It was just after midnight when I heard the captain shout,
“Curse the devil below but there are rats about!”
They were crawling cross the gangplanks, they were streaming up the sheets,
Every sailor had a hundred snapping at his feet.
“What can we do?!” cried the sailors as the rats began to dance,
“It’s a hopeless situation, but we have one chance.
Every man go ashore, searching this way and that,
Don’t dare to show your face until you find a cat!”
Swing it high, swing it low, if it hollers let it go,
If it’s drowned there’s only one way to take care of that
You must grab it by its feet, swing it high, swing it neat,
You could save a life at that if you can swing a cat!
So, we sprang to the docks and we bolted through the town
Every young man and old man searching up and down.
Three-hundred sailors running loose, what do you think of that?
And every salty sailor surely found a cat!
Back to the ship we went running with our prizes
There were cats of many colours, there were cats of many sizes,
When the rats saw us coming, they all began to shout,
“Curse the devil below, there are cats about!”
So, we turned our kitties loose upon that unsuspecting horde,
While the rats by the thousands scrambled overboard
They were swept out to sea, every germy little tail,
And the sun rose upon us as we hoisted sail.
Now we sail the mighty ocean and we’re such a happy crew,
With our kitties here to help us there is nothing much to do!
If a cat has two fishies he will surely give you one
And he’ll sing you to sleep when your day is done!