ďA Frog Went A-CourtingĒ

Collected by Cecil Sharp

Sung by Miss Alpha Combs at Hindman School, Knott Co., KY, 1917. In English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians Collected by Cecil J. Sharp. Ed. Maud Karpeles. Vol. II (London: Oxford UP, 1932). pp. 317-18. Sharp's collection contains a number of other versions of this ballad and related frog songs. For details on other versions of this ballad, see Froggy Went A-Courting in AppLit's Annotated Index of Appalachian Folktales.

The lyrics to this ballad are also reprinted in Crosscurrents of Children's Literature: An Anthology of Texts and Criticism. Ed. J. D. Stahl, Tina L. Hanlon, and Elizabeth Lennox Keyser. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006. pp. 310-11. It appears in Part 3, Oral and Written Literary Traditions, along with illustrations from Randolph Caldecott's highly acclaimed nineteenth-century picture book, the Aesop fable about the mouse and frog, and Rex Stephenson's story theatre adaptation of "Mutsmag" (in which the folk heroine Mutsmag sings this song to wake up her sisters). See also A Guide to Appalachian Folklore and Literature in Crosscurrents of Children's Literature.

"A Frog Went A-Courting"

A frog went a-courting and he did ride, Ha, . . ha,

A frog went a-courting and he did ride,

A sword and pistol by his side, Ha, . . ha.


Frog rode up to Lady Mouseís den,

Says: Lady Mouse, will you let me in?


Took Lady Mouse on his knee,

Said: Lady Mouse, will you marry me?


Without the ratís consent,   

Iíll not marry the President. 


Uncle Ratís gone to town

To buy his niece a wedding-gown.


What will be the wedding-gown?

A piece of hair of an old greyhound.


What will the wedding-dinner be?

Two soup beans and a black-eyed pea.


Where will the wedding-dinner be?

Away down yonder in the hollow tree.


First come in was a little old fly,

He ate up all the wedding-pie.


Next came in was a little old chick,

Ate so much it made him sick.


Next came in was a bumble-bee,

Fiddle and a bow all on his knee.


The Lady Mouse down to dwell,

Down in the bottom of an old deep well.


Piece of cold bread laying on the shelf.

If you want any more you must sing it yourself.

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