This is probably an adaptation of one of the Froggie Would a Wooing Go songs, the oldest of which was first seen in print in 1611. These songs concern the courting of a mouse by a frog. Usually, the mouse lives in a mill, and sometimes the frog lives in a well.


*Rake (and most likely raker) refer to parts of the machinery of the mill.
**This all seems to be nonsense: "Kimebo, nayro, dilldo, kiro
Stimstam, formididdle".


I felt the comment below was interesting to post. Please remember the language is from 1922.

Thomas W. Talley, an African American scholar, who collected this rhyme in his book Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise (1922), wrote that this rhyme, came from people he called…

"...'Ebo' Negroes and 'Guinea' Negroes. The so-called 'Ebo' Negro used the word 'la' very largely for the word 'the.' This and some other things have caused me to think that the 'Ebo' Negro was probably one who was first a slave among the French, Spanish, or Portuguese, and was afterwards sold to an English-speaking owner. Thus his language was a mixture of African, English, and one of these languages. The so-called 'Guinea' Negro was simply one who had not been long from Africa; his language being a mixture of his African tongue and English."

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This rhyme can be found in Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise, with a Study by Thomas W. Talley of Fisk University (1922).

Standard English version by Lisa Yannucci.