very long.

12Indeed, Mrs. Mouse, replied the Frog, A cold has made me as hoarse as a hog.

12Since you have a cold, Mr. Frog, Mousey said, I'll sing you a song that I have just made.

 

6 In slowly walked the Parson Rook. Under his arm he carried a book.

25 So the knot was tied secure and fast. Ding! Dang! etc... She's off her uncle's hands at last. Ding! Dang! etc.

 

6 They all gathered round the lucky pair, Singing, dancing everywhere.

25 Open the oysters, spill the champaigne. Never will there be such a feast again.

26 All the folks they all sat down, Passed that catnip [or cider] round and round.

11The owl did hoot, the birds they sang, And through the woods the music rang.

25Tune up the fiddle and let's have a square. Top couple must be the happy pair.

 

Then came in gib [Tib 21] our cat, humble dum, humble dum, And catcht the mouse even by the backe, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

1 Next came in was two black bugs. Cat came in and made a big spludge.

2 They all sat down and began to chat, When in walked the kitten and the cat.

2 Mrs. Cat she stepped to the supper, And turned over the plate of butter.

3 And next to come in was a big tomcat, He swallowed the frog & the mouse & the rat.

9 The cat she collared the blooming great rat, The kitten she collard the poor little mouse

13O the next to come in was the old gray cat. Said she'd put an end to that!

15BShe hadn't been sitting long to spin, when Cat and Kittens came rolling in.

16The Cats and Kits came dancing in, um hm, Old Uncle Rat began to grin, um hm.

25As they were going it hot and strong. The good gray cat come prowling along.

25She sprang to the kitchen right out of the yard. She didn't even have no invitation card.

25Uncle Rat like a hero stood. Puss wet her whiskers with his blood.

18Who then came into the room, asked to see the bride and groom?

18"Away down yonder in a hollow tree, Who shall the wedding supper be?"

18"I'm the famous big gray cat, Who fancies a dinner of mouse and rat!"

18He helped himself to the wedding cake, Then chased the party down to the lake.

 

Then did they separate, humble dum, humble dum, And the frog leapt on the floore so flat, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

 

Then came in Dicke our Drake, humble dum, humble dum, And drew the frogge even to the lake, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

24The next came in was a little black dog, Chased Miss Mousie in a hollow log.

26The next to come was the alligator, All the folks said "We'll see you later."

16Old Uncle Rat went over the wall, but the Cats and Kits they gobbled them all.

2 Miss Mousie went a-tearing up the wall, Her foot slipped and she got a fall.

12This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright, He took up his hat and he wished them good-night.

22But Lady Mouse, baith jimp and sma', Crept into a hole beneath the wa'; "Squeak!" quo' she, "I'm weel awa'." (wa'=wall, awa'=away)

9 This little froggie went down the hill, And there he met with a little white duck, Which swallowed him with a quack quack quack.

12But as Froggy was crossing a silvery brook, A lily-white duck came and gobbled him up.

 

1 Groom went swimming over the lake. He got swallered by a big black snake.

2 They all went a-sailing across the lake, And they all were swallowed by a big black snake.

3 Next to come in was a big old snake, He chased the party into the lake.

24Big black snake he swam to land, And was killed by a Negro man.

 

The Rat run up the wall, humble dum, humble dum. A goodly company, the divell goe with all, tweedle, tweedle, twino.

21 The rat he ran up the wall, Heigh-ho! says Anthony Rowley; And so the company parted all, With a Rowley, Powley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho! says Anthony Rowley.

 

1 This is the end of one two three, A cat, rat, mouse and a bumblebee.

2So here's the end of one, two, three, The cat, the frog and Miss Mousie.

25So this is the end of him and her. Guess there won't be no tadpoles covered with fur.

6 Then Frog and Mouse went off to France. That's the end of my romance.

 

2 There's bread and cheese upon the shelf, And if you want any just help yourself.

4 There's bread and cheese upon the shelf, If you want any more, you can sing it yourself!

18Frog's bridle and saddle are on the shelf. If you want any more you must sing it yourself.

 

Compilation and commentary copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, J. David Highland, all rights reserved

 

 

updated - 1/15/2000 (added source 24), 6/12/2000 (added Refrain page and link to 1611 source)

updated - June 17, 2000 (added verses and refrains from source 25)

updated - June 8, 2001 (added verses from source 26)

updated - July 22, 2001 (restored ending verses from compilation which were inadvertently deleted in earlier update)

  Last updated - Sept. 21, 2004 (added verses from sources 27 and 28)

 

Home | 1611 version | Example of the ballad today | Compilation | Refrains | Sources | Top of this page