Gransnet forums


Help with an old poem, please!

(25 Posts)
Sue162 Sun 24-Feb-13 13:02:23

My DH is driving me mad with an old poem he remembers from his childhood. He can't remember who wrote it but can quote most of it and is longing to know where it comes from? We have Googled to no effect and because the name of the cat in the poem is "Smut" you can imagine the sort of things that come up! LOL! I won't quote all of it but it starts: "I wish you could have seen him, our little pussy cat. He came to us so scrag and lean and went away so fat." Most of the verses end "he really couldn't help it, couldn't Smut". Not exactly Robert Browning but until he finds out where it came from he will be impossible to live with!!! grin

baubles Sun 24-Feb-13 17:29:00

Sorry, Sue it isn't ringing any bells with me.

Ariadne Sun 24-Feb-13 17:47:21

I would think the juxtaposition of "pussy" and "smut" might bring up some interesting Google results....

dottilind Sun 24-Feb-13 17:56:56

I could fill in the gaps, but I wont, I suspect it was made up by one of his friends in school, as we did.wink

Ana Sun 24-Feb-13 18:27:12

Ladies! I think you're getting carried away here (isn't the Convoluted Insult Generator enough for you? wink). It sounds from Sue's post that it was a perfectly innocent rhyme about a pussy-cat, although obviously its origins are lost in the mists of time.....

JessM Sun 24-Feb-13 18:38:58

But there were a lot of risque rhymes and songs used in the music halls hmm

Ana Sun 24-Feb-13 18:46:55

Agree, Jess, but if Sue's DH can quote most of this particular song, and she hasn't indicated that the content was risqué in any way, I assumed that it wasn't.

Tegan Sun 24-Feb-13 19:19:39

Sounds like something by Rambling Syd Rumpo t'me wink...

Sue162 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:23:57

No honestly, it has no saucy content! This cat does all the sort of things cats do, including scratching a leather chair and fighting on the roof tops. It has a somewhat Edwardian tone to my ears but as my DH is only 70, he would not have been around then!

I suspect it may have been from a children's rhyme book. Well, you never know, someone out there in Gransnet Land may know it. In the meantime, thank you all for your input. smile

Tegan Sun 24-Feb-13 21:47:16

It's so frustrating when you remember something that no one else does. I've just sat through all three series of Pathfinders in Space which are now on dvd. I spent @ 45 years asking people if they could remember the series and the wonder of modern technology brought them to me. I'm still searching for a book called Lad, a Dog that I can picture in my head but want so much to see again. The books are still available but the picture book I had as a child doesn't seem to exist any more.

GrannyMinder Fri 29-Jul-16 10:46:09

My Mum learnt the poem as a child so it definitely was not made up. Does anyone know who it was by? She would have learnt it in the thirties.

DaphneBroon Fri 29-Jul-16 10:58:11

Tegan look on Amazon. There are a few versions of "Lad, a dog" by somebody called Terhune. Is that it?

michel55 Fri 29-Jul-16 10:58:22

type the world you remember on Google and it will come with some suggestions

Tegan Fri 29-Jul-16 11:06:14

Yes, that's the one. But most of them are in America where the books were more famous. A book shop in Berwick was going to order one for me; I wasn't sure it was the right one and it was quite expensive, but I was prepared to risk it. Unfortunately they had an illness in the family and all business was put on hold. I shall google it again; another book might be on now. The one's I've seen don't quite match the picture in my head.

Gracesgran Fri 29-Jul-16 11:38:51

It gets a mention here with '- Judge Parry' following it so I assumes that he is the writer.

The quote is "" Oh, I wish that you had seen him,
Our little pussy cat.
He came so skinny, scrag, and lean.
And went away so fat."

This took me to CHILDREN'S Boons.—Pater's Book of Rhymes. By Judge Parry.

A. Rusden. (Sherratt and Hughes, Manchester. 3s. 6d.)—This is an amusing collection of verses and pictures that is sure to be liked by children. Here is a verse from "Our Cat"

Looking for 'Our Cat by Judge Parry' didn't get me any further so I think you may have to look for the book.

Gracesgran Fri 29-Jul-16 11:39:28

assumed not assumes

Gracesgran Fri 29-Jul-16 11:48:55

I have just checked one book finding site one book finding site and two copies come up. I would want to check that it is the right one with the seller and that the poem is in there.

ninathenana Fri 29-Jul-16 12:06:57

This thread came up when I tried Google grin
I also tried youtube, with no luck.
It does sound vaguely familiar.

Nelliemoser Fri 29-Jul-16 12:36:50

Well I just Googled the first line and came back to you lovely lot. I am going round in circles. grin

a1icia Tue 13-Sep-16 08:29:26

Can't remember the rest, but these scraps are still in my head. Learned it in school, in South Wales . . . wonder if it was the same school?

Oh I wish that you had seen him,
Our little pussy cat!
He came so skinny, scrag and lean,
And went away so fat.
They said he stole the milk and things,
I'm sure he did so, but -
He really couldn't help it,
Couldn't Smut.

He danced upon the dresser shelf
And knocked down Mother's jugs.
Broke half a dozen dinner plate,
And Kate's and Molly's mugs
He really couldn't help it
Couldn't Smut!

??? leather furniture
They bought a set to match
And just to show he noticed it,
He marked it with a scratch!
Couldn't Smut

Something upon the tiles
His caterwaul re-echoing round
For miles and miles and miles

Somethin about "poor pater's head"

They gave him to a farmer man
To catch his rats and mice

M0nica Tue 13-Sep-16 18:15:59

I think perseverance is called for. I saw a snatch of poem on a poster and loved it so much I tried to find the original. It took two attempts at googling it, plus mining what data I found until finally about four layers of searching down I finally found the poem I was looking for.

Cattery Fri 05-Jan-18 17:48:32


Cattery Fri 05-Jan-18 17:51:18

Sorry, please ignore the last post -having technical difficulties! The entire poem, 'Our Cat' by Judge Parry is as follows:
Our Cat
by Judge Parry

Oh I wish that you had seen him,
our little pussy cat,
he came so skinny, scrag and lean,
and went away so fat
They said he stole the food and things,
perhaps he did so but,
He really couldn’t help it, couldn’t Smut.

He walked upon the dresser shelf
And knocked down mother’s jugs,
broke half a dozen dinner plates
and Kate’s and Molly’s mugs.
I guess he thought he heard a mouse
perhaps he did so but,
he really couldn’t help it, couldn’t Smut.

At night he went upon the spree
and walked upon the tiles,
his caterwaul re-echoing for miles and miles and miles.
Poor Pater said it woke him up
it was annoying but
he really couldn’t help it, couldn’t Smut.

He tore up half the leather chairs,
they bought a set to match
and just to show he noticed it
he marked them with a scratch.
Now Pater he was raving mad
it was annoying but,
he really couldn’t help it, couldn’t Smut.

So of fellowship and feelings too
we made a sacrifice
and gave him to a farmer man
to chase his rats and mice.
We wept to lose our pussy cat
and he was sorry but
we really couldn’t help it, could we Smut?

Persistentdonor Wed 20-Jun-18 08:28:09

Brilliant work Gransnet detectives. smile
Another time it might yield dividends to search Google Books.

If anyone is wanting to try and buy a book with that poem it is in here:

Title:Children's Treasury: Best Loved Verse
Author:Margaret Tarrant
Illustrated by:Margaret Tarrant
Publisher:Smithmark Publishers, Incorporated, 1990
ISBN:083171364X, 9780831713645

littleflo Thu 21-Jun-18 08:04:55