Ding, dong, bell,
pussy's in the well.

There's a funny little cat
With a tummy nice and fat.
He's won picture fame . . .
Felix is his name.
Has a funny little walk
Whiskers on his chin;
And, no matter where he goes
Or what occurs to him . . .

Felix keeps on walking, keeps on walking still.
With his hands behind him, you will always find him.
Blew him up with dynamite, but him they couldn't kill.
Miles up in the air he flew,
He just murmured "Toodle-oo!"
Landed down in Timbuctoo, and kept on walking still.

Felix kept on walking, kept on walking still.
One day he was collar'd . . . by a whale, and swallowed.
In the tummy of that whale he found himself, but still,
All the same he never frown'd,
He just smiled and then look'd round,
Thought it was the "Underground" and kept on walking still.

Way out on a desert isle,
Felix met a crocodile.
It just gave a cough,
Blew his whiskers off.
Then he walk'd for miles and miles
Till his feet were raw,
Thought he'd have a rest, but then a lion there he saw!

Felix kept on walking, kept on walking still.
Cannibals then cought him, tasty bit they thought him.
Skinned him like a rabbit, he was so "cut up" until
A native's scalp he noticed there,
Stuck it on where he felt bare,
Raised his hat and said "There's hair" and kept on walking still.

Felix kept on walking, kept on walking still.
By a train at Dover, had his tail run over,
On the rail he left his tail, it gave the folks a thrill,
Still for that, he didn't care.
Though he had no rudder there,
Wagged his "nothing" in the air, and kept on walking still.

He's so full of funny tricks,
Fed some sawdust to the chicks,
Now instead of eggs . . .
They lay table legs.
On poor Auntie's powder puff
"Hair restorer" placed,
Then when he saw Auntie put that Tatcho on her face . . .!

Felix kept on walking, kept on walking still.
Now poor Auntie Eva has a full grown "beaver"
On the tiles he went last night, those tabby cats to thrill,
Met a Frenchy cat named Lou,
She said "Do you parley vous?"
He said, "Yes, but not with you," and kept on walking still.

Felix kept on walking, kept on walking still.
Someone tried to drown him, with a brick tied round him.
Shoved him in the rain-tub there, but him they couldn't kill,
Started lapping with his tongue
Till that water all was done
Then he crept out through the "bung" and kept on walking still.

Kept on walking, kept on walking,
Kept on walking still.

Mee-ow!

Despite the hilariously vicious sick humor, slapstick anticlimax, and breathless rhythm of this poem, it's not a song by Tom Lehrer. It's actually the hit song of the London stage of 1923, where it reigned unsurpassed for over a year as the showstopper of "Eva's Moving Picture Review", an inventive stage show about...what else? A night at the movies, complete with a double feature (a comedy and a romance), short subjects, newsreel, intermission, etc. all done live as songs, skits, and so forth. (Obviously, this was the cartoon.) The McLuhanesque part of my brain reels at Eva's alacrity at recognizing the montage effect all these elements presented side-by-side...or was it simply a case of trying to get people out of the flickers and back into the legit theaters?

The hero is Felix, the cat, Jim, but not as we know it: the earlier, silent version, with a long nose, softly furry, and possessed of one of the most hypnotically smooth walking sequences ever animated (and yes, it was hand drawn, without rotoscoping). Quite naturally, this group of cels was used over and over in the films to denote Felix in deep cogitation as he paced his way out of trouble.

A true individualist, hats off to the CAT!

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