; lyrics and HQ audio sample, derived from the Nursery Rhymes Collection">

The Owl And The Pussycat - The Nursery Rhyme Collections

The Nursery Rhymes Collections 1-4 contain a total of 277 children's songs. Each double CD album showcases the highest quality children's music ever recorded with a total playing time in excess of 10 hours!

The Owl And The Pussycat (Audio Sample and Lyrics)

The Owl and the Pussycat
Went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy!
O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy
You are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

Pussy said to the Owl
"You elegant fowl how charmingly
Sweet you sing.
O let us be married,
Too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig
Stood with a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig,
Are you willing
To sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away,
And were married next day by the Turkey
Who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince,
And slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible* spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand they danced by The light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Composer: Victor Hely-Hutchinson
Lyrics: Edward Lear

Origin and background

This wonderful ballad was written by Edward Lear and put into music by Victor Hely-Hutchinson, so it is one of the few nursery rhymes with a known author. Edward Lear (1812 – 1888) is known as a " nonsense poem" and he wrote poems of that kind:

There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said, 'Does it buzz?'
He replied, 'Yes, it does!'
'It's a regular brute of a Bee!'

Our ballad in question is much more romantic than that, it is the heartbreaking romance between a cat and an owl, both animals of the night. Some funny details are mentioned in the song, illustrating the bizarreness of the scene but in the end they danced by the light of the moon.

* Gloss: The word "runcible" does not exist, it was made up by Edward Lear and means - nothing.

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