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The Song of the Jellicles: The Book That Inspired the Play

The Song of the Jellicles, by T.S. Elliot. From the the poetry book that inspired the long-running play Cats. Filed under Poetry and Performing arts


Cats, the play
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Jellicle Cats come out to-night Jellicle Cats come one come all: The Jellicle Moon is shining bright— Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

Jellicle Cats are black and white, Jellicle Cats are rather small; Jellicle Cats are merry and bright, And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul. Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces, Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes; They like to practise their airs and graces And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.

Jellicle Cats develop slowly, Jellicle Cats are not too big; Jellicle Cats are roly-poly, They know how to dance a gavotte and a jig. Until the Jellicle Moon appears They make their toilette and take their repose: Jellicle Cats wash behind their ears, Jellicle dry between their toes.

Jellicle Cats are white and black, Jellicle Cats are of moderate size; Jellicle Cats jump like a jumping-jack, Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes. They're quiet enough in the morning hours, They're quiet enough in the afternoon, Reserving their terpsichorean powers To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.

Jellicle Cats are black and white, Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small; If it happens to be a stormy night They will practise a caper or two in the hall. If it happens the sun is shining bright You would say they had nothing to do at all: They are resting and saving themselves to be right For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.

By T.S. Elliot (1888 to 1965)


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