♫ Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog … ♫ (Redux)

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

26 thoughts on “♫ Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog … ♫ (Redux)

  1. I remember seeing TDN perform this song on The Smothers Brothers. A good friend, Curt, loved the song and sang it frequently for a few months that year. I can’t ever hear that song without thinking of my 14-year-old friend. Hugs n cheers, M

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Jaremiah Was A Bullfrog … ( Redux ) |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  3. Pingback: ♫ Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog … ♫ (Redux) — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  4. Funny story: Years ago, my mother-in-law taught a Sunday School class of, I think, second graders. One Sunday, she was teaching the class about the Prophets, and she asked, “Now, does anybody know who Jeremiah was?” Instantly, a little boy jumped from his chair and sang…well, you can probably guess. It broke up the class, including my mother-in-law. 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s hard to find the words to describe how much I disliked this band and this record in particular! This scraped into our top thirty, and was their only hit here apart from Mama Told Me Not To Come, which got much higher, and which I also hated. I never understood how they could be so popular over there! Get my drift? 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Everyone loves songs about frogs. I remember one from when I was a kid, but damned if I can find the right version on line. It had a special meaning to me, because it mentioned a very famous night club of the day which was owned by a cousin of mine. I only met him once when he and his family came back to Canada for a vacation and they lived outside our house in the first ever vehicle I saw that people could ride in and live in — a motor home. In those days few people could afford them. They left us with a 78 RPM record that we played till it wore out. I cannot remember who sang the song, but I still know the words today. Looking it up on YouTube I found an endless number of recordings of it, but only one that had the correct lyrics for the song I knew. (Mind you, I did not listen to versions recorded after 1960, since I knew they were not the one I wanted.)
    Anyway, here is Froggie Went A-Courtin’ the way I learned it as a child:

    Liked by 1 person

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