King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O by Roger McGuinn
From Roger McGuinn's "The Folk Den Project" page:
"In November of 1995 I began a project for the preservation of the music I love, Folk Music. Each month I would record a song, print the lyrics and chords, add a personal note and put it on my web site, mcguinn.com. I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to learn the songs and to be able to sing them with their families and friends, so downloads were offered free of charge."
The lyrics, chords, and notes on each song can be found at the Folk Den Project website.
In 2005, Roger McGuinn released a 4xCD to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the FOLK DEN. The
compilation contains 100 favorites re-recorded in 24-bit 44.1 KHz
Stereo, and comes with detailed liner notes. The compilation is available at The Folk Den Project.
“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.
Spaeth has a note claiming that the original version of this was supposed to refer to the Duke of Anjou’s wooing of Elizabeth I of England. If the second known version (1611, in Melismata, also reprinted in Chappell) were the oldest, this might be possible — there are seeming political references to “Gib, our cat” and “Dick, our Drake.” But the Wedderburn text, which at least anticipates the song, predates the reign of Queen Elizabeth by nine years, and Queen Mary by four. If it refers to any queen at all, it would seemingly have to be Mary Stuart; Evelyn K. Wells however, in the liner notes to the LP Brave Boys; New England traditions in folk music, (New World Records 239, 1977) suggests that the original may have been satirically altered in 1580 when it was recorded in the register of the London Company of Stationers, as this would have been at the height of the unpopular courtship.
I first heard this song on the Harry Smith Anthology:
Chubby Parker, “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” (Columbia 15296D, 1928; on Anthology of American Folk Music, CrowTold01) (Supertone 9731, 1930) (Conqueror 7889, 1931)
Lyrics and chords available from Folk Den Project.
King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O by Roger McGuinn is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.