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The Moments of Happiness | Gus: the Theatre Cat

Growltiger's Last Stand | In Una Tepida Notte Translation

Skimbleshanks: the Railway Cat | Macavity: the Mystery Cat

Mr. Mistoffelees | Memory

The Journey to Heaviside Layer | The Ad-dressing of Cats

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The Moments of Happiness

The moments of happiness

We had the experience, but missed the meaning
And approach to the meaning restores the experience.
In a different form beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness
The past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations
Not forgetting something that is probably quite ineffable

Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

Gus: the Theatre Cat

Gus is the cat at the theatre door
His name, as I ought to have told you before
Is really Asparagus, but that's such a fuss
To pronounce, that we usually call him
Just Gus

His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake
Yet he was in his youth quite the Smartest of Cats
But no longer a terror to mice or to rats

For he isn't the cat that he was in his prime
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in his time
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighboring pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days
For he once was a star of the highest degree
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree
And he likes to relate his success on the halls
Where the gallery once gave him seven cat calls
But his greatest creation as he loves to tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell

I have played in my time every possible part
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart
I'd extemporize backchat, I knew how to gag
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag
I knew how to act with my back and my tail
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts
I have sat by the bedside of poor little Nell
When the curfew was rung then I swung on the bell
In the pantomime season, I never fell flat
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's cat
But my grandest creation, as history will tell
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell

Then if someone will give him a toothful of gin
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne
At a Shakespeare performance, he once walked on pat
When some actor suggested the need for a cat

And I say now these kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned
They never get drilled in a regular troupe
And they think they are smart just to jump through a hoop

And he says as he scratches himself with his claws
Well, theatre is certainly not what is was
These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery when I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell

I once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire
To rescue a child when a house was on fire
And I think that I still can much better than most
Produce blood-curdling noises to bring on the Ghost
And I once played Growltiger
Could do it again . . .
Could do it again . . .
Could do it again . . .

Growltiger's Last Stand
(Thanks for corrections, Sillabub!)

Growltiger was a bravo cat who travelled on a barge
In fact, he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large
From Gravesend up to Oxford, he pursued his evil aims
Rejoicing in his title of the 'Terror of the Thames'

His manners and appearance did not calculate to please
His coat was torn and seedy, it was baggy at the knees
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye

The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame
At Hammersmith and Putney, people shuddered at his name
They would fortify the hen house, lock up the silly goose
When the rumor ran along the shore: Growltiger's on the loose!

Woe to the weak canary that fluttered from its cage
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger's rage
Woe to the bristly bandicoot that lurks on foreign ships
And woe to any cat with whom Growltiger came to grips

But most to cats of foreign race, his hatred had been vowed
To cats of foreign name and race, no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear

Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molsey lay
All in the balmy moonlight, it lay rocking on the tide
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side

Chi e la?
Mi amore!
So no qui

In the forepeak of the vessel, Growltiger stood alone
Concentrating my attention on the lady Griddlebone
And my raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks

Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught, but Griddlebone,
And the lady seemed enraptured by my manly baritone
Disposed to relaxation and awaiting no surprise
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes

And closer still and closer the Sampans circled 'round
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound
The foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives
And the lovers sang their last duet in danger of their lives

In una tepida notte d'estate, allorché la natura
Era nel pieno fulgore, e la resca rugiada
Spendeva al chiar di luna, sopra la verzura
Si poteva vedere il galeone ancorato
Oscillare in silienzo nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte che c'e dunque de male
Se in tanta poesia anche il pirata divento sentimentale?

Oscillare in silenzio nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte

Then Ghengis gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde
Abandoning their sampans, the Chinks they swarmed aboard
Abandoning their sampans, their pullaways and their junks
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks

Then Griddlebone, she gave a screech for she was badly skeered
I am sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared
She Probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround

The ruthless foe pressed forward in stubborn rank on rank
Growltigert to his vast surprise, was forced to walk the plank
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go kerflip, kerflop

Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the strand
Rats were roasted whole in Brentford and Victoria Dock
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok!

These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery when I made history

In Una Tepida Notte Translation

In una tepida notte d'estate
On a warm summer night
Allorche la natura era nel pieno fulgore
All nature was in full splendor
E la resca rugiada splendeve al chiar de luna
And the fresh dew sparkled in the moonlight
Sopra la verzura si poteva vedere
Over the verdure you could see

Il galeone ancorato
The galleon anchored
Oscillare in silienzio nel vento
Rocking in silence in a breeze
Profumato dalla marea del naviglio
Perfumed of the sea and ship
Serenamente cullato in quella tepida notte
Serenely cradled on that warm night

Che c'e dunque di male
There was no hint of evil
Se in tnata poesia
In a rush of poetry
Il piratoadivento sentimentale
The pirate became sentimental

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