8 “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” by Chubby Parker


January 5, 2009 by gadaya

Chubby Parker’s World

We have no idea how an artist that we don’t know much about today, could have been so popular in a certain time and place.In the 1920’s, for listeners of WLS, the Chicago-based radio station, Chubby Parker and his old-time banjo was a very popular act, entertaining the audience with his repertoire of funny songs, country songs and “negro” songs. Singing, strumming his five-string banjo, blowing his harmonica, whistling a bit, he was a much loved figure before going to oblivion in the depression era, like many others. chubby-parker

-On the last issue of The Old-Time Herald, there’s an article by Ken Russell. There’s a short excerpt on line here.

-Here’s 21 sides for your delight of Chubby Parker, old-time troubadour and clown, that will put a big smile on your face and move your feet (I hope…).

TRACK LISTparker01

1.The Year Of jubilo

2.In Kansas

3.Get Away Old Maids Get Away

4.Bingo Was His Name O

5.Drill Ye Tarriers Drill

6.Grandfather’s Clock

7.I’m A Stern Old Bachelor

8.The Old Wooden Rocker

9.A Rovin Little Darkey

10.Whoa Mule Whoa

11.You’ll Hear The Bells In The Morning

12.Nickety Nackety Now Now Now

13.Davey Crockett

14.Kissing Song


16.King King Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O

17.And That Was Irish Too

18.The Irish Christening

19.See The Black Clouds A Breakin’ Over Yonder

20.Oh Susanna

21.Oh Dem Golden Slippers



The King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O Variations

Known better under the title “Frog went a-courtin”, this is a variant of one of the oldest and more popular british folk song of all times. It tells of the courtship that leads to the wedding between a frog and a mouse,the folk process adding along time many words and funny twists to it, like a non-sense chorus that changes depending on the traditions. Today, it’s still one of the most famous children song of the english-speaking world and it has been recorded a lot during this last century.

To go deeper in the study of this song and its many variants, i’ve found a few interesting links:

-First of all, this website is devoted to track down all the variants of the song. An impressive work

-On the Folk Den page, you have the lyrics of the Chubby Parker’s version and the Roger Mc Guinn performance of the song

-On this page, there’s many good informations

There’s so many good performances of this song that i decided to offer you two compilations of the ones that i like the best, a total of 32 tracks divided in two parts.

I always try to find some unusual versions to be included with my favorite ones, so here you’ll have, for example, a punk-rockabilly version by  The Flat Duo Jets, a gospel one by The Golden gate Quartet, a blues one by Doctor Oakroot and an acapella version by Jim Nollman who made a very unusal record of music played with animals (issued  in 1982 by Folkways records). Here, he’s singing the song with 300 turkeys!!

I would like to know which one among the performances i chosen (or maybe one that is not included here) is your favorite so feel free to leave a comment…


1.A Frog He Went A-Courting, Jeff Warner and Jeff Davis, from “Two Little Boys: More Old Time Songs for Kids”thefrogscourtship_oc_lrg

2.Froggy Went A-Courting, Doctor Oakroot, from “Hapless Fool”

3.Frog Went A-courtin’ ,Enzo Garcia, from “Breakfast With Enzo”

4.Froggy Went A-Courtin’, Steve Gardner, from “JERICHO”

5.Froggy-Went-a-Courting (300 Turkeys), Jim Nollman, from “Playing Music with Animals: Interspecies Communication”

6.Mr. Froggie Went A-Courting (Good Bye Mister Froggie), Golden Gate Quartet, from “Gospel Masters: Get On Board Little Children”

7.Sing Song Kitty, Doc Watson, from “At Gerdes Folk City”

8.Froggy Went a Courtin’, Sparky Rucker, from “A Home In Tennessee”

9.Frog Went a-Courting, Pete Seeger, from “American Folk Songs For Children”

10.Kemo Kimo, Jack Pearson, from “Singin’ in Our Own Back Yard”

11.Keemo Kimo/ Brigg’s Corn Shucking Jig, Camptown Shakers, from “Tooth & Nail”

12.Froggy went a courtin, Jimmy Driftwod, from “Ozark Folksongs”

13.The Frog Went A-Courtin’,Tom Glazer, from “Tom Glazer Sings Honk-Hiss-Tweet-GGGGGGGGGG”

14.The Frog Went A-Courtin, Anna & Juliet Canova, from “The Story That The Crow Told Me, Vol. 2”

15.Frog Went A-Courtin’, John Jacob Niles, from “I Wonder As I Wander – Carols & Love Songs”

16.Selections from 19 American Folk Songs for Piano: Frog Went a courtin’,Virginia Eskin, from “Music of Marion Bauer & Ruth Crawford Seeger”


1.There Was A Puggie In A Well, Ewan MacColl, from “The Riverside / Folklore Series Volume 4 “90281

2.A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go, Alan Mills, from “Animals, Vol.1”

3.Frog Went A-Courtin’, George and Gerry Armstrong, from “Simple Gifts”

4.Frog Went A Courtin’, Flat Duo Jets, from “Go Go Harlem Baby”

5.Froggy Went a Courtin’,Red Allen, from “Keep on Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings”

6.King Kong Kitchie Ki-Mi-O, Ed Badeaux, from “American Guitar”

7.Frog In The Well, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, from “We’ve Come A Long Way”

8.King Kong Kitchie (with The Wonderland String Band),Dan Zanes and Friends, from “Rocket Ship Beach”

9.Froggie Went A-Courtin’, Bob Dylan, from “Good As I Been To You”

10.Kitty Alone, Martha Hall, from “Mountain Music Of Kentucky”

11.Froggy Went A Courtin, Doc Watson, from “Songs for Little Pickers”

12.Sing Song Kitty, Harry and Jeanie West, from “Smoky Mountain Ballads”

13.A Frog, He Would A-wooing Go, Studio Group, from “Nursery Rhyme Sing-along”

14.Froggy went a courtin, Almeda Riddle, from “Ozark Folksongs”

15.Froggie Went A-Courtin’, Woody Guthrie, from “Buffalo Skinners: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 4”

16.Froggy Went a Courtin, Elizabeth Mitchell, from “You Are My Sunshine”



-And here’s two videos you might enjoy:


21 thoughts on “8 “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” by Chubby Parker

  1. What wonderful a blog posting. I thought I was the only one in the world who had any appreciation for Chubby Parker. Great many thanks for the time spent putting this together and the different variations of the song. I use to have a page called Mr. Kev’s Old Time Tunes, but ran into trouble with it. Hopefully yours will last longer than mine. – Blind Cat West

  2. this summer i heard an old blind goat-farmer sing an old english version of this song. very different rhythmic / rhyming structure to the american version, but it had some similarity to Almeida Riddle’s and Martha Hall’s versions.

    i find it interesting that Doc Watson performs both ‘King Kong Kitchie” and a “Froggie Went a Courtin” versions, showing that a) the song had fully split by the time he got to it, and b) he was less concerned with ‘authentic’ folk traditions than with making good music.

    thanks for all the work you do on this project! you’ve made a really great way to discover this stuff.

  3. my favorite version of froggie is definitely John Jacob Niles’. I also really like the Almeida Riddle version and the version by Doc Watson that’s on The Essential Doc Watson.

  4. dcat, in the cornpatch... says:

    Many thanks for the fine work you are doing. The old tunes and the scholarship are greatly appreciated. Cheers!
    dcat, in the cornpatch…

  5. […] 6, 2009 by gadaya I updated the Chubby Parker post so now you’ll have 21 tracks to download instead of […]

  6. Tom says:

    This is a fabulous blog project! I’ve been a big fan of King Koong Kitchie for years — I sing it to my daughter before she goes to bed at night. Do you know Nick Cave’s version of the song? It’s contained on the “B-Sides and Rarities” compilation. Well worth a listen. Cheers!

  7. peaseblossom says:

    I agree, this is a fabulous project. I just got the anthology for my birthday, and now I’m trying to catch up to your blog!

    I love the Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell versions.

  8. Plip says:

    This is a beautiful thing you’ve put together here. I’m far away from deciding yet which is best.

    I must note that Nat King Cole does a version too. I’ve always sung it when pushing my daughter on the swing.

  9. Lucas says:

    The civil war fife and drum tune “Frog in the Well” is related to this also.

  10. Paul says:

    Your blog is amazing. I am very impressed. I like Dylan’s version of this great song, but I have to listen to more before giving my final answer.

    Thanks for doing this!

  11. Weird. Just yesterday I posted on my blog a Doc Watson version of “Froggy…”. Mine was because my son is out back catchin’ tadpoles, though. Spring must be in the air.

  12. Mia says:

    I came across this version with the chorus “kitty alone”, the song is titled Uncle Rat by the band Altan off of their CD The Blue Idol. Sample: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Idol-Altan/dp/B00005Y372

  13. Bisbonian says:

    Not only does Doc Watson do two different versions of “Froggy” here, he also did “The Crawdad” song, to the same tune.

  14. alexage1 says:

    Thank you! Excellent work!

  15. Silapolxxzz says:

    Hello !

    I’m new on this forum so I introduce me…

    My name is Jason I’m 18 years old, I’m French.

    I like: Tennis and kitesurf…

    Nice to meet you

  16. Pat says:

    I’m searching for an alternate ‘modernized’ version, but I can’t remember the group that did it. Here are the lines I remember. . .
    “Froggy went a courtin’ and he did go
    To the Coconut Grove for the midnight show
    Molly Mouse was the hat check girl
    He thought he’d give this chick a whirl”

  17. suipcypevunny says:

    Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionallyI am satisfied to seek out a lot of helpful information right here in the publish, we’d like work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  18. Romanticist says:

    Thank you for this fantastic resource! I expect I’ll spend some time wandering around

  19. Peter Chrisp says:

    Elizabeth Mitchell’s version is really beautiful

  20. […] folk generally, should check out an unbelievable blog documenting each song of the anthology titled The Old, Weird America (itself a Dylan reference). Or, if you really want to look up all 170 verses of […]

  21. Eric Lazarus says:

    Hi. I’m wondering if there’s a way to repost the download? The mediafire links are dead, and this is one of my favorite songs – I’d definitely love to hear all of these versions of it. Thanks!!!

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