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(as sung by Tom Juster and Teton Tea Party in 1960s)

(staff with melody line)

Now ol' Mr. Johnson had troubles all his own,
Had an ol' yella cat that wouldn't leave home,
Tried everything he knew for to keep the cat away,
Took him up to Canada and told him for to stay,
    But the cat came back, the very next day,
    The cat came back,
    Thought he was a goner but the cat came back
    'Cause he wouldn' stay away!

The cat had company out in the back yard,
Someone threw a boot and he threw it awful hard,
Hit the cat in the back and he thought it was a slight,
Down came a brick and it knocked him out of sight,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

On a telegraph wire the birds were sittin' in a bunch,
Saw an even number, thought he'd have 'em for his lunch,
Climbed softly up the pole until he reached the top,
Put his foot upon a wire, it tied him in a knot,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

They threw him in the kennel where the dog lay asleep
Where the bones of cats lay ten feet deep,
The kennel flew apart and the dog flew outside,
With his ears chewed off and holes in his hide,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

Put him in a cotton sock, and give him to a girl
Who was going on a bicycle trip all around the world,
Over there in China a turrible wreck was found,
She's singin' up in heaven with the angels all around,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

Well, they give a boy a dollar for to set the cat afloat,
Took him up the river in a sack...in a boat,
Fishin' was good till the news got around
That the boat was missin' and the boy was drowned,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

They sneaked into the butcher shop with the butcher not around,
And they dropped him in the hopper where the meat was ground,
The cat disappeared with a bloodcurdlin' shriek
And the town's hamburger tasted furry for a week,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

They finally found a way this cat to really fix,
Left him in an orange crate out on highway 66,
Came along a twenty-ton truck with a forty-ton load,
Scattered pieces of that orange-crate ten miles down the road,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

The cat was such a terror that they thought that it was best
To put him in a train that was goin' out west,
Goin' round a bend the train jumped a rail,
Not a soul aboard the train was left to tell the tale,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

They gave the cat to the man in the balloon,
And they told him to leave him with the man in the moon,
The balloon it busted, so everybody said,
And ten miles away they picked the man up dead,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

The farmer down the road said he'd shoot the cat on sight,
And he loaded up his gun with nails and dynamite,
He hid around the corner 'til the cat come around,
Seven little pieces of the -- MAN were all they found,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

Put him on a boat that was goin' to Berkeley town,
Thought with all the rain there that he'd surely drown,
The rain came down for the ninety-second day,
And the whole damn city just floated out the bay,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

Away across the ocean they did send the cat at last,
First day out they were shippin' water fast,
People all began to pray, the ship began to toss,
Great gust of wind came by, and everyone was lost,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

The cat was a possessor of a family all its own,
Seven little kittens, 'til along came a cyclone,
Blew the houses all apart, and tossed the cat around,
The air was full of kittens, but not a one was found,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

They took him to Cape Canaveral and put him in a place
In a U.S. rocket that was goin' to outer space,
They thought that the cat was finally out of human reach,
But next day they got a call from Miami Beach,
    And the cat came back, (etc.)

So they give him to a sanitation enginer named Fitz
And he flushed him down the toilet to his sanitation pits,
But the pits exploded, it blew itself to bits,
And that was the end of all of Fitz' pits,
    But the cat came back, (etc.)

The cat he went a-courtin' cause he thought he'd get a bride,
And soon a pretty fluffy cat was sittin' by his side,
But she spurned him and she burned him, she really tanned his hide,
And Mr. Johnson's yella cat, he pined and he sighed,
    And finally died, the very next day,
    He finally died,
    Thought he'd live forever but he finally died (discord)

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)