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happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)

Abby Sale 21 Nov 05 - 08:37 AM
Scotus 21 Nov 05 - 11:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Nov 05 - 01:37 PM
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Subject: happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 08:37 AM

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.

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
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Subject: RE: happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)
From: Scotus
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 11:44 AM

Probably the most unlikely rendition is the one by Bob Dylan on his album 'Good as I Been to You' - it's great (IMHO)

Jack Beck

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Subject: RE: happy? – Nov 21 (A Strange Wedding)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 01:37 PM

Not the only old song of its ilk.
The Spanish were singing "The Wedding of the Louse and the Nit" ("La trejaria del piojo y la liendre") about the same time. Any relationships to real people, however are just as speculative as those suggested for the frog and the mouse.
The song of the louse and the nit came to Mexico in the 16th c. and made its way into what is now New Mexico and southern Colorado at the beginning of the 17th, so it may be considered one of the oldest folk songs in America.

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