♫ Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog … ♫

Now, before you tell me that the title of this song is not what I just said it was, I know that.  The actual title is Joy to the World, but … I did not wish you to glance at it and think, “Aw heck, Filosofa is starting early with the Christmas songs.”  I am not and it is not.  Anyway, a lot of people think that Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog is actually the title of the song.  (Not naming any names here … heh heh)

First off … I am not a huge Three Dog Night fan, but I always liked this song.  Why?  It stirs something, gets the feet stomping and the mouth singing, even if slightly (largely) off-key.  Why am I playing it tonight?  Because it is silly.  Because it is happy.  Because it gets the feet stomping and takes our mind, just for a few minutes, out of its dark hole.  Or maybe just because it mentions wine.

The song was written by Hoyt Axton, a folk singer from Oklahoma.  You may remember him from the movie Gremlins. He also wrote songs that were covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, BJ Thomas, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, Jonathan Edwards, and Anne Murray.  As for Joy to the World … some have tried to give it a religious connotation, but Mr. Axton says differently …

“Jeremiah was an expedient of the time. I had the chorus for three months. I took a drink of wine, leaned on the speaker, and said ‘Jeremiah was a bullfrog.’ It was meaningless. It was a temporary lyric. Before I could rewrite it, they cut it and it was a hit.”

Religious interpretations rarely take into account that Axton was more of a hell-raiser than a student of the Bible: He was a heavy drinker and pot smoker with a passion for fast cars, women and motorcycles. By the time he wrote Joy to the World, he was twice divorced with hundreds of speeding tickets on his record.

Three Dog Night didn’t think much of this song when they recorded it, tacking it on to the album because they needed one more song to complete it. The song ended up being a massive hit and stayed six weeks at #1 on the US Hot 100.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you … JEREMIAH!!!

Joy to the World
Three Dog Night

Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him a-drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Singin’

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

If I were the king of the world
Tell you what I’d do
I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the war
Make sweet love to you
Sing it now

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

You know I love the ladies
Love to have my fun
I’m a high life flyer and a rainbow rider
A straight shootin’ son-of-a-gun
I said a straight shootin’ son-of-a-gun

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the world
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

I want to tell you
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls

Songwriters: Hoyt Axton
Joy to the World lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

17 thoughts on “♫ Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog … ♫

  1. I’m going to be the lone naysayer on this song, at least for today, but you do deserve a gold star for trying to promote joy…albeit through a bullfrog! I’m finding solace in the music of my beloved Yanni. While looking through my albums late last night, I discovered that I have more of Yanni than any other artist. It also dawned on me that I may have attended more Yanni concerts than any other artist too. Today, I am watching “Yanni Live! The Concert Event” DVD released in 2006 of the concert that I had attended in Philadelphia in Feb.2005 (thanks to my children). Last night I listened, among others, to the 2003 “Ethnicity”…another concert that I had attended right here in Providence in 2004. New Age Music is not appreciated by everyone, but Yanni’s music transports this listener to a better place and time. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tsk, tsk, tsk … I am appalled that you prefer Yanni over Jeremiah the Bullfrog 🐸 (Not really … just giving you a hard time 🙂 ) I never quite got into Yanni, although he had a couple of songs I liked, though for the life of me I cannot remember what they were. Enjoy your Yanni, and hopefully you will like today’s song better! ♫

      Like

  2. Jill, our whole family loves Three Dog Night. Many a long road trip were filled by Jeremiah, One is the loneliest number, I just want to be your one man band, and so on.

    You may recall the movie “The Big Chill” started with a little boy in the bathtub singing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog.” I did not realize Hoyt Axton wrote this. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

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