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 henhouse, 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 lurked 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 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 Molsey 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 Grumbskin long since had disappered For to the Bell at Hampton he had gone to wet his beard And his bosun Tumblebrutus, he too had stolen 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 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 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 on a Sattadau 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 parret The parret, the parret named Billy M'Caw That brought all those folk 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 nothing, 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 But 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 am 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 kerflip kerflop
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 at Brentford and Victoria Dock And a day of celebrations 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 . . ."