1 - collected by Byron Arnold, from Callie Craven,
Gadsden Alabama, November 26, 1946. These verses go with
2 - from a Kentucky and Virginia version (with
additions by L.W. Payne), from Payne's Publication No.
5 of the Texas Folklore Society.
Tune C is associated
with the verses from this publication.
3 - from Rise Up Singing
(Sing Out, 1992),
which credits numerous recordings for these verses.
4 - found in 150 American Folk Songs,
collected by Katalin Komlos
1974). The source of the verses is not listed.
5 - found in The Golden Song Book (Western
Publishing Company, Inc., 1981). In this book, Ednah P.C.
Hayes was credited with providing these words to "A Frog
He Would A-Wooing Go".
6 - published in
Sing Fun 'N Folk (1989 by Pamela Conn Beall and
Susan Hagen Nipp; Price Stern Sloan, Inc.). The tune in
this book is said by the editors to be English, circa
1580, with no source of this information given.
Tune D is the tune I
learned as a child in Kentucky and is similar to the tune
in "Wee Sing...", the only significant difference being
in the "sword and a pistol" measure and some repeated
measures in the version I learned.
7 - from the recorded collection "The Essential
8 - from a recording by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax
in the Indiana
University Archives of Traditional Music, as sung by
Ethel Bryant Niemeyer, Evansville, Indiana, in 1938. Ms.
Niemeyer reportedly learned the song from her mother,
9 - provided by Karen Kaplan. Compiled from
variants included in "Songs of Animals and other Marvels"
from the record series called The Folk Songs of
Britain (editors Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax - Topic
Records 12T198). The editors cite four sources (S.
Baring-Gould & H. Fleetwood-Sheppard, A Garland of
Country Song, London 1895; Alfred Williams,
Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames, London, 1923; and
Journal of the Folk Song Society, continued as
Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song
Society, London 1899 onward).
10 - found in The Melody Book
11 - reportedly from a recording by Burl Ives,
found in the
Tradition database (now MudCat).
12 - from A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go (F.
Warne, 1895). This version contains a refrain
significantly different from most other sources I've run
across. I've included this refrain in the compiliation
only in it's first occurance, and it's associated tune is
included as tune E. I
have yet to determine who Anthony Rowley is, referred to
in this refrain.
13 - found in Sing a Tune (Informal Music,
14 - from Making Music Your Own
15 (A & B) - from Early One Morning
(Recording by the Ionian Singers, Continuum, 1992). This
recording includes two versions, one (referenced as 15A)
which opens with text similar to the 1611 publication,
but has a refrain (included in the first occurance in the
compilation of verses from this source) which I have not
seen in other sources. The other (referenced as 15B) has
a refrain similar to that in 12 above.
16 - from Songs of a Grandmother a
collection of tunes as sung by Agnes Minturn Gilbert (J.
17 - from the LP Brave Boys; New England
traditions in folk music (New World Records 239,
1977). The version in this recording is sung by Mrs. Gail
Stoddard Storm, and was reportedly handed down through
her family, which has resided in the eastern shore area
of Massachusetts since the first English settlers at
18 - from Frog Went a-Courtin' retold by
& World, Inc., 1955). Mr. Langstaff states that
"we do know it was written down in Scotland over 400
years ago." The source of this claim is not given.
Langstaff reports that he compiled his version from from
numerous sources and the tune he uses is one sung by
children in the southern Appalachians.
19 - Gary Chalk adds his own twist to the ballad
(Mr. Frog Went a-Courting; Discover the Secret
Mifflin Co., 1994) when he weaves a tale around the
song. In his tale, Mr. Frog went a-courtin' while leaving
his fiance (Miss Frog) behind. Miss Frog gets revenge
when her friend and protector, Mr. Dog, convinces the big
gray cat to crash the wedding party, thus chasing the
frog, rat, and mouse into the lake, where they are
swallowed by the now famous "big black snake." Chalk then
adds the following two verses: "And now begins another
tale, Of the other frog, a young female; Who took revenge
on Mr. Frog. Will she now marry Captain Dog?" I have not
included these two verses in the compilation because 1)
they are recent creations intended to enhance Chalk's
storyline and, 2) these two verses appear out of place in
the ballad since neither Miss Frog nor Mr. Dog are
mentioned in any other version or elsewhere in Chalk's
version of the ballad.
20 - Sung by Woodie Guthrie in the collection
Southern Mountain Hoedown (Stinson Collectors
Series, Collectables Records, 1994).
21 - From an odd little book titled The Baby's Opera,
A Book of Old Rhymes With New Dresses by Walter Crane
(George Routledge and Sons, date unknown). The text of this
version is almost identical to the 1611
publication. The tune is similar to
tune F. This book is a collection of children's songs and,
as stated on the cover, contains "The Music By The Earliest
Masters." The style and illustrations of this book
suggest a pre-1900 publication.
22 - Scottish ballad called "Puddy and Mouse." Verses from
various sources found in the Digital
Tradition database (now MudCat).
23 - From The Songs We Sang: A Treasury of American Popular Music
by Theodore Raph (A.S. Barnes and Company, 1964).
24 - American Ballads and Folk Songs, John A. and Alan Lomax
(MacMillan and Company, 1934).
25 - Word of mouth and anonymous internet forum postings.
26 - From Crawdads, Doodlebugs, and Creasy Greens, Doug Elliot (Mel Bay Publications, Inc., 1997).
27 - From Traditional American Folk Songs, Warner and Warner, Collected from Lena Bourne Fish, NH, 1941
28 - From A Song for Ireland, Mary O'Hara, (c) 1982, Michael Joseph Limited, London