Sunday, July 21, 2013

Frog Went A-Courtin (Uh Huh, Uh Huh, Uh Huh)

So, in the quest for good library books I stumbled across Frog Went A-Courtin' by John Longstaff and illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. The book won the 1956 Caldocott Medal, an award given out yearly to book illustrations. The book is cute, especially many of the illustrations, but what has been more enjoyable that the book is digging into the history of the song for which it is based.

The book plays on the English language folk-song. The folk song dates back to Scotland in the 1500s, but became a famous American folk song. In the Roud Folk Song Index, Frog Went A-Courtin is Roud #16.

Even Langstaff's book includes a summary of the song's history as well as some bars of music to play to hear the song. But of course, the bars of music are there in part because in 1956 there wasn't YouTube.

So, I went on the hunt and found tons of versions of this song which has tons of variations, from the 1930 Anna & Juliet Canova version, to Jimmie Roger's version, Tex Ritter's 1973 version, or even the 1955 Tom & Jerry version.

Whether you say Crambone, ummm mmm, or Uh Huh (like Elvis presley did in his version), this song is a whole lot of fun and frankly all three of my kids (10 months, 2 years and five years old) can have a good song singing this song.

Yet - of all the versions out there (and there are a lot) the one I most enjoyed in all my YouTube searching and watching is the beautiful Elizabeth Mitchell video. She leaves out any sort of "uh huh" type of cadence in her version and brings some peace and beauty to this song. In fact, I shared this one with my video and we reflected how the wedding portrayed in this video is one of the most beautiful wedding scenes we have ever seen filmed -- we loved the natural beauty and simplicity presented. So while I encourage you to play some of the different versions you might find (I recommend Suzy Bogguss' version as a personal favorite), I trully encourage you to enjoy Elizabeth Mitchell's video shared here:
 

1 comment:

Grete said...

I like Elizabeth Mitchell's version! We have listened to this many times in the car on our Pete Seeger album (http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Songs-Little-Children/dp/B000QQTKGI/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_title_0).

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