From The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. The song is sung by Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner to the vile Katisha to persuade her to be his bride. In the version I am most familiar with, it is performed in an absurdly high-flown and melodramatic style, which beautifully underscores the transparency of this (succesful!) attempt to tug at her heartstrings.

The song also turned up on The Muppet Show, sung by Rowlf the Dog. Sam the American Eagle reluctantly took the part of the Dicky-bird.

On a tree by a river, a little tom-tit
Sang "Willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"
And I said to him, "Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing 'Willow, tit-willow, tit-willow'?"
"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?" I cried,
"Or a rather tough worm in your little inside?"
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied,
"Oh, willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"

He slapped at his chest, as he sat on that bough,
Singing "Willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"
And a cold perspiration bespangled his brow,
Oh, willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!
He sobbed and he sighed, and a gurgle he gave,
Then he plunged himself into the billowy wave,
And an echo arose from the suicide's grave--
"Oh, willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"

Now I feel just as sure as I'm sure that my name
Isn't Willow, tit-willow, tit-willow,
That 'twas blighted affection that made him exclaim
"Oh, willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"
And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why,
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die,
"Oh, willow, tit-willow, tit-willow!"

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