Cisco Houston Web Site

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

   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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Of note

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.

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