The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86546   Message #1610132
Posted By: Abby Sale
21-Nov-05 - 08:37 AM
Thread Name: happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)
Subject: happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)

Entered in the Register of the London Co. of Stationers for 11/21/1580:

"A moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mowse"

It was probably first mentioned in Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scotland in 1549 in reference to an older song, at the time of the proposed (unpopular) marriage of Queen Elizabeth to the Duc d'Alenco. Theodore Raph reports, in A Treasury of American Popular Music (A.S. Barnes and Company, 1964), that the title in The Complaynt was "The Frog Cam to the Myl Dur [mill door]."

"Frogge's" text was first published 1611. For what it's worth, Patricia Hackett gives in The Melody Book, (Prentice Hall, 1983) that this song was originally a satire of Queen Elizabeth's habit of referring to her ministers by animal nicknames. She called Sir Walter Raleigh her "fish," the French Ambassador Simier her "ape," and the Duc d'Alencon her "frog." See Frog Went a-Courtin'.

I like the idea that it's certainly one of the oldest songs out there continuously and still in common use. (Ring a Rosey's new, it seems.)   Something remarkable there.

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