This song known for it’s famous line “Jeremiah was a bullfrog” was written by Hoyt Axton and started out as a melody he wanted his producers to record. When he performed it he was asked to put words to it and so it ended up with just nonsense lyrics that he put together at the time. It Was released on his 1971 album Joy to the World and later appeared on the reissue Joy to the World/ Country Anthem.
The song was passed to the group Three Dog Night who only recorded it simply to complete the tracks for their Naturally album but when it was released in 1971 they were abroad on tour and were astounded to hear that it had gained so much popularity that it had gone to No. 1 on the singles charts where it stayed for six weeks. In fact, it had proven to be such a huge hit that Billboard Magazine named it the 1971 Single of the Year and it has since been listed as No. 100 in Billboard’s “Greatest Songs of All Time”. This single version was not quite the same as later versions that have appeared on their other album releases as the mono version has a minute long guitar solo in the bridge.
The song has been recorded or referred to by several other artists such as Ten Foot Pole and Mariah Carey, including it being interwoven with the well-known Christmas carol of the same name. It has also been used and/or mentioned in several television shows and movies such as Amazon Women on the Moon, The Big Chill, Drowning Mona, Ella Enchanted, Forrest Gump, Friends, Joy Junction, Malcolm in the Middle, the NFL’s Best Ever Coaches, Raise Your Voice, Riding in Cars With Boys, Sex and the City, 28 Days and The X Files. It has even been parodied in The Far Side and referenced in the video games Animal Crossing: Wild World and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Three Dog Night recordings
Old Gold OG-9795-B (UK 45)