The Songs He Sang
The Cat Came Back: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Harry S. Miller (adapted by Cisco Houston)Appears on:
Well old Mr. Johnson had troubles all his own He had an old yellow cat that wouldn't leave home Tried everything he knew to do to get the cat to stay away Even took him up to Canada and told him for to stay Chorus: But the cat came back, the very next day, Thought he was a goner, but the cat came back `Cause he wouldn't stay away Well they give a boy a dollar for to set the cat afloat And he took him up the river in a sack and a boat Well the fishin' it was fine till the news got around That the boat was missing and the boy was drowned... Chorus: Well the farmer on the corner said he'd shoot him on sight And he loaded up his gun full of rocks and dynamite The gun went off, heard all over town Little pieces of the man was all that they found... Chorus: Well they finally found a way this cat for to fix They put him in an orange crate on Route 66 Come a ten ton truck with a twenty ton load Scattered pieces of the orange crate all down the road... Chorus: Now they gave him to a man going up in the balloon And they told him for to leave him with the man in the moon Well the balloon got busted, back to earth it head, And seven miles away they picked the man up dead... Chorus: Well they took him to the shop where the meat was ground And they dropped him in the hopper when the butcher wasn't 'round Well the cat disappeared with a blood-curdling shriek And the town's meat tasted furry for a week... Chorus: Well, they took him to Cape Canaveral and they put him in a place Shot him in a U.S. rocket going way out in space Well they finally thought the cat was out a' human reach Next day they got a call from Miami Beach and... Chorus:
For an MP3 of the incredible live performance, click Here.
For SI/Folkways authorized liste on YouTube, click Here.
The song that introduced me to Cisco when I was a child, this performance still makes me smile as it did back then. We certainly weren't worried about the dangers of suggesting bad behavior to children back then... a humorous song about killing a cat! Horrors! Never! Isn't it funny how those who laugh at the sociological preferences of the past, e.g., those hypocritical Victorians and their hiding table legs, don't notice how equally confused they are? A six year old today is more likely to enjoy a lesson in school about homosexual sex than to hear this song.
Notes from the Folk Song & Minstrelsy Set
An indestructible cat is the subject of this amusing song, which Cisco Houston brings up to date with the addition of a verse about "a U.S. rocket."
I heard from someone who knew the song as performed by Sonny James. I looked into his version and found that some kind people had written extensively on this song. When this web site was created, there was no such thing as Wikipedia. But now, read (and see) lots of information, though how they could leave Cisco off any list of significant performers I cannot imagine. The Cat Came Back See a highly accliamed film version: Here.