Nursery Rhymes arrow List of Rhymes arrow Froggy would a wooing go
Froggy would a wooing go


A Frog he would a wooing go, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
A Frog he would a-wooing go, Whether this mother would let him or no,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

He saddled and bridled a great black snail, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
He saddled and bridled a great black snail, And rode between the horns and the tail,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

So off he set with his opera hat, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
So off he set with his opera hat, And on the way he met with a rat,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

They rode till they came to Mousey Hall, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
They rode till they came to Mousey Hall, And there they both did knock and call,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within?" Heigh-ho, says Roley,
"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within?" "Oh yes, sir, here I sit and spin."
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

Then Mrs. Mouse she did come down, Heigh-ho, says Roley,
Then Mrs. Mouse she did come down, All smartly dressed in a russet gown,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, can you give us some beer," Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, can you give us some beer, That froggy and I may have good cheer?"
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

She had not been sitting long to spin, Heigh-ho, says Roley,
She had not been sitting long to spin, When the cat and the kittens came tumbling in,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Roley.

The cat she seized Master Rat by the crown, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
The cat she seized Master Rat by the crown, The kitten she pulled Miss Mousey down,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright, He took up his hat and he wished them "Good night!"
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

And as he was passing over the brook, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
And as he was passing over the brook, A lily white duck came and gobbled him up,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.

So there's an end of one, two, and three, Heigh-ho, says Rowley,
So there's an end of one, two, and three, The Rat, the Mouse, and little Froggy,
With a Roley, Poley, Gammon and Spinach, Heigh-ho says Anthony Rowley.






History:

This is one of the best-recognized folk songs of the English speech. Its original recognized manifestation is in Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland (1548) beneath the name "The frog came to the myl dur." There is a allusion in the London Corporation of Stationer's Register of 1580 to "A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse." The oldest recognized melodic account is in Ravenscroft's Melistima in 1611. There are a lot of texts of the ballad. Frog rides to ask Miss Mouse to marry him. She is eager but ought to ask consent of Uncle Rat. Rat's permission established, the two work out particulars of the marriage. A number of versions end with a cat or other living thing devouring the participantsThe comments on this song in Cazden et al (pp. 524-532) comprise almost certainly the most excellent concise synopsis obtainable on variants of this part. 

Spaeth has a memo that the first account of this was thought to refer to the Duke of Anjou's wooing of Elizabeth I of England. If the next recognized account were the oldest, this might be likely - there are apparent political references to "Gib, our cat" and "Dick, our Drake." But the Wedderburn text, which at least anticipates the song, predates the sovereignty of Queen Elizabeth by nine years, and Queen Mary of by four. If it refers to any queen at all, it would have to be Mary Stuart.

 

 
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