There was a frog lived in a well,
(With a ring ding bullet in a coin mill)
And a merry mouse in a mill,
(So coin me, strip, strip, strap
A diddle on a ring ching, A ring dong bullet in a coin mill)
The frog he would a wooing ride,
With a sword and buckler by his side,
When he upon his high horse set,
His boots the shone as black as jet.
When he came to the merry mill pin,
My lady mouse are you within?
Then out there came the dusty mouse,
I am the lady of this house.
Well hast thou any mind of me?
I have e'en great mind of thee.
Who shall then this marriage make?
Our Lord the rat the marriage shall make.
And what shall we have to our supper?
Three small beans in a pound o' butter
But when the supper they were at,
The frog, the mouse and e'en the rat.
Then came in Gib which is our cat,
And caught the mouse e'en by the back.
Then they did quickly separate,
The frog leapt on the floor so flat.
Then in came Dick which is our drake,
And drew the frog e'en to the lake.
The rat he then ran up the wall,
And so the company parted all.
Room for Company, ISBN 0 521 8174 2
Text from W Chappell Popular music of the olden times
Tune collected from Miss Dora Barnes, Bradfield, Yorkshire by R. A. Gatty 1907
Miss Barnes began her song, There was a duck went paddling down to the well
. It seems that R.A.A. Gatty, whose MS collection is kept at Birmingham Reference Library, noted one verse only. Palmer has retained her interleaved refrain, substituting it for that in Chappell, which isHumbledum, humbledum
andTweedle, tweedle, twino
There are a number of broadside examples at the Bodleian Library site, as Frog and Mouse
and Frog in a
] cockd hat
. These are 19th century, but Chappell refers to a ballad, A most strange wedding of the frog and the mouse
, licensed at Stationers' Hall to Edward White in 1580. The set Chappell published derived from Thomas Ravenscroft's Melismata
of 1611, which can be seen at Greg Lindahl's site The Music of Thomas Ravenscroft
. The spelling in Chappell is modernised , and the final line changed; Ravenscroft gave it asA goodly company, the diuell goe with all
.The Complaynt of Scotland
(1549) features a sequence in which shepherds sing, among other things, The frog cam to the myl dur
. It seems that no text was given, but this is presumed to be a form of our song, which was evidently already well-known at that date.This site discusses a version
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six