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WRONG NOTES: a blog of ear reverence

Wrong Notes collects posts on music, art, culture and fun stuff. Also included: news about the Ear Reverends.

King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O, or Frog in the Well

Lucas Gonze posted a nice video / audio of himself playing Frog in the Well. As he says, it's short and simple.

As I commented on Lucas' post, I know this tune as “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” by Chubby Parker & His Old Time Banjo, from Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music. So, I was a little curious about some of the history around this tune, was poking around the web, and found that Roger McGuinn has a whole post on the history of King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O:

“King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O” is a version of the old English song “Frog Went A-Courting.” Its first known appearance is in Wedderburn’s Complaynt of Scotland (1548) under the name “The frog came to the myl dur.” There is a reference in the London Company of Stationer’s Register of 1580 to “A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse.” The oldest known musical version is in Thomas Ravenscroft’s Melismata in 1611.

There's more in McGuinn's post, including the lyrics and an mp3 of a performance of the song by McGuinn himself, I think.


Via the Frog Went A-Courting entry on wikipedia, I also found this great Frog Went a-Courtin’ -or- A Frog He Would a-Wooin’ Go website, with “over 170 verses of Froggy Went a Courtin’ compiled from 29 sources.”

Kind-of on a roll with this—here’s a YouTube video with Chubby Parker’s King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O.

thanks for posting this. It’s fun to see what history Lucas’ songs have!

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