Three Nonsense Songs

Song Cycle by Christian Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901 - 1947)

Word count: 742

1. The Owl and the Pussycat [sung text checked 1 time]

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]1 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]2 the end of his nose, 
his nose, 
his nose,
With a ring [at]1 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.


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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Совёнок и Кошечка", copyright © 1982, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Harmati: "puss"
2 Wilkinson: "in"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

2. The Table and the Chair [sung text checked 1 time]

Said the Table to the Chair,
"You can hardly be aware,
"How I suffer from the heat,
"And from chilblains on my feet!
"If we took a little walk,
"We might have a little talk!
"Pray let us take the air!"
Said the Table to the Chair.

Said the Chair to the table,
"Now you know we are not able!
"How foolishly you talk,
"When you know we cannot walk!"
Said the Table with a sigh,
"It can do no harm to try,
"I've as many legs as you,
'Why can't we walk on two?"

So they both went slowly down,
And walked about the town
With a cheerful bumpy sound,
As they toddled round and round.
And everybody cried,
As they hastened to the side,
"See! the Table and the Chair
"Have come out to take the air!"

But in going down an alley,
To a castle in a valley,
They completely lost their way,
And wandered all the day,
Till, to see them safely back,
They paid a Ducky-quack,
And a Beetle, and a Mouse,
Who took them to their house.

Then they whispered to each other,
"O delightful little brother!
"What a lovely walk we've taken!
"Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!"
So the Ducky and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds.


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The Duck and the Kangaroo [sung text checked 1 time]

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
"Good gracious! how you hop!
"Over the fields and the water, too,
"As if you never would stop!
"My life is a bore in this nasty pond,
"And I long to go out in the world beyond!
"I wish I could hop like you!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

"Please give me a ride on your back!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
"I would sit quite still, and say nothing but 'Quack,'
"The whole of the long day through!
"And we'd go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
"Over the land, and over the sea; --
"Please take me a ride! O do!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
"This requires some little reflection;
"Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
"And there seems but one objection,
"Which is, if you'll let speak so bold,
"Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
"And would probably give me the roo-
"Matiz!" said the Kangaroo.

Said the Duck, "As I sate on the rocks,
"I have thought over that completely,
"And I bought four pairs of worsted socks
"Which fit my web-feet neatly.
"And to keep out the cold I've bought a cloak,
"And every day a cigar I'll smoke,
"All to follow my own dear true
"Love of a Kangaroo!"

Said the Kangaroo, "I'm ready!
"All on the moonlight pale;
"But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!
"And quite at the end of my tail!"
So away they went with a hop and a bound,
And they hopped the whole world three times round;
And who so happy, -- O who,
As the Duck and the Kangaroo?


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]