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"Cats" and all related things are the property of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Really Useful Group, and related parties. Lyrics are taken from and based off "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" and other poems by T.S. Eliot, with additions by Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe. No copyright infringement is intended.
Growltiger's Last Stand
Sung by: Growltiger, Griddlebone, Grumbuskin, Tumblebrutus, The Crew, Gilbert, The Siamese, Asparagus (London)
Growltiger, Griddlebone, The Crew, Genghis, The Siamese, Asparagus (Broadway, Australia)
Original London Cast
Original Broadway Cast
Original Australian Cast
Video
Growltiger was a bravo cat, who travelled on a barge:
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of the "Terror of the Thames".

His manners and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.

The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame;
At Hammersmith and Putney, people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore: Growltiger's on the loose!

Woe to the weak canary, that flutters from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger's rage;
Woe to the bristly bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships
And woe to any cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!

But most to cats of foreign race his hatred had been vowed:
To cats of foreign name and race, no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear -
Because it was a Siamese that mauled his missing ear.

Now on a peaceful summer's night, all nature seemed at play
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide -
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.

Growltiger's bucko mate, Grumbuskin, long since had disappeared
For to The Bell at Hampton he had gone to wet his beard
And his bosun, Tumblebrutus, he too had stol'n away
In the yard behind The Lion he was prowling for his prey

In the forepeak of the vessel, Growltiger sat alone
Concentrating his attention on the lady Griddlebone.
And his raffish crew lay sleeping in their barrels and their bunks -
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.

Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone,
And the lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise -
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes.

And closer still and closer the sampans circled 'round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives
And the lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives

Oh, how well I remember the Old Bull and Bush,
Where we used to go down of a Saturday night -
Where, when anythink happened, it come with a rush,
For the boss, Mr. Clark, he was very polite:

A very nice house, from basement to garret
A very nice house. Ah, but it was the parrot -
The parrot, the parrot named Billy M'Caw,
What brought all those folks to the bar.
Ah! He was the life of the bar.

Of a Saturday night, we was all feeling bright,
And Lily La Rose - the barmaid that was -
She'd say, "Billy, Billy M'Caw!
Come give us, come give us a dance on the bar!"
And Billy would dance on the bar
And Billy would dance on the bar
And then we'd feel balmy, in each eye a tear,
And emotion would make us all order more beer -

Lily, she was a girl what had brains in her head;
She wouldn't have nothink, no not that much said
If it come to an argument, or a dispute,
She'd settle it offhand with the toe of her boot
Or as likely as not put a fist through your eye.
And when we was happy, and just a bit dry,
Or when we was thirsty, and just a bit sad,
She would rap on the bar with that corkscrew she had
And say, "Billy, Billy M'Caw!
Come give us a tune on your pastoral flute!"
And Billy'd strike up on his pastoral flute
And Billy'd strike up on his pastoral flute
And then we'd feel balmy, in each eye a tear
And emotion would make us all order more beer

"Billy, Billy M'Caw!
Come give us a tune on your moley guitar!"
And Billy'd strike up on his moley guitar
And Billy'd strike up on his moley guitar

And then we'd feel balmy, in each eye a tear
And emotion would make us all order more beer
Billy, Billy M'Caw!
Come give us a tune on your moley guitar
Ah! He was the life of the bar.


Then Gilbert gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde:
With a frightful burst of fireworks, the chinks they swarmed aboard.
Then Griddlebone she gave a screech for she was badly skeered;
I'm sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned -
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.

The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.

Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the Strand
Rats were roasted whole in Brentford, and Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.

These modern productions, they're all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery when I made history......

Growltiger was a bravo cat, who travelled on a barge:
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of the "Terror of the Thames".

His manner and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, it was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.

The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame;
At Hammersmith and Putney, people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore: Growltiger's on the loose!

Woe to the weak canary, that fluttered from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger's rage;
Woe to the bristly bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships
And woe to any cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!

But most to cats of foreign race his hatred had been vowed:
To cats of foreign name and race, no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear -
Because it was a Siamese that mauled his missing ear.

Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide -
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.

Chi e la?
Mi amore!
So no qui


In the forepeak of the vessel, Growltiger stood alone
Concentrating my attention on the lady Griddlebone.
And my raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks -
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.

Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone,
And the lady seemed enraptured by my manly baritone
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise -
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes.

And closer still and closer the sampans circled 'round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives
And the lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives

In una tepida notte d'estate, allorché la natura
Era nel pieno fulgore, e la resca rugiada
Spendeva al chiar di luna, sopra la verzura
Si poteva vedere il galeone ancorato
Oscillare in silienzo nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte che c'é dunque de male
Se in tanta poesia anche il pirata divento sentimentale?

Oscillare in silenzio nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte


Then Genghis gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde:
Abandoning their sampans, the chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, their pullaways, and junks
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks

Then Griddlebone she gave a screech for she was badly skeered;
I'm sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned -
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.

The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.

Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the Strand
Rats were roasted whole in Brentford, and Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.

These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery when I made history......

Growltiger was a bravo cat, who travelled on a barge:
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in the title of the "Terror of the Thames".

His manner and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.

The cottagers at Rotherhithe knew something of his fame;
At Hammersmith and Putney, people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore: Growltiger's on the loose!

Woe to the weak canary, that fluttered from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger's rage;
Woe to the bristly bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships
And woe to any cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!

But most to cats of foreign race his hatred has been vowed:
To cats of foreign name and race, no quarter was allowed.
The Persians and the Siamese regarded him with fear -
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear.

Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide -
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.

Chi e la?
Mi amore!
So no qui


In the forepeak of the vessel, Growltiger stood alone
Concentrating my attention on the lady Griddlebone.
And my raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks -
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.

Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone,
And the lady seemed enraptured by my manly baritone
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise -
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes.

And closer still and closer the sampans circled 'round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives
And the lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives

In una tepida notte d'estate, allorché la natura
Era nel pieno fulgore, e la resca rugiada
Spendeva al chiar di luna, sopra la verzura
Si poteva vedere il galeone ancorato
Oscillare in silienzo nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte che c'é dunque de male
Se in tanta poesia anche il pirata divento sentimentale?

Oscillare in silenzio nel vento profumato
Dalla marea del naviglio serenamente cullato
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte
In quella tepida notte


Then Genghis gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde:
Abandoning their sampans, the chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, their pullaways, and junks
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks

Then Griddlebone she gave a screech for she was badly skeered;
I'm sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned -
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.

The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.

Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the Strand
Rats were roasted whole in Brentford, and Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.

These modern productions are all very well
But there's nothing to equal from what I hear tell
That moment of mystery when I made history......

N/A
Notes

As with some other songs, the singers of this song switch back and forth too much for me to be completely certain of who sings what, so I decided to just forego colour-coding for this one. (Wouldn't want to attribute any lines incorrectly, after all.) Sorry about that.

This song is staged as a "fantasy sequence"; Gus and Jellylorum play the parts of Growltiger and Griddlebone, respectively, and the rest of the cast dress up as pirates or Siamese cats.
The "song-within-a-song"(-within-a-song, technically, since "Growltiger" is arguably part of "Gus: The Theatre Cat") varies depending on which version you're watching. Originally, it was a drinking song named "The Ballad of Billy McCaw", based off one of T.S. Eliot's unpublished poems. When the show went to Broadway, it was replaced by an Italian aria pastiche, "In Una Tepida Notte". Apparently the lyrics for the aria were taken from the Italian translation for "Growltiger". Most post-2003 productions use "Billy McCaw" but again, it varies from production to production.
The 2014 London revival drastically altered the tune of the song, making it... jazzy. (There was finger-snapping involved..) Let's just say I don't rate it very highly, and leave it at that. Initially, this version had no "song-within-a-song" whatsoever; I'm told that later on in the run, they reinstated "In Una Tepida Notte" (albeit with a different melody/tone than the original aria).
Apparently, in the 2016 Broadway version, and the 2017 International tour, this song is cut entirely and replaced with "The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles", with Gus playing the Rumpus Cat instead of Growltiger!

This song was also cut entirely from the video recording. Partly due to time concerns (this is a very long song), but also because Gus' actor, Sir John Mills, was unable to perform the complicated choreography required for this song, due to his age.

I've seen "The Ballad of Billy McCaw" spelt as that and "..Billy M'Caw". The London CD uses both spellings; I'm not sure which one is more correct.
This song was subject to a small lyric alteration in later productions - this is not listed above, as the three English CDs all use the original lyric. Anyway, current productions that include this song change the line "With a frightful burst of fireworks, the chinks they swarmed aboard" to "...the Siamese they swarmed aboard", to remove the racial slur present in the original.

Speaking of "The Ballad of Billy McCaw", here's a fun fact: the melody of that was reused for the song "Next Time You Fall In Love" from Starlight Express, another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Oh - and here's a translation of the Italian lyrics:
Who's there?
My love!
I'm here

On a warm summer night
All nature was in full splendour
And the fresh dew sparkled in the moonlight
Over the verdure you could see

The galleon anchored
Rocking in silence in a breeze
Perfumed of the sea and ship
Serenely cradled on that warm night

There was no hint of evil
In a rush of poetry
The pirate became sentimental

Rocking in silence in a breeze
Perfumed of the sea and ship
Serenely cradled
On that warm night
On that warm night
On that warm night