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Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?

John M. 26 Dec 05 - 02:08 PM
Arkie 26 Dec 05 - 10:30 PM
Peace 27 Dec 05 - 01:55 AM
Stewie 27 Dec 05 - 02:56 AM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 27 Dec 05 - 10:29 AM
Mrrzy 27 Dec 05 - 09:26 PM
Cap't Bob 27 Dec 05 - 11:04 PM
Stewie 28 Dec 05 - 01:42 AM
Seamus Kennedy 28 Dec 05 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Sallee 06 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Carol 13 May 13 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Alan 02 Jan 14 - 06:40 PM
Don Firth 03 Jan 14 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Alan 03 Jan 14 - 08:18 PM
Stewie 03 Jan 14 - 08:56 PM
Don Firth 03 Jan 14 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,ketchdana 04 Jan 14 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Alan 08 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM
Stewie 08 Jan 14 - 10:05 PM
Haruo 09 Jan 14 - 02:08 AM
GUEST 17 Jan 14 - 09:43 AM
Haruo 18 Jan 14 - 01:11 AM
Lighter 18 Jan 14 - 09:47 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 15 - 07:54 PM
Mrrzy 23 Feb 15 - 03:02 PM
Lighter 23 Feb 15 - 08:38 PM
Lighter 23 Feb 15 - 08:42 PM
Lighter 24 Feb 15 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Heather Neill 10 Jul 15 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Honey Gross-Richardson 15 Jan 16 - 07:08 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: A PERSIAN KITTY
From: John M.
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 02:08 PM

Hello,

I am interested in talking with people who sing the song "A Persian Kitty". This song is found in the songbook Immortalia, The Wrecks and several Vietnam mimeographed airforce songbooks.


1) Does anyone sing "Persian Kitty" (text below)?   

2) Would you be willing to sing you version over the phone so I can get the tune?   If yes, please feel free to call me at 314.381.0492.

Your help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
~
A PERSIAN KITTY
Anonymous

A persian kitty, perfumed and fair,
Strayed out through the kitchen door for air,
When a tomcat, lean, and lithe, and strong,
And dirty and yellow, came along.

He sniffed at the perfumed persian cat,
As she strutted about with much eclat,
And, thinking a bit of time to pass,
He whispered, "Kiddo, you sure got class."

"That's fitting and proper," was her reply
As she arched the whiskers over her eye.
"I'm ribboned; I sleep on a pillow of silk,
And daily they bathe me in certified milk."

"Yet we're never contented with what we've got,
I try to be happy, but happy I'm not;
And I should be joyful, I should indeed,
For I certainly am highly pedigreed."

"Cheer up," said the tomcat with a smile,
"And trust your new-found friend a while.
You need to escape from your backyard fence.
My dear, all you need is experience."

New joys of life he then unfurled,
As he told her tales of the outside world;
Suggesting at last with a luring laugh
A trip for the two down the Primrose Path.

The morning after the night before,
The cat came back at half past four
The innocent look in her eyes had went,
But the smile on her face was the smile of content.

Note: This is from page 99 of Immortalia. No tune is indicated.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Arkie
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 10:30 PM

I used to sing this many years ago and think I may still have the book where I initially found it.   The words were slightly different in places.   The version above has a verse not in the copy I had but the version I knew had another verse something like this:

In after days when the children came
To this pedigreed kitty of Persian fame
They weren't Persion, they were black and tan
She told them their daddy was a traveling man.

I do not think these words are exact. It may take a little while to reconstruct the words and tune.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 01:55 AM

http://crydee.sai.msu.ru/public/lyrics/cs-uwp/folk/p/persian_kitty


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 02:56 AM

John, I have this on an old LP 'Buddy Bohn "Folk Singer"' on the Oz Leedon label (long gone). If you care to PM me with your email address, I will send you an MP3 copy of the track which should be suitable for your purposes.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:29 AM

I've never heard it sung, but have it as a recitation by fiddle player Jehile Kirkhuff on a 4th hand samizdat CD via some fiddle tune collectors.

My battered old copy of "Songs for Swinging Housemothers" (copyright 1961) has the song, with melody, on page 41. If you email me privately (lutrine@earthlink.net) I can send you a copy of that page-- that'll help if you read notes.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:26 PM

I have this by Ed McCurdy, who seems to be whom I have everything by, but it was spoken, kind of cadence-y and talking-blues-y, not just spoken.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this s
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 11:04 PM

Almost the same as Arkie's last verse:

Now when people come to see,
The Persian Kitty of high pedigree
Instead of seeing yellow they see black and tan
and it's rumored that their daddy was a traveling man.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 01:42 AM

Bohn's last stanza is:

And many months later when the neighbours came
To see those kittens of pedigreed fame
They weren't Persian, they were black and tan
And they said their daddy was a travellin' man
A ratchin', scratchin' travellin' man!

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 02:02 AM

I have a recording of Phil Harris doing this one from either the late '40's or early '50's, and the last verse is almost identical to Bohn version given by Stewie above.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Sallee
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM

My mother used to sing it to me!!!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 13 May 13 - 07:19 PM

I learned this song from my cousin who used to play it on the ukulele. I can sing it and remember the melody well. Would love to hear one of the more "professional" versions although I love to sing it myself. I am trying to find the guitar or ukelele chords for it. If someone has them, please share


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 06:40 PM

Seamus...
   On Persian Kitty, the version we sang in Lehigh's Cliff Clefs has different lyrics than the ones originally posted by John Mehlberg, and I'd be happy to share them.
   Unfortunately, the music has been lost, and we're trying to recover the melody and chords (preferably in barbershop format).
    You mentioned you had a version. Could this be shared?
Thanks,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 05:28 PM

Holy Cats (so to speak)!! I haven't heard this song—or heard OF it—for sixty years!

I first heard this sung by Claire, whom I was going with and who was a main force in getting me interested in folk music in the first place. Back in 1952 or '53. I've never heard it sung since.

Claire was learning songs from a little paperback songbook, "A Treasury of Folk Songs" by John and Sylvia Kolb, plus she already knew a few song—such as "The Persian Kitty" and a few others. On a visit to her grandmother who lived in Raymond, Washington (out on the coast), she mentioned that she intended to buy a guitar and learn to play it.

"No need for that, child," said the venerable lady. "I have a guitar right here" (digging it out of the back of a closet) "that I haven't played in years. Your grandfather bought it for me. I'm sure it's a good guitar, because he paid $50.00 for it!" (Fifty dollars was a wad of money back then!)

Indeed it was! A George Washburn "Ladies' Model" parlor guitar, made in 1898. It came with a hard leather case, and it needed the bridge reglued, but once repaired and with a new set of light-gauge strings, it sang out sweetly once again.

Claire was a bit worried. Many months had passed and she was getting around pretty well on the little guitar, but she was going to Raymond again to visit her grandmother and she knew her grandmother would want to hear how she was progressing with the guitar, and hear her sing. Claire went through her list of songs and realized that she knew a lot of songs like "A Persian Kitty" and "Sweet Betsy from Pike," (who traveled westward with her lover, Ike). Her grandmother was quite prim about such things. So she had to comb through her list and see if she could come up with songs that didn't have a "suggestive" side. Not that Claire was given to raunchy songs. But a lot of folk songs do have that element in them. . . .

Okay! I copied down the words. Thanks!! And thanks for the memories!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:18 PM

Great story, Don ... thanks for sharing.

That "Treasury of Folk Songs" sounds interesting. I just ordered a copy from Amazon. Not sure whether Persian Kitty will be in the 1948 edition and, if so, whether the music will be included with the lyrics. But, at less than $5 including shipping, it's well worth the purchase just to have a look.

Again, if anyone out there has the Persian Kitty music or recording, or knows where to get one, I'd really like to get a copy. The intent would be to fashion it into a four-part barbershop song (in which form we originally sang it) so that it could once again be heard and enjoyed.

Thanks,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 08:56 PM

Alan, if you PM me with an email address, I can send you an MP3 of the Buddy Bohn recording.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 09:17 PM

No, "Persian Kitty" isn't in "Treasury of Folk Songs," but it's an excellent collection of songs anyway. It's the first book of songs I bought (following Claire's example), followed shortly by "Best Loved American Folk Songs" by John and Alan Lomax and "American Songbag" collected by Carl Sandburg. I now have a whole bookcase of folk song and ballad collections and scholarly books about folk songs and ballads.

Someplace up-thread, someone mentioned that "Persian Kitty" is in a song book called "Songs for Swingin' Housemothers." I think I have a copy of that around somewhere. If I can find it, I'll get back.

Don Firth


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE PERSIAN KITTEN
From: GUEST,ketchdana
Date: 04 Jan 14 - 11:00 AM

From p. 41 of "Songs for Swinging Housemothers"

I think (hope) that cut-and-pasting
From the "X:1" line
To past the next blank line
into a file called something.abc ,
and then running abc2ps or abcm2ps or some such will give you the dots for the tune (in a postscript file, printable or exportable to a pdf file.)

The title is given as "The Persian Kitten" rather than "A Persian Kitty", and some of the words seem to be adapted/modified, as often happens in song collections, probably for copyright reasons.

Anyhow:


X:1
T: THE PERSIAN KITTEN
N:from Songs for Swinging Housemothers,
N: By Frank Lynn, 1961, 1963, page 41
M:C|
L:1/4
K:F
%
%%MIDI gchordoff
%
      C | "^F"F E F/FE/ | F E/F3/ ^F | "^G7"G G/ G/ G G | G E/ D3/ ^D/ D/ |
w: A Pers-ian kit-ty, per-fumed and fair, Went out in the yard to get some air, When a
%
      "^C7"E ^D E D | E ^D/ E/-E2 | C/ C/ C D E | "^F"F E/ F/-F3/ :||
w: tom cat, lean and lithe and strong,_ Dir-ty and rag-ged, came a-long._
%
% -((To get just the tune (with the first verse), put a blank line here.))
W:
W: A Persian kitty, perfumed and fair,
W: Went out in the yard to get some air,
W: When a tom cat, lean and lithe and strong,
W: Dirty and ragged, came along.
W:
W: He sniffed at the perfumed Persian cat,
W: Who strutted about with much eclat,
W: And thinking a bit of time to pass,
W: Whispered, "Kitty, you sure got class!"
W:
W: "That's fitting and proper," was her reply,
W: As she arched her whiskers over her eye,
W: "I'm rubbed, and sleep on a pillow of silk,
W: Daily I'm fed on certified milk."
W:
W: "Don't cry," said the tom cat with a smile,
W: "But trust your new found friend for awhile.
W: I'll show you wonders beyond your fence,
W: Kitty, all you need is experience."
W:
W: The pleasures of life he then unfurled,
W: As he told her tales of the outside world,
W: Suggesting at last with a leering laugh,
W: A trip for the two down the primrose path.
W:
W: The morning after the night before,
W: The cat came back at the hour of four.
W: The innocent look in her eye had went.
W: Instead there was a look of content.
W:
W: In after days when the children came,
W: To this Persian kitty of pedigreed fame,
W: They weren't Persian, they were black and tan,
W: And she told 'em their daddy was travelin' man.


good luck
... Bob

"Bob, do you qualify everything you say?"
Well, usually.
-30-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 03:10 PM

Don...
   Thanks for the update. I'm sure I'll enjoy the book anyway.
Ketchdana...
   Thank you as well. Those words are closer to the ones I remember.
Stewie...
   Thanks for your kind offer to send me an MP3 of the Buddy Bohn recording.
   My e-mail is: shoecat2468@hotmail.com
   Looking forward to hearing from you.
Alan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 10:05 PM

Alan,

MP3 sent.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Haruo
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 02:08 AM

Isn't it in the 1954 Song Fest (Dick & Beth Best?)? I can't think where else I would remember it from, but I don't know where my copy of that book is, haven't seen it since we moved four years ago although I'm sure it's here someplace.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 09:43 AM

Hi, Haruo,
   Thanks for the info. I googled "Song Fest," but was unable to determine whether or not the Persian Kitty was included. That site led me to an outfit called the Intercolllegiate Outing Club Association (IOCA), and I've written them to see if they can help.
    Thanks again.
Alan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 01:11 AM

Yes, the IOCA was the publisher or sponsor or whatever of Song Fest.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 09:47 AM

"The New Songfest" (1955) has "The Persian Kitty" on pp. 11-112. Sorry I can't do the tune.

Individual phrases vary from Lynn's version, but the song and the rhymes are essentially the same. It ends with the "travelin' man" line.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 07:54 PM

I learned it 65 years ago Genia McClellan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 03:02 PM

I had this by Ed McCurdy on a childrens' record. Recitation, not song.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:38 PM

A Persian Kitty, perfumed and fair,
Strayed through the kitchen door for air,
When a Tom Cat, lean and lithe and strong
And dirty and yellow came along.

He sniffed at the perfumed Persian Cat,
As she strutted about with much eclat,
And thinking a bit of time to pass
He whispered, "Kiddo, you're sure some class."

"That's fitting and proper," was her reply,
As she arched a whisker over her eye.
"I'm ribboned; I sleep on a pillow of silk
And daily they feed me on certified milk.

"But we're seldom content with that which we've got,
I try to be happy but happy I'm not.
I should be joyful, I should indeed,
For I certainly am highly pedigreed."

"Cheer up," said the Tom Cat, with a smile,
"And trust your new friend for a while.
You need to escape from your back yard fence.
What you're in need of is — experience."

New joys of living he then unfurled,
As he told her tales of the outside world,
Suggesting at last—with a luring laugh—
A trip for two—down the Primrose Path.

The morning after the night before
The cat came home at the hour of four,
The innocent look in her eyes had went
But the smile on her face was the smile of content.

And in the after days when the children came
To the Persian Kitty of pedigreed fame,
They weren't Persian, they were black and tan,
And she told them their Pa was a traveling man.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:42 PM

From "The Medical Pickwick" (St. Louis), Vol. VIII (1922), p. 119.

Credirted as "Anon."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 07:47 AM

And titled "The Primrose Path."

Undoubtedly a poem originally.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Heather Neill
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 11:42 AM

My dad used to play guitar and sing this to me 50 years ago. He "did the voices" of Kitty and Tom, much to my delight. The lyrics were a little different in several places but, boy, it brings back memories.

"Three weeks later the neighbors all came
just to see those kittens of pedigreed fame.
But they weren't Persian, they were black and tan,
And their momma said their pappa was a travelin' man!"


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'A Persian Kitty' Do you sing this song?
From: GUEST,Honey Gross-Richardson
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:08 AM

In the sixties, The Persian Kitty was a very popular song in a
Victorian Country and Western Radio Show.
I believe the deep voiced male singer, was in a wheelchair.
The song was often played on the radio, and I remember the tune well!
What a shame I'm not a singer!


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