Bruce recorded the song with The Seeger Sessions Band for his 2006 album We Shall Overcome: The album was recorded over the course of nine years at Thrill Hill East, Springsteen's home studio in Colts Neck, NJ: During these sessions, all of the album's songs were cut live in the living room of Springsteen's farmhouse – they were not rehearsed and all arrangements were conducted by Springsteen as he and the band played them. "We were doing trapeze without a safety net," Sam Barfeld told Backstreets magazine. "He plays the song for you once, a couple of arrangement ideas. Have enough time to scrawl out a chord chart, and then boom! You record."
'Froggy went a-courtin' ' was recorded during the second session
First Session : 02/11/1997
- Soon after the conclusion of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's short Vote For Change Tour, Springsteen was liaising with manager Jon Landau regarding material for a potential future second volume of the Tracks boxed set. Some of the leftover material from the 02 Nov 1997 session was being evaluated and out of those discussions came the idea of releasing this session material as a stand-alone album project. "Thanks to Jon Landau for another one of his 'I think we've got something here...' phone calls," Springsteen later wrote in the liner notes of the 2006 album.
Second Session: 19/03/2005
There were not enough songs recorded on 02 Nov 1997 to fill an album, so the original 1997 musicians were contacted again and an additional recording session took place on 19 Mar 2005, just prior to Springsteen embarking on his Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour. Nine songs were recorded during the second session: ERIE CANAL, JOHN HENRY, O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP, PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN, OLD DAN TUCKER, FROGGIE WENT A COURTIN', SHENANDOAH, MRS. MCGRATH, and MICHAEL ROW YOUR BOAT ASHORE
. Eight of the songs recorded during this second session ended up on the album.
Third Session: 14/01/2006
" What do you got there, my friend? (a kid in the audience has a toy frog)….I guess I got a request from this man down here, I don´t know, that´s….we´ve never played this one, I don´t know if we know this one….how old´s this gentleman? how old are you, my man?….six? seven, alright….let´s do it….let´s get wild, let´s get crazy out here in Indianapolis….alright, this may be the oldest song out of all the old songs….I think this was, uh….tracked back to Scotland around 1549, which makes it a little bit older than seven, my friend .oh yeah, we got it, everybody got it? .. yes, I love that false confidence from the band, it´s my favorite thing: false confidence from the band….alright, this is for, what´s your name? ….Kevin?….River - oh, I had another one for you (laughs)…."
Bruce performed the song 6 times:
2006-11-14 Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, England
2006-11-11 Wembley Arena, London, England
2006-11-09 NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
2006-10-25 Pabellón Deportivo, Santander, Spain
2006-06-06 Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, CA2006-05-31 Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN