President’s Day

Notes in a new year.

A determination towards publishing business—to move beyond inadequacy, to drag myself from this peaceful swamp like Froggie gone to wed. Songs for a sunny road. Green fields; a cow pokes its head between fence rails to nibble at a clump of roadside daisies and sing part of a verse.

I went from writing those words in a notebook, to looking up the song on my phone. Following a Wikipedia link I found this heroic archived web site by David Highland that’s packed with history. And here’s a bonus link to the Wayback Machine, whereby Internet Archive helps preserve such treasures.

Frog Went A’ Courting he did ride mm hmm, mm hmm. . .It’s one from my childhood, maybe from the Mitch Miller album I was reportedly obsessed with. Maybe ancient, the song spread abroad from Scotland and made its way into America’s mountain communities, where it bloomed in hybrid versions like this one, recorded in 1958 with a singer from Arkansas and housed on-line at Missouri State’s Max Hunter Folk Song Collection:

I wound up ordering a copy of this beautiful book created by John Langstaff and Feodor Rojankovsky—a brand new paperback—still very much in print since its publication in 1955; but the book I don’t remember, just the song. The illustration up top shows the bumblebee (a relative of the Nostalgistudio logo bee) who’s brought a banjo to the wedding. The lyrical highlight, I think, is Miss Mousie’s first reaction to the Frog’s proposal: “Without my Uncle Rat’s consent, I would not marry the President!”

Mm hmm.

Mm hmm.

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