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lyr req: Kemo Kimo?

27 Dec 98 - 01:18 AM (#51013)
Subject: kemo kimo
From: Mikemap

Does anyone have the words to this childrens folk song?


27 Dec 98 - 01:39 AM (#51014)
Subject: RE: kemo kimo
From: Joe Offer

We've got it - it's always best to search our database first. Put kemo or kimo or kemo kimo in the search box on this page, and you'll find it. As Ross Perot used to say, "It's that simple." If that's not simple enough, Click here.
-Joe Offer-

27 Dec 98 - 02:06 AM (#51015)
Subject: Lyr Add: KEEMO KIMO
From: Murray on Salt Spring

I'd forgotten when I submitted the DT version that there's another verse, which I came across in Howe's Comic Songster (Boston, around 1870). I omit the burden, "Sing song, Kitty, can't you ki' me, oh?"

De wedder's warm, and so am I
I'm sure you'd lub me if you'd try
Your jet-black face I lub to see
Then put on your tucker and be off wid me
(Keemo! Kimo! &c.)

-- I apologise for the political incorrectness of this, but they evidently thought 100 years ago that 'negro dialect' was awfully amusing. If you want a footnote on the "Frog & Mouse/Frog Went a-Courtin" connection, let me know.

A guid New Year when it comes Murray

28 Dec 98 - 04:53 PM (#51166)
Subject: RE: kemo kimo
From: Ole Bull

It's funny how this is now classified as a children's folk song. It was a popular hit of the 1840's minstrel stage which I understand to have a scottish origin. It's easy to find the early versions in music libraries, both in sheet and songster format. There are a couple of versions in Ira Ford's TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF AMERICA.

05 Apr 02 - 07:15 PM (#684084)
Subject: Kemo Kimo?

Anyone have any idea as to how a character in an Irish play in 1903 would be singing the minstrel song, "Kemo, Kimo"? The character is a caricature of a "West-Briton" in a piece of nationalist propaganda (so generally made to look ridiculous), but I can't figure out how and why the song might have been current in Dublin at the time.

Any clues here would be greatly appreciated.


05 Apr 02 - 07:48 PM (#684117)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?

That's in the burden line of more than one songs. How about a line or two of the song? Titles are poor identifiers, because there's often more than one song with the same title.

05 Apr 02 - 08:10 PM (#684143)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: katlaughing

Under Kemo, Kimo in the DT, it says it is a later version of Puddy & Mouse. Maybe that might help? There's a bit of info at that link, to read.

05 Apr 02 - 09:16 PM (#684193)
Subject: ADD: Kemo Kimo (Minstrel Song)

First verse and chorus as it appears in THE UNITED IRISHMAN (6 August 1904):
In South Carolina de darkies go,
Sing song, Kitty, can't ye ki me, oh!
Dere's where de white folks plant de tow,
Sing song, Kitty, can't ye ki me, oh!
Cover de ground all hover wid smoke,
Sing song, Kitty, can't ye ki me, oh!
And up de darkies 'eads dey poke,
Sing song, Kitty, can't ye ki me, oh!


Keemo, kimo, dar oh! whar
Wid me hee mo, hi mo,
An' hin comes Sally singin',
Sometimes penny winkle,
Ling tom, nip cat,
Sing song, Kitty, can't ye ki me, oh!


Again, any help on how this song got into the mouth of a West-Briton toady would be of great interest and help.


Line Breaks <br> added.
-Joe Offer-

05 Apr 02 - 10:02 PM (#684222)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?

LT, it's in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links) Box 017, Item 123.

05 Apr 02 - 10:04 PM (#684223)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Uncle Jaque

That song is also known as "FROG IN THE WELL", and was a popular Minstrel song which predates the American Civil War (1861-5). It is also among the repitoire of many ACW reenacting Fife and Drum Corps, including your humble correspondant's, the 3rd Maine Infantry.

Originaly set to gut-strung 5-string banjo, tamborine, and "bones" accompaniment, "Froggie" (as we call it) has a rollicking good tune and rythm to it!

If you can't find the full lyrics on Digitrad or one of the Civil-War Song sites, let me know and I can probably dig them up for you someplace.

05 Apr 02 - 10:44 PM (#684241)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: masato sakurai

Some related threads on this song:

Way Down Yonder on Beaver Creek


06 Apr 02 - 09:24 AM (#684460)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Irish sergeant

LT and Uncle Jaque; I have the lyrics. I added that song in the Civil War song book I compiled for my Unit (12th United States Infantry, Company A) If you're interested in the song book even to critique it, let me know. Frog in the well was a march popular from the mid to late 18th century. The lyrics are of Slave origin I believe they may possibly be of the Gullah dialect but I'm on shaky ground here so I stress that is only my opinion. How it ended up being sung by a West Briton is anyone guess but given the close contact over the years between America and Great Britain, not impossible. It does however seem an unlikely choice. It's a great marching song though and on occassion our unit uses it to that purpose. Kindest regards, Neil

06 Apr 02 - 06:07 PM (#684671)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?

Thanks to "Guest" for directing me to the Levy Sheet Music Collection (Mudcat's Links) where I found just what I needed: a _London_ edition of "Keemo, Kimo!"

Thanks to everyone who responded. Because of the link "masato sakurai" provided, I was able to hear a ripping version of the song (well, part of it anyway). MUDCAT -- what a great resource!

Cheers all, LT

10 Apr 02 - 12:15 PM (#687100)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Mad Maudlin

It's been a while since I last visited Mudcat, but Uncle Jaque pointed this thread out to me, and I thought I'd add my two cents... (The story may sound a little weird, but I think I'll tell it anyway.) A while ago I was listening to his recording of "The Frog In The Well" (played on the fife), and all of a sudden I kept hearing words to it. It was as if I were singing them along in my head, kind of, and the words I "heard" were these:

Oh, I went east and I went west,
Sing song kitty won't you kye me-o
A-looking for the turkey's nest,
Sing song kitty won't you kye me-o

Opossum up a 'simmon tree,
And very shy he looked at me.

A thousand miles beyond the sun
I met the devil with his red coat on.

His coat was red, his pants were blue,
They had a little hole for the tail to stick through.

It's not the only time this has happened (I had a similar experience with "Pretty Saro" and "East Virginia") may think I'm crazy if you like, but I just wanted to share this :-) Has this ever happened to one of you? If yes, I'd love to hear from you!!!

Mad Maudlin

10 Apr 02 - 01:05 PM (#687140)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Mrrzy

None of these seem to be the version I had by Ed McCurdy on a children's record, seemed much more nonsensy there... I'll double check all the links, and if Ed's version isn't here, I'll post it.

10 Apr 02 - 01:10 PM (#687147)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Mrrzy

Nope, none of those are Ed's. Here is that one:

There was a frog lived in the spring
Sing song kitty kitcha kime-e-o
He was so hoarse he could not sing
Sing song kitty...
CHO: Keemo kime-o where O where, m'hee m'high and in come Sally singing sing song pennywhistle ding tongue nippy cat, sing song kitty kitcha kime-e-o
I grabbed that frog and pulled him out...
He hopped and he skipped and he danced all about (CHO)
She's in the springhouse, 9 days old...
The rats and the mice is a-getting mighty bold... (CHO)
Way down yonder in Possum Creek...
The fellows grow to beat 10 feet...(CHO)
Try to sleep, but it's no use...
The feet stick out for the hens to roost...(CHO)
Repeat CHO as fast as you can.

10 Apr 02 - 08:41 PM (#687502)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Uncle Jaque

"Dere war' a frog lib' by de pool; Sho' he war' de biggest fool!
Fo' he could dance an' he could sing;
An' make all de woods all aroun' hin ring!"

10 Apr 02 - 08:56 PM (#687508)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Mad Maudlin- Sing song kitty cant you Ki me O occurs in George Christy and Wood's Melodies (New Song Book) copyright 1854. The nonsense chorus varies considerably from version to version. In part, it occurs in Frog in the Well.
"The refrain is not originally Negro, but is an old English nonsense rhyme- Prof. Kittredge in JAFL, xxxv, 396." All of the above from Newman L. White, 1928, American Negro Folk Songs. He reproduces parts of several versions.

10 Apr 02 - 09:12 PM (#687517)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Matthew Edwards

Out of curiosity, what was the Irish play that Guest LT referred to in which the song appeared?

10 Apr 02 - 09:20 PM (#687525)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Here is a version from Alabama, coll. 1915:

Milk in the dairy, getting mighty old,
Skippers and the mice working mighty bold,
Sing song Kitty can't yer kinny meo
Keymo ki mo doro hi me hi me ho.
In come Sally singing, sometimes
Penny with a wink turnings cat
Sing song Kitty can't yer ki meo
Key mo ki mo doro hi, me hi me ho.

"Slavery-time song." From N. L. White, 1928, American Negro Folk Songs, p. 176

25 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM (#2575536)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?


25 Feb 09 - 11:23 AM (#2575606)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: john f weldon

I can remember this song being performed as a big song-and-dance number on Ed Sullivan back in the fifties. Is it possible it was revived in some musical or revue around this time?
(I can't find anything on-line to back this up)

25 Feb 09 - 11:36 AM (#2575618)
Subject: RE: Kemo Kimo?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Guest Hedy, a couple more verses collected in Alabama are given in threads linked above, esp. 53292: Kemo Kimo
Many variations to the song. Take a look through the threads listed at the top of this thread.

Kemo Kimo also became a play party song; I will check my notes to see if I have one.