Folk Song

The Little Green Frog

Mmmmm-blatttttttttt went the little green frog one day

Mmmmm-blattttttttt went the little green frog

Mmmmm-blattttttttt went the little green frog one day

And his eyes went blooomp blooomp blooomp

All the other frogs went doo dee doo dee doo dee doo

Doo dee doo dee doo dee doo, doo dee doo dee doo dee doo

All the other frogs went doo dee doo dee doo dee doo

And the little green frog went mmm-blatttt mmm-blatttt mmm-blattt-blattt

(Dance: mmm-blattt: the singers stick out their tongue and open their hands by their face, bloomp: the singers bob their head, doo dee doo dee doo dee doo: the dancers spin in a circle with their hands in the air)

Nicole Ross is the camp director of First Neighborhood Day Camp in Westlake Village, CA. Over 200 kids attend camp every week, and throughout the day the counselors lead multiple song medleys. Generally, Nicole selects a counselor to come on stage with his/her group of campers and pick a song, which they will sing on stage in front of the entire camp. I attended the camp from ages 7-13, but when I arrived to work as a head counselor in the summer of 2006 I noticed that many of the songs had changed. Since the camp has been around for more than twenty years, many of the songs have been modified, and Nicole brought many new songs to the camp’s tradition. She claims to have learned “Little Green Frog” back when she was a camper around 1993.

Upon observation, the “Little Green Frog” song and dance looks completely absurd, with campers and counselors spinning around and making awkward noises in a massive group. However, the lyrics certainly have a deeper metaphorical connection to the children’s everyday life. The “little green frog” is representative of uniqueness and individuality, as it makes sounds and motions that are completely different than all of the other frogs. Rather than ostracizing the frog’s unusual habits, its distinctiveness is celebrated through boisterous chanting and uncontrolled dance moves. In fact, the song criticizes the conformity and anonymity of all the other frogs, as the associated dance shows them spinning around aimlessly. The idea of accepting others who are different and encouraging a child to be original is especially important to Nicole and the message she wants to convey to the camp. As a head counselor, I am given strict rules that I must enforce regarding tolerance and unity amongst my group. The most substantial disciplinary actions taken by the administration towards campers arise when a child is picked on or criticized, as the camp tries to foster an environment in which creativity is celebrated, not censured.

An interesting parallel can be found at:

Rule, Jim. “The Little Green Frog.” Songs for Teaching. 9 Apr. 2007


The site actually includes an audio clip of the song, which sounds very similar to the way it is performed at camp. Still, there is variation in the lyrics of the song, and the addition of the dance at the camp certainly distinguishes the two folklore items.