Following the huge hit, the band came to embrace the frog. It became a new marketing tool. Ironically, a band called Three Dog Night had become better known for frogs than dogs.
The song’s chorus lyrics are the only ones ever intended to be recorded. The rest of the song was filled with nonsense words that were to have been replaced with proper lyrics. Hoyt Axton was known to have enjoyed his vices, including drinking and smoking marijuana. There is speculation that the nonsense was written during one of his happy moments.
Over the years, there has been much speculation surrounding the meaning of the song. Some deep thinkers have theorized that there is a Biblical meaning and that the bullfrog is representative of the prophet, Jerimiah, in the Bible; or that the bullfrog is symbolic of the voice of God, speaking out to unite the world. That, however, was not the case. Axton said that while attempting to think of lyrics, he took a sip of wine, leaned on his speaker and the first line, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog…” was the first thing that came to mind, so he put it on paper. In a turn of fate, an incomplete song will, forever, go down in rock and roll music history!
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
was a good friend of mine
never understood a single word he said
but I helped him drink his wine
and he always had some mighty fine wine
singin’ joy to the world
all the boys and girls
joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
joy to you and me
if I were the king of the world
I’d tell you what I’d do
I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the wars
and make sweet love to you
you know I love the ladies
love to have my fun
I’m a high ridin’ flyer
and a rainbow rider
and a straight shootin’ son of a gun
I said a straight shootin’ son of a gun