Friday, August 14, 2009


Last week, I presented songs about dogs. Most of these featured people interacting with actual dogs. Only Atomic Dog was about a human being behaving like a dog. But this week, the cats have their turn, and the situation is reversed. It says something about our feline friends that songwriters usually talk about behaving like a cat, instead writing about cats themselves.

Stray Cats: Stray Cat Strut


Stray Cat Strut is all about attitude. The cat is an independent creature, who needs no one but himself, and that is what the narrator of the song aspires to. This cat is aloof, and somewhat belligerent, and he seems to imagine that these qualities should make him very appealing to women.

Squeeze: Cool For Cats


Squeeze recognizes that this cat toughness is a pose, one that often backfires. The narrator of the song gives examples of this posing gone awry: the Indian squaw who turns the tables on her cat-strong captor, the two-bit gangster who gets caught before he can carry out that big job. Finally, the narrator turns the spotlight on himself. Everyone is telling him that he’s got to be cool, but he can never quite manage it. But he finally does enjoy a small success with the ladies.

Cab Calloway: We the Cats Shall Hep You


This really isn’t an 80s post. Cab Calloway certainly doesn’t belong to that era. But I did first heard this song done by Joe Jackson. Can you guess what decade that came out?

The song itself is nothing more than a group of musicians patting themselves on the back. But this really swings, so they deserve the kudos.

Cisco Houston: The Cat Came Back


Finally, there is this classic piece of folk music. This song is about a real cat. And the cat chooses his human, not the other way around. So this one too is about attitude.


Blog notes:

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