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Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)

DigiTrad:
THE BUG CAME BACK
THE CAT CAME BACK
The CAT CAME BACK (2)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back - Alt. Verse Needed (17)
The Cat Came Back (animated video added june 2007) (26)
BS: Why did the Cat Come Back??? (58) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Cat Came Back (original version) [Harry S. Miller, 1893] (source: Levy Sheet Music Collection)


GUEST,Colin 25 Apr 01 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 25 Apr 01 - 09:38 PM
Charley Noble 26 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 03 - 11:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 03 - 06:27 AM
Peter T. 11 Dec 03 - 06:32 PM
Willie-O 11 Dec 03 - 07:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 03 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Marcellin Chiasson, Nova Scotia, Canada 20 Jan 04 - 10:53 AM
Leadfingers 20 Jan 04 - 01:39 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 20 Jan 04 - 04:51 PM
mack/misophist 21 Jan 04 - 12:05 AM
Inükshük 21 Jan 04 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Marcellin Chiasson 21 Jan 04 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend 21 Jan 04 - 09:47 AM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 04 - 12:58 PM
Ebbie 21 Jan 04 - 01:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jan 04 - 03:05 PM
Herga Kitty 21 Jan 04 - 04:06 PM
Margret RoadKnight 22 Jan 04 - 05:37 AM
GLoux 22 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Jerry Maloney, Hanmer, ON 23 Nov 09 - 05:44 PM
kendall 23 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM
Lonesome EJ 23 Nov 09 - 08:18 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 23 Nov 09 - 09:00 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 12 - 09:56 PM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 12 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Feb 12 - 01:05 PM
kendall 24 Feb 12 - 08:28 AM
Charley Noble 24 Feb 12 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Vrdpkr 24 Feb 12 - 09:12 AM
topical tom 24 Feb 12 - 12:07 PM
Rog Peek 24 Feb 12 - 04:15 PM
GUEST 04 Jun 18 - 09:31 AM
Charley Noble 05 Jun 18 - 09:05 PM
Charley Noble 30 Aug 18 - 02:39 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Aug 18 - 08:42 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 18 - 12:42 PM
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Subject: The cat came back (cisco houston version
From: GUEST,Colin
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:52 PM

Would anyone here perhaps know the chords to Cisco Houstons version of the cat came back? Thanks

Click for related thread


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The cat came back (cisco hous
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 09:38 PM

Words and music by Harry S. Miller, 1893. Search this forum.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The cat came back (cisco hous
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM

I have the Cisco Houston version on a record which is different from the chordsin, say, Rise Up Singing. I'll figure out a way to post them if someone hasn't already done so by the time I get back. Of course, it's the best tune and the best chorus! Cisco wrote the nice verse about the orange crate on Rt. 66 and the verse about the butcher shop.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: The cat came back (cisco houston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 01:46 PM

You'll find the sheet music for the original version of THE CAT CAME BACK here (click) at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music. I'm glad the song has evolved into something less objectionable.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAT CAME BACK (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM

I transcribed this from the Levy Sheet Music Collection. Version 2 from the Digital Tradition has many of the same verses, without the "Negro dialect." You'll notice the tune is quite different from the others we have.
-Joe Offer-


A Comic Negro Absurdity.
The Cat Came Back
words and music by Harry S. Miller


Dar was ole Mister Johnson, he had troubles ob his own
He had an ole yaller cat that couldn't leave its home
He tried eb'ry thing he knew to keep de cat away;
Eben sent it to de preacher, an' he tole it for to stay

Chorus:
But de cat came back, he couldn't stay no longer
Yes de cat came back, de very next day
De cat came back - thought she were a goner,
But de cat came back for it wouldn't stay away

De cat did hab some company one night out in de yard,
Some one frowed a boot-jack, an' dey frowed it mighty hard,
Caught de cat behind de ear, she thought it rather slight,
When along dar comes a brick-bat an' in knocked it out of sight.

Away across de ocean dey did send de cat at last,
Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
People all begin to pray, de boat begin to toss,
When a nodder vessel came along and took de people off.

On a telegraph wire sparrows sitting in a bunch;
Cat a feeling hungry, thought she'd like 'em for a lunch.
Climbing softly up de pole, an' when she reached de top
Put her foot upon de 'lectric wire, which tied her in a knot.

One time did gib de cat away to a man in a balloon
An' tole him for to gib it to de man in de moon;
But de b'loon it busted, sho, an' eb'rybody sed
It wer seben miles away or more dey picked de man up dead.

De cat was a possessor ob a fam'ly ob its own
Wid seben little kittens til dar comes a cyclone.
Blowed de houses all apart an tossed de cat around;
While de air was full ob kittens not a one was eber found.

De cat it were a terror and dey say it wer be best
To gib it to a nigger who was going out West.
De train going 'round de curve struck a broken rail,
Not a blessed soul aboard de train wer left to tell de tale.

A man down on de corner swore to kill de cat at sight,
Loaded up a musket full ob nails and dynamite,
Waited in de garden for de cat to come around;
Half-a-dozen little pieces ob de man was all dey found.

Little boy took de cat away, he got a dollar note.
Took it down to de ribber in a little open boat.
Tied a brick around its neck an' stone about a pound;
Now dey're grappling in de ribber for a little boy that's drowned.

While de cat lay a-sleeping an' a-resting one day,
'Round came an organ grinder an' he began to play;
De cat look'd around awhile an' kinder raised her head
When he played Ta-rah-dah-boom-da-rah, an' de cat dropped dead.

LAST CHORUS
But its ghost came back to tell you about it;
Yes, its ghost came back, between you and I.
Its ghost came back, may be you will doubt it.
But its ghost came back just to bid 'em all good-bye.

Copyright 1893 by Will Rossiter, Chicago

Source: Levy Sheet Music Collection

Click to play


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Subject: ADD Version: The Cat Came Back
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 11:34 PM

Lyrics from this site:
http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/master/catcameback7.html

The Cat That Couldn’t Stay Away/ The Cat Came Back

Old-Time, Breakdown- USA; Ky., Missouri. "A Comic Negro Absurdity Minstrel Song" Words and Music by Harry S. Miller (1893)

ARTIST: From AGNES AMELIA RANSOM BURTON (1886 - 1969) Compiled & Edited by Lynn Ransom Burton CATEGORY: Fiddle and Instrumental Tunes; DATE: 1893;

RECORDING INFO: Fiddlin' John Carson, "And The Cat Came Back" (Okeh 40119, 1924); Riley Puckett, "The Cat Came Back" (Decca 5442, 1937); Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, "And The Cat Came Back" (instrumental) (Challenge 307, 1927; Silvertone 8179, 1928); Marimac AHS #3, Glen Smith - "Say Old Man" (1990. Learned from Tommy Jackson). Morning Star 45005, Doc Roberts - "Way Down South in Dixie" (Learned from Madison County, Ky., African-American fiddler Owen Walker {b. 1857), a well-known local entertainer). Moore, Lee. Everybody's Favorite, Rural Rhythm RRLM 202, LP (197?), cut#B.01; Osborne, Uncle Charlie (Charlie N.). Seedtime on the Cumberland. Sampler 1990-91, June Appal JA 0067C, Cas (1992), cut# 3; Osborne, Uncle Charlie (Charlie N.). 100 Years Farther On, June Appal JA 0064C, Cas (199?), cut# 8; Williams, Doc. Doc Williams, New and Old Favorites, Wheeling WLPS-7272, LP (196?), cut#B.03

OTHER NAMES: "And The Cat Came Back;" “Cat”

SOURCES: Fiddler J. C. Owens-Fiddler’s Three (Cat Came Back) (a master of various fiddling styles of the upstate South Carolina) Doc Roberts (Ky.) [Reiner & Anick]; Kevin Wimmer [Phillips]. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, Vol. 1), 1973; pg. 8. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), 1994; pg. 15. Reiner & Anick (Old-Time Fiddling Across America), 1989; pg. 98. Randolph 444, "The Cat Came Back;" Spaeth-ReadWeep, p. 147, "The Cat Came Back;" Silber-FSWB, p. 400, Herren, Ruth Burton. Sweet Bunch of Daisies, Colonial Press, Bk (1991), p 68;

NOTES: "G Major (Phillips, Reiner & Anick): A Major (Christeson). Standard, AEAE, ADAE. AABBCC (Phillips): AA'BB'CC' (Reiner & Anick). Christeson (1973) notes: "Played by a few Missouri fiddlers in ... the early 1930's but is seldom heard any more." (Kuntz, Fiddler's Companion, http://www.ceolas.org/tunes/fc).

Some say that the minstrel show circuit of the late 1800s was the first pop-song movement in American history. Henry S. Miller, a Chicagoan, was a very popular composer during this time, specializing in comical and novelty songs. Just like the cat in the song, The Cat Came Back endures to this day because of and despite many changes and adaptations.

Learned by Agnes Burton before 1900- A dance tune. A childhood favorite of the compiler of the Agnes Burton collection (born 1925).

  LYRICS: 

 Old Mister Johnson thought it would be best
So he gave him to a *man who was going way out West,
The train, going round a curve, struck a broken rail
And not a man that board that train was left to tell the tale.
         
Chorus:   O, the cat came back when they thought he was a goner,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay away,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay no longer,
          O, the cat came back, the very next day.
                     
Old Mister Johnson thought he'd shoot him out of sight
So he loaded up his musket with nails and dynamite,
He laid around the corner 'til the cat came around
But a half a dozen pieces of the man was all they found.

Chorus:    O, the cat came back when they thought he was a goner,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay away,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay no longer,
          O, the cat came back, the very next day.
   
Mister Johnson gave him to a man in a balloon
And told him for to give him to the man up in the moon,
The balloon, it bursted, so the people say,
And pieces of the man was found a thousand miles away.

Chorus:    O, the cat came back when they thought he was a goner,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay away,
          O, the cat came back, cause he couldn't stay no longer,
          O, the cat came back, the very next day.

*edited for offensive racial language


[The Bluegrass Messengers did the editing, not Joe Offer]

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Cat Came Back, The

DESCRIPTION: (Old Mister Johnson) makes many attempts to rid himself of his cat -- blowing it up, shipping it away, etc. But in every instance "The cat came back the very next day... They thought he was a goner, but the kitty came back...."
AUTHOR: probably Henry S. Miller
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recording, Fiddlin' John Carson); the Miller text is dated 1893
KEYWORDS: animal separation return humorous
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Randolph 444, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 350-352, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 444)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, p. 147, "The Cat Came Back" (fragmentary text, partial tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 400, "The Cat Came Back" (1 text)
DT, CATBACK CATBACK2

Roud #5063
RECORDINGS:
Yodeling Slim Clark, "The Cat Came Back" (Continental 8063, n.d.)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "And The Cat Came Back" (Okeh 40119, 1924)
Riley Puckett, "The Cat Came Back" (Columbia 15656-D, 1931; rec. 1930) (Decca 5442, 1937)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, "And The Cat Came Back" (instrumental) (Challenge 307, 1927; Silvertone 8179, 1928)

NOTES: Spaeth, in A History of Popular Music in America, says that Henry S. Miller's version of this song was popular in 1893; presumably it was written about that time. - RBW
File: R444

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibliography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: The cat came back (cisco houston)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 06:27 AM

So they dropped the whole train verse rather than just make it "Gave it to a man who was going out west"? Which is how it normally is sung.

That's clumsy editing.


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Subject: Chords: The Cat Came Back
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 06:32 PM

We have had at least three big threads on this, and one direct request, but I cannot see that anyone ever supplied the chords for this song. Anyone have the Riley Puckett version, or one of the others?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Chords: The Cat Came Back
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 07:10 PM

I don't know from Riley Puckett, but it's a standard

Am - G- F - E7

riff over and over and over and over

Hit the road, Jack...


W-O


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Subject: RE: Chords: The Cat Came Back
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 08:06 PM

Or Em-D-C-B7, for example. Or whatever key suits your voice.


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Subject: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: GUEST,Marcellin Chiasson, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: 20 Jan 04 - 10:53 AM

Hi:
I have the version by Lee Moore but would like to have the lyrics by Doc Williams. A Million thanks.
Marcellin Chiasson
e-mail


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Jan 04 - 01:39 PM

Marcellin - Not familiar with either but how do the words you have differ from the two versions in the Digitrad??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 20 Jan 04 - 04:51 PM

Marcellin,
       If you look on The Record Lady at "In Memorium- Yodelin' Slim Clarke" (near bottom of page) you will get his version, which I think is close to what Doc Williams did.
   Another route would be to contact Don Miller. He has everything under the sun when it comes to the old songs, but I don't have his phone #. It would be under either the Heatherton or Monestary exchange. Pat probably has his # since he produced Don's CD. He may be playing at the concert in St. Peters on Friday. If not I could ask him in Judique on Sunday , if I can remember.
    In any case these mudcatters will probably find it before then.
            Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAT CAME BACK (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: mack/misophist
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 12:05 AM

I didn't know there was more than 1 version. There's this:

A Comic Negro Absurdity.
THE CAT CAME BACK

words and music by Harry S. Miller

Dar was ole Mister Johnson, he had troubles ob his own
He had an ole yaller cat that couldn't leave its home
He tried eb'ry thing he knew to keep de cat away;
Eben sent it to de preacher, an' he tole it for to stay

Chorus:
But de cat came back, he couldn't stay no longer
Yes de cat came back, de very next day
De cat came back - thought she were a goner,
But de cat came back for it wouldn't stay away

De cat did hab some company one night out in de yard,
Some one frowed a boot-jack, an' dey frowed it mighty hard,
Caught de cat behind de ear, she thought it rather slight,
When along dar comes a brick-bat an' in knocked it out of sight.

Away across de ocean dey did send de cat at last,
Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
People all begin to pray, de boat begin to toss,
When a nodder vessel came along and took de people off.

On a telegraph wire sparrows sitting in a bunch;
Cat a feeling hungry, thought she'd like 'em for a lunch.
Climbing softly up de pole, an' when she reached de top
Put her foot upon de 'lectric wire, which tied her in a knot.

One time did gib de cat away to a man in a balloon
An' tole him for to gib it to de man in de moon;
But de b'loon it busted, sho, an' eb'rybody sed
It wer seben miles away or more dey picked de man up dead.

De cat was a possessor ob a fam'ly ob its own
Wid seben little kittens til dar comes a cyclone.
Blowed de houses all apart an tossed de cat around;
While de air was full ob kittens not a one was eber found.

De cat it were a terror and dey say it wer be best
To gib it to a nigger who was going out West.
De train going 'round de curve struck a broken rail,
Not a blessed soul aboard de train wer left to tell de tale.

A man down on de corner swore to kill de cat at sight,
Loaded up a musket full ob nails and dynamite,
Waited in de garden for de cat to come around;
Half-a-dozen little pieces ob de man was all dey found.

Little boy took de cat away, he got a dollar note.
Took it down to de ribber in a little open boat.
Tied a brick around its neck an' stone about a pound;
Now dey're grappling in de ribber for a little boy that's drowned.

While de cat lay a-sleeping an' a-resting one day,
'Round came an organ grinder an' he began to play;
De cat look'd around awhile an' kinder raised her head
When he played Ta-rah-dah-boom-da-rah, an' de cat dropped dead.

LAST CHORUS
But its ghost came back to tell you about it;
Yes, its ghost came back, between you and I.
Its ghost came back, may be you will doubt it.
But its ghost came back just to bid 'em all good-bye.

Copyright 1893 by Will Rossiter, Chicago

Source: Levy Sheet Music Collection

and another version on the Cisco Houston web site here. Probably more. I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Inükshük
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 07:02 AM

Good grief, can't believe I posted the wrong song! Must have been a senior moment or some other mental abberation. Sorry folks.

Inukshuk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: GUEST,Marcellin Chiasson
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 08:13 AM

To Sandy MacLean and the others who responded to my request:

Thanks a million for your help. Sandy, I think the verson by Slim Clark is the closest to Doc Williams that I remember. Thanks again.

Marcellin Chiasson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: GUEST,Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 09:47 AM

I saw a cartoon using most of the words above a few years ago, and it stuck in my mind quite successfully. It was from the Canada Film Board, or something similar, and dramatised this amusing little story beautifully. Funny how that happens - I've never seen it since, but still remember it clearly.


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Subject: Posting Lyrics
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 12:58 PM

Inükshük, I transferred your "Wildwood Flower" lyrics over to this Wildwood Flower thread (click), where it will do a lot more good. In fact, there was a question in that thread about the very version that you posted.

Now, if the Lee Moore version of "The Cat Came Back" is different from what has already been posted, could somebody please post it? Note that the version posted by mack/misophist has already been posted in another thread. It's best not to post the exact same lyrics in the forum twice, and it's a definite no-no to copy-paste lyrics from the Digital Tradition or from another place in the forum. If you do that, then the harvesters have to work harder to double-check to avoid duplication. It takes about half an hour or more to process a song for the Digital Tradition, and it's really frustrating to be almost done and find out what you're harvesting has already been posted and harvested elsewhere. If we already have a song, just post a link - or if you really do have to post a song a second time to help a thread makes sense, please tell us that you got the song from the DT or from another thread. In fact, if you post lyrics, you should always post source information so we all know where the lyrics came from.

We want as many versions of songs posted as possible - but not multiple copies of the exact same version.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 01:11 PM

In my memories of the early 50s, Lee Moore's version was the same as the one posted above, although I don't believe he had all the verses given. Oh- and he sang, Well, ol' Lee Moore had troubles of his own...

Lee Moore was a 'nighthawk' dj, starting at 1:00 on WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia. His theme tune was a recording of 'Little Home in West Virginia', a tune I loved. My youngest brother would set his alarm for just before 1:00 then wake me in my room to come over and listen to the tune. Then we would slog back to bed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 03:05 PM

Here's how I do it:

THE CAT CAME BACK

Now Old Mr Johnson had troubles of his own,
He had a yellow cat, that wouldn't leave home.
He tried and he tried to give that cat away,
He gave it to a man who was going far away,
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a goner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


Now the man around the corner said "I'll kill that Cat on sight",
So he loaded up a shotgun with nails and dynamite.
Then he waited and he waited for that Cat to come around.
Ninety-seven pieces of the man was all they found,
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a gonner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


He gave it to a little boy with a five pound note,
"Take it up the river, Sonny, see if he will float".
And he tied a weight around its neck, a weight of a hundred pounds -
And now they drag the river, for a little boy that's drowned
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a goner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


He gave it to a man going up in a balloon.
"Take it up there, to the Man in the Moon",
But the balloon came down about ninety miles away,
And where the man had gone to, well, I wouldn't like to say -
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a goner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


He gave it to a man who was going out West -
"Take it out there, to the Land God Loves the Best" -
But first the train it hit the curve, and then it left the rail,
And not a single soul was left alive, to tell the tale -
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a goner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


The atom bomb fell, one fine day,
And the H-bomb fell, in the very same way.
Russia went and England went, and so did the USA,
The human race was finished, without a chance to pray -
But the Cat Came Back, the very next day,
The Cat Came Back, they thought he was a goner,
The Cat Came Back, he just couldn't stay away.


Hit the road, Cat,
And don't you come back no more no more, no more, no more,
Hit the Road Cat, and don't you come back no more.

Mi-i-ia-aa-o-ow


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 04:06 PM

But Kevin, you sing The Body in the Bag, too. Are you cornering the market in nine lives songs?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 22 Jan 04 - 05:37 AM

Presume this is all "After me Cat left Home"....
(by Paul Hughes, title song of a Bob Hudson album)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: GLoux
Date: 22 Jan 04 - 02:09 PM

Q: Is this song the same as the fiddle tune played by Kentucky fiddler Doc Roberts and recorded in the 1920s? Actually he recorded the same tune as "And The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day" in 1925 and as "And The Cat Came Back" in 1927.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: GUEST,Jerry Maloney, Hanmer, ON
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 05:44 PM

I noticed your posting is 5 yrs old, but just in case you haven't found it, here's the Doc WIlliams mp3 for "The Cat Came Back". After you enjoy he memory, you can transcribe the lyrics for yourself, and post them if you like.

http://somelocalloser.blogspot.com/2009/10/doc-williams.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: kendall
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM

I learned this one from my old pal Slim Clark back in 1950.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 08:18 PM

Damn, Kendall. You must have been quite a precocious toddler!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat came back by Doc Williams
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:00 PM

Thanks to Jerry Maloney on behalf of my friend Marcellin! I called him and played the song over the phone and e-mailed the link to him.
I am always amazed how these old Mudcat threads come back to life!

The Cat Came Back


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 09:56 PM

My wife and I adopted an 8-year-old cat 3 months ago. After feed and care for a month or more, this cat ran off into the night and spent 7 weeks (and 3 snowstorms) in the neighborhood wilds. Last night, a call from the local veterinarian answered our prayers and brought Mr. Moto home. Thank God for the pet chip-implant process and the location retrieval services of the modern age.

The Cat Came Back - and we thought he was a goner!
voyager


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 12:41 PM

Happy to hear that you're re-united.

Ours went walk-about for 11 weeks one summer. We finally were able to track him down with the help of townfolks about a mile away from our house. We had a great celebration at our local pub with everyone who helped.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 01:05 PM

I hate to have to break the news to y'all, but this tedious song, with its bleak images and dreary tune, is one of the reasons why people think they hate folk music.

The other reason is "If I Had a Hammer."

I completely understand those here who would rather talk about their actual cats than about this song. My own cat has never gone away - she enjoys being empress of her little realm and would never leave it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: kendall
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 08:28 AM

LonesomeEJ, I was born in 1934.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 08:40 AM

leeneia-

My generation of children loved the song, and the indomitable cat that invariably came back despite all the threats and alarms of the outside world. Such a intrepid song is not to be confused, say, with the outrageously mawkish story called "The Giving Tree."

So there!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: GUEST,Vrdpkr
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 09:12 AM

Yep. The kids we play for like the song.
Our version is more like McGrath of Harlow.

Here's my own last verse.

Old Mister Johnson looked down the lane
Here come that dad gum cat once again
He followed it into the barn
Whatta ya think he saw?
Seven little kittens,sleeping in the straw!

No wonder the cat came back
The very next day
No wonder the cat came back
They thought she was a goner
But the cat came back
She just would not stay away

Thanks, Mom.

Verde Picker


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Cat Came Back (Doc Williams)
From: topical tom
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 12:07 PM

That song to me is synonymous with Lee Moore, the "coffee-drinkin' night hawk" of WWVA Wheeling, West Virginia.I would stay up late at night just to hear him sing "The Cat Came Back"! P.S: I was a much younger fellow then!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAT CAME BACK (Miller/Houston)
From: Rog Peek
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 04:15 PM

Cisco Houston's version:


THE CAT CAME BACK
(Miller/Houston)
As recorded on "Cisco Houston: Greatest Recordings" (2015)

Well old Mr. Johnson had troubles all his own.
He had an old yeller cat that wouldn't leave home;
Tried everything he knew to get the cat to stay away;
Even took him up to Canada and told him for to stay,
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 gave a boy a dollar, for to set the cat afloat
And he took him up the river in a sack in a boat.
Now the fishing it was fine 'til the news got around
That the boat was missing and the boy was drowned,
But the cat came back....

Well the farmer on the corner said he'd shoot him on sight.
He loaded up his gun full of rocks and dynamite.
The explosion was heard all over town.
Little pieces of the man was all that they found,
But the kitty came back....

Well they gave him to a man going up in a balloon
And they told him for to leave him with the man in the moon.
The balloon it busted; back to earth it head.
Seven miles away they picked the man up dead,
But the kitty came back....

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,
But the cat came back....

Then 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,
But the cat came back....

Then they took him to Cape Canaveral and they put him in a place.
They shot him in a rocket going way out in space,
And they finally thought the cat was out of human reach.
Next day they got a call from Miami Beach
And the cat came back....


RP Feb12


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 18 - 09:31 AM

In the third grade we had this verse:

A woman loved that rascal cat
she wanted to keep him for her little spoiled brat
they drove and they drove in their little yellow car
the headlines the next day said they didn't get very far. . .


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 09:05 PM

Cisco Houston's version has always been one of my favorites.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 02:39 PM

My mother's final verse:

Then they took him to Cape Kennedy and they put him in a place,
Deep inside a rocket that was going out in space;
They thought when she reached the moon they'd really have it made,
But the cat returned in triumph for a ticker-tape parade...

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 08:42 PM

I ran across this interesting quote in the Los Angeles Herald, July 03, 1910, Page 4, near the bottom of column 1:
THE CAT CAME BACK
Bacon—Did you ever try to lose a cat?
Egbert—Oh, yes, I hit upon a plan which I thought would work. I wrote a note, inclosing $10, and tied both about the cat’s neck. The note read: “Finder may keep both the cat and the money.”
Bacon—And how did it work?
Egbert—The cat came back the next day with another note tied on its neck. The note read: “Don’t need the cat, but can use the money. Please send $10 more.”—Yonkers Statesman
The same story appeared as a “filler” in several other publications the same year.

A clever person could probably develop this into another verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 12:42 PM

> A clever person could probably develop this into another verse.

Hmmmm. Somewhat updated for the modern economy:

Well, they left her at a shelter and they figured that was that,
With a note: "Here's fifty dollars; keep the money -- and the cat";
In the morning on the doorstep, she was back and looking brash,
With a message from the shelter: "Full of kitties. Send more cash."

= John C. Bunnell (2018)

(I believe I've got the Cisco Houston version on vinyl somewhere, but the two performances I'm most familiar with are the New Christy Minstrels' recording and a rendition by Rowlf on the Muppet Show....and the latter, as I check YouTube, turns out to have a set of variant lyrics different from any in this thread.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 08:20 AM

John, you have met my criterion for cleverness and exceeded it. The idea of bringing a "shelter" into the story is a bonus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Harry S. Miller, 1893)
From: John C. Bunnell
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 07:04 PM

[beams]

Glad to be of service...and as this message should indicate, I've taken this small contribution as my excuse to formally sign myself onto the tourbus after hovering on the fringes for a little while.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Cat Came Back (Muppet variant)
From: John C. Bunnell
Date: 09 Sep 18 - 01:09 AM

I've now transcribed the lyrics from the Muppet Show YouTube video I mentioned above; this variant is clearly related to the second version in the DigiTrad rather than the first, with some distinct alterations -- notably, "Freddie Wilson" has become "Benny" and Rowlf's "human cannonball" verse seems at least partly new.

I've left one word in the second verse in brackets, because I can't decide if it's supposed to be "schlocky", "sloppy", or some bizarre fusion of the two.

THE CAT CAME BACK
performed by Rowlf; The Muppet Show (episode #523)

Little Benny had a cat that they wouldn't let him keep;
So he put her up for sale at a price he thought was cheap.
He took her to a neighbor, to ask him for advice:
He said "Leave the kitty here; she'll help me with the mice!"

REFRAIN:
...But the cat came back, she wouldn't stay away;
She was sitting on the porch on the very next day.
The cat came back; she didn't want to roam,
The very next day it was home, sweet home.

Then Benny met a man who was driving way out West;
He would give the cat a ride as a special honored guest.
The steering wheel was [schlocky?]; he drove into a tree,
The car was just a total wreck as anyone could see....

REFRAIN

Benny bought a gun from the human cannonball,
He put the cat inside with tri-nitro-toluol.
When Benny pulled the trigger, the cannon made a roar;
The neighbors all surrendered 'cause they thought it was a war....

REFRAIN

Then Benny gave the cat to a man who had a bomb;
He took the cat away; she was acting cool and calm.
And then the bomb exploded, it made an awful sound;
They looked and looked for ages and the man was never found....

REFRAIN


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