"The Frog Song" is a traditional American folktale that traveled through the centuries, as it made its way west across the United States of America. Like so many folktales, it has been passed on from one generation to the next - - from one person's mouth to another person's ears - - in the oral tradition.
I first heard "The Frog Song" sung by Sam Hinton (born in 1917) back when I was a little boy growing up in Southern California in the 1960s.
Years later, Mr. Hinton told me that he learned "The Frog Song" from his mother, Nell Duffie Hinton (1888-1978), when he was a little boy growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 1920s.
Mr. Hintons mother learned "The Frog Song" from her grandfather, Isham Bailey Hardy (1824-1904), when she was a little girl growing up in Gatesville, Texas, in the 1890s.
Mr. Hinton's Great-Grandfather Isham might be the one who made up "The Frog Song" - - or perhaps he heard it when he was a little boy growing up in Washington County, Kentucky, in the 1820s.
So this one old American folktale has been in this one old American family for about 200 years! And the story might even be older than that! I believe that I am the last person in the United States who still performs "The Frog Song."
Adam Miller - Folksinger, Storyteller, and Autoharp Virtuoso. Autoharper@earthlink.net Folksinging.org