6 AUGUST 1921, Page 15

(To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] ark— The nonsense

words quoted by your correspondents are evidently versions of the chorus of an old song, of which the

first verse used to be sung to us as children. The verse runs as follows (I spell the refrain phonetically) ;- " There was a frog lived in a well (Rigdum bullydemmy coyamee), And a merry mouse in a mill (Rigdum bullydemmy coyamee), Coyamadarey rildacarey, Coyamadarey co3-amadarey, Shim stram stromadiddle, allabnllarigdum, Rigdum bullydemmy coyamee."

The tune to which it was sung is almost identical with " Amo, ames, I love a lass," attributed to Dr. Arnold (1740-1832), of which an available version appears in The Minstrelsy of England (Vol. II.), edited by Edmondstoune Duncan (Augener). In a footnote the editor says: " Dr. Arnold introduced the above air, which is known as the `Mouse and the Frog,' in The Agreeable Surprise." I cannot, however, find it in the Harpsichord Edition of that work.—I am, Sir, &c.,

[A correspondent has sent us the words and music of the children's song "There was a Mouse," published by Messrs. J. Curwen and Sons, Ltd., 24 Berners Street, W. The song is No. 174 of the "School Music Leaflets." There are many verses, and a frog, a mouse, a rat, a duck, he., figure in the song; but the origin of the nonsense words is unexplained.— ED. Spectator.]