Origins: Senor Don Gato To Thread - Forum Home

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Origins: Senor Don Gato

16 Nov 96 - 02:19 PM (#405)
Subject: Senor Don Gato
From: fuzzy@mother.com (jerry lovejoy)

Melody/Chord Search

I am looking for the chords/melody to an old Children's song called Senor Don Gato. I have the lyrics off of this server. Any help would be aprreciated. Thanks

Jerry Lovejoy Jefferson Elementary School Sacramento, Ca


23 Oct 97 - 05:20 PM (#15123)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: shellie.smith@marriott.com

If anyone has the lyrics to Senor Don Gato , please email them to me. I've been looking for them forever!

Thanks!

Shellie


23 Oct 97 - 06:17 PM (#15125)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: dick greenhaus

Lyrics are in Digitrad--search for GATO I don't know the tune.


09 Jan 98 - 03:25 AM (#18924)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Elektra@gate.net

Believe it or not, I learned this in elementary school circa 1979. I still remember the tune, so if anyone's still interested, email me and/or I'll figure out the note names and post it!


15 Sep 98 - 02:40 PM (#38210)
Subject: Lyr Add: DON GATO
From: J. D. Roberson

DON GATO

I learned this at Robt. E. Peary Elementary School, Tulsa, Okla., in 2nd grade (1976-77), Frances Blazer's music/speech class.....remember it to this day.

O Senor Don Gato was a cat.
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He went there to read a letter, Meow, Meow Meow.
Where the reading light was better, M.., M.., M..
Twas a love note for D. G.

"I adore you," wrote the lady cat.
Who was fluffy white and nice and fat.
There was not a sweeter kitty, M, M, M.
In the country or the city, M, M, M.
And she said she'd wed D. G.

O D. G. jumped so happily.
He fell off the roof and broke his knee.
Broke his ribs and all his whiskers, M, M, M.
And his little solar plexis, M, M, M.
"Ay Carramba!" cried D. G.

Well the doctors all came on the run.
Just to see if something could be done.
So they held a consultation, Meow, Meow Meow.
About how to save their patient, Meow, Meow Meow.
How to save Senor Don Gato

But in spite of ev'rything they tried.
Poor Senor Don Gato up and died.
O it wasn't very merry, Meow, Meow Meow.
Going to the cemetery, Meow, Meow Meow.
For the ending of Don Gato


As the funeral passed the market square.
Such a smell of fish was in the air.
Though the burial was slated, M, M, M.
He became re-animated, M, M, M.
He came back to life, Don Gato!

(optional refrain)
For he had nine lives, Don Gato!


15 Sep 98 - 03:40 PM (#38214)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Hey, Dick - there are a couple of verses above that aren't in the database. They make the story make a lot more sense. I highlighted them in bold.
Anybody got the tune?
-Joe offer-


15 Sep 98 - 04:17 PM (#38217)
Subject: Lyr Add: EL SEÑOR DON GATO
From: Joe Offer

Here's a Spanish version, with a bit of a different meaning:

"EL SEÑOR DON GATO"

(English translation is shown on alternate lines in Italic text)

Sentado en silla de oro estaba el senor Don Gato
Seated on a chair of gold was the mister cat

Con unas medias de seda y unos zapatitos blancos
With stockings of silk and little shoes of white

Refrain:

Ate y ale pum, ate y ale pum, unos zapatitos blancos


Ha recibido una carta que si quiere ser casado
He has recieved a letter that if he wishes to be married

Con una gatita parda, sobrina de un gato pardo
With a cat dark, niece of a cat dark

El gatito de contento se ha caido del tejado
The kitten, from joy has fallen from the roof

Ya se ha muerto, ya se ha muerto, ya se ha muerto, el gatito
Now he has died, now he has died, now he has died, the kitten

Ya lo llevan a enterrar, por la calle del pescado
Now they take him in to bury, through the street of the fish

Las gatitas van de luto y los ratones bailando
The kittens go in mourning and the rats dancing

Y al olor de las sardinas el gato ha resucitado
And at the smell of the sardines the cat has revived

Por eso dicen la gente: siete vidas tiene el gato
That is why say the people: seven lives has the cat


15 Sep 98 - 04:26 PM (#38218)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: J. D. Roberson

Hey Joe Offer,

Out of curiosity, where/when did you learn the song. Apparently, it was taught throughout all of Tulsa Public Schools (all of my local friends from here learned it), and the only other people that I know who are familiar with it are various friends from Missouri.

On those days back in grade school when we could choose a song for the class to sing, I ALWAYS selected Don Gato (my classmates hated me after a while).

I realize this is a folk song.....any chance of knowing who wrote it, or any history?

Thanks for the Spanish version.

J. D. Roberson.


15 Sep 98 - 05:04 PM (#38224)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

I don't know the song, J.D. That's the problem. I've seen posts about it in this thread off and on since it started in 11/96 (in the very early history of Mudcat) - but so far, nobody has been able to post a tune to the darn thing. I found the Spanish lyrics on a folklorico Web site. Apparently, "Don Gato" is a well-known Spanish tune, but I haven't been able to find it yet. If anybody has the tune but doesn't know how to post it, send me an e-mail (click on my name) and maybe you can fax or mail it to me and I'll transcribe it into a MIDI.
-Joe Offer-


15 Sep 98 - 05:07 PM (#38226)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: J. D. Roberson

Joe,

I have the entire tune in my head. I may have to write it down in simple note-by-note music and somehow put it on here. Let me work on it and I'll try to get back soon.

Thanks, J. D.


15 Sep 98 - 05:30 PM (#38227)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Jon W.

J.D., check out the ABC musical notation rules on the ABC homepage. This is a standard way to write down music in a note-by-note, human readable, machine transmitable way.


16 Sep 98 - 12:30 AM (#38277)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: J. D. Roberson

Jon W.

Cool. I will check it out. Hope to be able to reply back within this week.

J. D.


16 Sep 98 - 06:37 AM (#38299)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

Spanish cats have only seven lives?


16 Sep 98 - 11:33 AM (#38312)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: elektra@gate.net

Here ya go kids: I've missed you! I've been far too busy to visit most of the time, but I'm glad Jerry thought to drop me a line.

I hope this helps, though it isn't exactly standard notation.

If somebody puts it into a form I can hear, I'll be happy to check the phrasing. Alternately, I can make a little .wav file of me singing it and send it to someone who cares. Just let me know! =)

(BTW, I got this version of the tune out of a public elementary school music book about 15 years ago.)

A C E---- F G-----F G D E 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 (above x 2)

E F E F E F F E D C# D 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &

D E D E D E E D C B C 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &

A C E---- B D---- C B C 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &


16 Sep 98 - 11:37 AM (#38314)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: elektra@gate.net

D'oh!! I forgot the 's. I hope this is more readable:

(Else I'll look twice a fool, hehe...)

A C E---- F G-----F G D E
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
(above x 2)

E F E F E F F E D C# D
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &

D E D E D E E D C B C
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &

A C E---- B D---- C B C
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 &


16 Sep 98 - 11:41 AM (#38316)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: elektra@gate.net

Shucks!! It's been so bloody long I've forgotten how to do this. At any rate, if you take the numbering at the end of each line and begin it directly under the letters, it should line up the timing of the notes. Argh... My sincerest apologies for being a dolt. ;-)


16 Sep 98 - 02:05 PM (#38322)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: J. D. Roberson

Elektra,

Glad you got my message. Those notes look correct. Unfortunately, I don't have a musical keyboard handy.

Joe Offer, this tune always sounded to be in a minor key. If you try the notes above, it will likely sound odd, but it looks correct. The first "E" is the down beat.....the preceeding A and C end-off the previous measure (It's been so long since studying music terminology).

Possibly, we learned different variations on the tune. You know those ad-libbing elementary music teachers (!).

J. D. Roberson


17 Sep 98 - 02:29 AM (#38402)
Subject: Tune Add: DON GATO
From: Joe Offer

Ah, finally, after two years, we have a tune! Thanks to Elektra, who e-mailed me a Noteworthy file.
-Joe Offer-

MIDI file: DONGAT~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Don Gato
Text: By
Copyright: Copyright © by
Tempo: 220 (272727 microsec/crotchet)
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Start
0000 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0528 0 64 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 67 110 0528 0 67 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 64 110 0720 0 64 000 0048 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0528 0 64 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 67 110 0528 0 67 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 64 110 0720 0 64 000 0048 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 62 110 0336 0 62 000 0048 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 60 110 0336 0 60 000 0048 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0528 0 64 000 0048 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 62 110 0528 0 62 000 0048 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Don Gato
M:4/4
Q:1/4=220
K:C
A,2C2E4|-E2F2G4|-G2F2E2D2|E8|A,2C2E4|-E2F2G4|
-G2F2E2D2|E8|E2F2E2F2|E2F2F2E2|D2^C2D4|D2E2D2E2|
D2E2E2D2|C2B,2C4|A,2C2E4|-E2B,2D4|-D2C2B,2A,7/4||


17 Sep 98 - 09:21 AM (#38418)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: J. D. Roberson

Hallelujah!!!!

May Senor Don Gato live forever!

Thanks to Joe, Jon, and Elektra.

J. D. Roberson.


17 Sep 98 - 11:03 AM (#38428)
Subject: Chords Add: DON GATO
From: elektra@gate.net

Following are some guitar chords that work fairly well:
   Am        G    Am
O Senor Don Gato was a cat.
Am G Am
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
E Dm
He went there to read a letter, Meow, Meow Meow.
Dm G Am
Where the reading light was better, M.., M.., M..
E Dm G Am
Twas a love note for Don Gato
Hopefully, it kinda lines up this time. (It looks fine when I'm typing it in.) If not, SOMEBODY should consider an evenly spaced font for the message board itself! (hint, hint...)

While this is in the same key as the Noteworthy file I sent, I don't know (not that it matters so much) if that's actually the key I learned it in. The intervals, at least, are correct.

Think spanish guitar, and put a nice little flamenco-y flourish on the end of the first two lines. Have fun! =)


17 Sep 98 - 09:39 PM (#38496)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Animaterra

Speaking as an ad-libbing elementary music teacher, that song's been all around the map! It's in several current music texts (I only look at samples, never buy 'em, so I don't know which ones), and I learned it in the late seventies at music ed school. The kiddies do love it- right up there with Waltzing With Bears and Beans in my Ears. And All Gods Critters. If I had a nickle for every time I've sung 'em.....


15 Jan 99 - 12:27 PM (#54234)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Tracy

Wow! I didn't know so many people knew about this song. I learned this song in the 3rd grade. I am 26 know and I have for some reason been humming it and remembered only a few lyrics. My daughter has caught it and wants to hear more. If anyone still has not found the lyrics to Don Gato here is a website where you can get them http://kididdles.com/mouseum/


25 Feb 99 - 11:42 PM (#60334)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Dave

I am 37 and learned the song in grade school back in Ohio back in the early 70's '71 or '72. I am totally amazed I was able to find the lyrics..


06 Mar 99 - 03:44 PM (#61603)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Mark

I also know the song. I learned it in second grade in Fairfax Virginia. I can't believe there is a web site about it.


06 Mar 99 - 03:54 PM (#61604)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Mark

I'm also amazed that this many people have even thought about this song. Even more amazed that I was able to find it on the web.


07 Mar 99 - 03:22 PM (#61749)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: betty

I've just been interduced to mudcat. I have been teaching Don Gato in my 4th grade music class since '78. It is published i the '78 additon of the Silver Burdett music book. Great song , kids love it. I'd be glad to share the tune if you didn't get and can tell me how. I could resort to the old fashioned way and mail it.


08 Mar 99 - 01:30 AM (#61851)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

Betty's right. We have been doing this song in schools for at least 15 years and it's always a hit for grades K through 6. In fact, we learned it from some third graders in San Francisco.

We started doing it in Spanish about three years ago and it is even more popular among Spanish speaking kids than the English version is among English speakers.

It's also correct that cats have seven lives in all Spanish speaking countries and nine lives in the U.S. Just ask any kid who's first language is Spanish.

Finally, it's interesting to note that in the Spanish version, the female cat is described as "una gatita parda", a little dark cat, while in English she is "fluffy, white and nice and fat".


08 Mar 99 - 11:34 AM (#61916)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Animaterra

Bev and Jerry -Wouldja be willing to share this in Spanish, please? I've resisted teaching it for several years because I've had doubts about its authenticity, but maybe it's time to cave in...


08 Mar 99 - 08:46 PM (#62005)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

It's farther up in this thread. Joe Offer posted it on September 15. We have the tune but not the smarts to post it to this forum. If you want it, we'll send it by snail mail.


21 Mar 99 - 10:13 PM (#64853)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: swetabl@vsta.com

I learned this song as a little girl and I know it by heart. I am dying to find this song on cassette. Anybody know if it is available this way? I heard it on a record that my mom bought for me, I want to say it was a kids album with the songs..Cookaburra sits in the old gum tree...., and maybe The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Someone has got to know!


23 Mar 99 - 09:47 PM (#65484)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Anne

My husband told me to come and look, he had found a thread on the Don Gato song I had often told him about. I loved the song when I was little, too. I think I learned it in the second or third grade in about 1972 in Belton, South Carolina. My seven-year-old daughter loves it now, and I'm happy to see all the lyrics here because I had forgotten some of them. It's a great song, obviously, since it has stuck with so many of us.


01 Apr 99 - 12:40 PM (#67320)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: jtgalt@mailcity.com

Thank everyone for having this thread, I learned the song in (like everyone else) elementary school and somehow got it stuck in my head this morning after God knows how many years.

Thanks again

Later

Josh


01 Apr 99 - 01:24 PM (#67337)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

The first posting on this thread was November 16, 1996, more than 16 months ago. This proves that the cat does, indeed, have nine lives (or seven if you learned the song in Spanish).


03 Apr 99 - 11:19 AM (#67850)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: bet

Glad to see someone else in elementarty music. I've also been teaching this in 4th since 78. Silber B. Great song. Spanish would be fun. bet


03 Jul 99 - 09:18 PM (#92156)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Heather

Add me to the list! I am 30 and learned this song in elementary school in North Carolina. I have been trying to remember the words but could only recall the first two lines and Meow Meow Meow! What a load off of my mind!


09 Jul 99 - 01:51 AM (#93594)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Anne

So no one knows where I can find the album that this song was on? Someone must know the name of the record???


09 Jul 99 - 04:18 AM (#93610)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Anne - Click Here to get to a Rounder record by El Lobo that has this song and many other classic Spanish children's songs.
-Joe Offer-


09 Jul 99 - 09:50 AM (#93662)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Matthew B.

I remember when I heard this song. It was 1964 and I was in elementary school. The teacher played us the album, and most of us were crying (or at least very choked up) by the time the cat died, and then suddenly overjoyed when he came back to life. What an emotional roller coaster for a room full of 3rd graders.

Anyway, I never heard it again, but I never forgot it either -- even though I'd heard it only once (which says a lot about how strong an impression one song can make). I'm delighted to see it in print at last.


09 Jul 99 - 11:03 AM (#93692)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Rex

Bonnie Phipps has produced several children's CDs and at least one of them has Don Gato. I don't know which or even if it is still available. You could ask the fine folks at Swallow Hill (www.swallowhill.com). They will know. You can also check with Harry Tuft at the Denver Folklore Center (sorry, no web or email just the old long distance (303)777-4786) I know they had copies of Bonnie's CDs.

Rex


09 Jul 99 - 08:35 PM (#93823)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Rex

I did some digging. It's on a cassette. Bonnie Phipps, Dinosaur Choir. It was done in 1992. It may not be available. I know she had some things on CDs. If anyone wants, I could track her recordings down further. Just leave a note here if you do.

Rex


10 Jul 99 - 05:32 PM (#93990)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

The cat came back - we thought he was a goner - but the cat came back - it just couldn't stay away!


11 Jul 99 - 07:16 AM (#94094)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Penny S.

The nine/seven lives reminds me of a query I saw somewhere else recently about being on cloud nine in Britain, seven in Germany, which was not answered, and which reminded me of the Norse/Germanic worlds of which there were nine or seven, according to where you lived. But whichever number that was, we're on the middle one. Bringing the Spanish into the confusion is interesting, but not at helpful.

Something to do with numerology, magic numbers or odd numbers, or prime numbers or...


11 Jul 99 - 08:04 AM (#94099)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: katlaughing

Here's a link to Bonnie Phipps' own page on the net with all kinds of info: Bonnie Phipps that is, http://www.abmall.com/cmc/
http://www.kiddomusic.com/PhippsBonnie.html#1232 [new URL, Nov 2003 (Joe Offer)]


25 Apr 00 - 12:32 AM (#217458)
Subject: Lyr Add: SENOR CAT'S ROMANCE (Lucia M. Gonzalez)
From: Bev and Jerry

We just found this really nice translation of the origial spanish lyrics in a book entitled "Senor Cat's Romance and other Favorite Stories from Latin America" by Lucia M. Gonzalez (copyright 1997). The translation is not literal and has been cosiderably embellished but it retains the flavor of the original much better than the commonly known English wodrds posted above.

SENOR CAT'S ROMANCE

Senor Sir Cat, on his golden throne sat,
in Spain, once upon a time,
drinking spiced milk in his stockings of silk
and his golden shoes, oh, so fine.

A servant in livery brought a note, hand delivery,
what wonderful news he carried!
Cried Senor Sir Cat, "Ah ha! Look at that!
It says that I am to be married!"

His new bride to be - oh, so lovely was she-
a Moorish cat, rich and well-bred.
and a sight to behold in her dress of bright gold,
and her fur of the softest orange-red.

The very next day, in a church by the bay.
Sir Cat and his true love were wed.
They served nougats and sweets,
Spanish wines, and fine meats,
oh, their guests were most sumptuously fed!

"Let me sing of my love to the stars up above!"
sang Sir Cat from the roof where he'd climbed.
Oh, the joy that he felt made his happy heart melt-
but perhaps he took leave of his mind.

So hapy was he caterwauling and howling,
and capering atop the church roof,
that too wildly he danced - and o'er the edge pranced-
hitting the ground with an OOF!

They called for the doctor, the surgeon, and barber,
who all said, "He cannot prevail!"
He's crushed his poor paw and he's broken his jaw
seven ribs and the tip of his tail!"

Next morning t'was time to bury the kind -
but foolish - Senor Sir Cat.
The Lady Cats wept, while the Tom Cats slept
wearing their black funeral hats.

The kittens wept sadly, their hearts broken badly,
"Miau-miau, miau-miau," they frowned.
But on each mouse's head, was a cap of bright red-
as they joyfully danced through the town.

In his coffin he rode, while friends solemnly strode,
in a line down the Alley of Fish.
But the sardines' aroma woke Sir Cat from his coma -
revived by his favorite dish!

When Sir Cat recovered, the mice he discovered,
and chased every one down the street.
Now it's no tale of wives that cats have seven lives!
But for now, friends...our tale is complete!

Bev and Jerry


25 Apr 00 - 11:53 AM (#217667)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Ely

I haven't heard this in 10 years! I learned it in Denver when I was about 8 (ca. 1985). Our class did a play to it--sort of a mini-opera--with kids acting it out as we sang.


18 May 00 - 03:26 PM (#230056)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,SouthJess

Denver! We learned it in Boulder, Colorado in 1976??? I've remembered it right up to "fluffy white and nice and fat" plus the line of him breaking his solar plexus (I had to ask my mom what that was. . .) but always wondered why they taught us such a sad song. . .Now I know he didn't die!!


24 Jul 00 - 11:49 PM (#264036)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GREG_1129@YAHOO.COM

HELLO EVERYONE

The first time I heard Senor Don Gato was in 3rd grade 1973 in Los Angeles,California. Does anyone know if there is an MP3 available for this song.

If someone has the song and could make a cassette for me I would be willling to pay the postage. My e-mail address is: greg_1129@yahoo.com

Hope to hear from someone soon.
Greg

I've got a recording for you, Greg - just reply to the e-mail I sent you.
-Joe Offer-


25 Jul 00 - 05:53 AM (#264134)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Guest,bflat


31 Jul 00 - 12:47 AM (#268340)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,ERIC

I first sang this song in 1977 in Indianapolis, IN. I was trying to sing the song to my brother, who should remember it but does not, but I could not remember the words. Does anyone know if I could get an mp3 to help my brother remember?


31 Jul 00 - 02:07 AM (#268362)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Eric - If you have RealPlayer, I can make you a better recording. Otherwise, I'll send an MP3. Just click on my name to send me e-mail - and remind me which song it was that you wanted.
I have only the Spanish version,, but that should do the trick for you. There are several versions of the lyrics above.
-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-


16 Aug 00 - 01:43 AM (#278627)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato-Music Is Available
From: GUEST,Kelly Kozar

Hello everybody! I remember this song from the 5th grade when my class used to sing it all of the time. It was actually in a music textbbook that we used. I understand everybody's fascination with it, I have always loved it myself. As it turns out, the song (words & music) is still included in the Silver Burdett music texts for children. I'm not sure, but they probably have a recording of it to go with the text. Here is the information on obtaining a copy of the text anyway. DON GATO is in the grade 3 book of the current music program. The book can be purchased by calling Silver Burdett at (800)552-2259. Its order number is 0382345029, and the price is $39.45. Hope this helps! ~=#;>


16 Aug 00 - 02:44 AM (#278637)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

I think it's fun that this thread has been with us ever since 1996, and keeps popping up with a bit more information here and there. Lots of different, fun versions of this song are around. Make me think of all the stray cats who hang out in my yard, looking through my window at me and watching with great interest. I think they believe I'm in a cage, getting exercise by clicking my fingers on a plastic thing on a shelf. I'm sure they think I'm weird, but harmless.
-Joe Offer-


17 Sep 00 - 03:52 PM (#299379)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Duckswearpants@gurlmail.com

In second grade we sang Don Gato, but the version we sang he married her but ran away the next day. has anybody ever heard of this?


19 Nov 00 - 09:47 AM (#343437)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Brian

Wow! A veritable Don Gato fan club - how great! I used to sing this song with my 2nd grade class in Colorado Springs, CO (1978). A few days ago it popped into my head but I could only remember the first verse. My girlfriend overheard me singing it (yes, I was singing in the shower) and now she's really curious to know about the letter and Don Gato's fate. Thank goodness I found this thread!


19 Nov 00 - 06:35 PM (#343615)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Jerry and Bev

We did this song last week and a second grade girl broke into tears when Don Gato died. Bringing him back to life in the last verse didn't help much. You never know what effect a song will have on the listner.

Bev and Jerry


08 Mar 01 - 01:34 PM (#413456)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Stewart

This is really too much... My girlfriend & I were discussing grade school play experiences over a whiskey sourlast night & we both realized that we had both performed Don Gato as kids . . She remembered almost all the lyrics. She's 25, I'm 28 . . I did it in Hillsboro, VA circa '78 . . . Now I'm hell bent on working out a playable guitar/flamenco version . . The above chords are a good start, but don't sound quite right from what I remember . . .

Thanks!!

-Stewart King

Woodland Park, CO


08 Mar 01 - 02:06 PM (#413486)
Subject: Chords Add: DON GATO
From: Joe Offer

I'd swear this is the most durable thread Mudcat has ever had. It's not the longest thread, but it's one that keep resurrecting every few months. Can anybody suggest a more sophisticated chords arrangement for Stewart? Let's see what I can glean from the Silver Burdett tesxtbook:

DON GATO

       Dmin    C      Dmin
Oh, Se-nor Don Ga - to was a cat

    Dmin       C       Dmin
On a high, red roof Don Ga - to sat

       Dmin             D7                     Gmin
He went there to read a let - ter, meow, meow, meow,

          Gmin                A7                     Dmin
Where the read - ing light was bet - ter, meow, meow, meow,

         A7               Dmin
'Twas a love note for Don Ga - to!




Stewart, if you'd like to send me your address by e-mail, I can e-mail or snailmail you a copy of the music from the textbook.

Joe Offer (click to e-mail)


08 Mar 01 - 02:20 PM (#413496)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: MMario

hey joe! Any chance mr scanner could e-mail me a copy of this? it's one of the "missing tunes"


08 Mar 01 - 02:46 PM (#413512)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Tune's up top in the thread, MMario. Already submitted.

-Joe Offer-


08 Mar 01 - 03:31 PM (#413537)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: MMario

woops! missed it! Guess I'm going colour-blind now as well.


04 Apr 01 - 12:24 AM (#432739)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

While needlessing surfing, I ran across the link (below) to a Natalie Merchant Live Concert album from June, 1999. Among the song listing was "Senor Don Gato." I assume this is OUR Don Gato. Has anybody heard the recording?

http://www.rock-infodatenbank.de/live_in_concert_1735653.htm

J.D. Roberson


04 Apr 01 - 03:18 AM (#432806)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Ah, the thread that never dies! JD, Click here for the U.S. version of the Natalie Merchant CD. No Don Gato, but some other cuts that look very interesting.
I did a Google Search (click) for "natalie merchant""don gato" and came up with quite a bit of information. Apparently, it IS the Don Gato we know, but it's on the DVD and not on the CD of the concert. The DVD also has a song called "Waterbound." I wonder if THAT's the one we know.
-Joe Offer-

Flash!

Click here for Natalie's lyrics. Yes, it IS the "Don Gato" we know, and also the "Waterbound" we know. Natalie Merchant has gone trad!
-Joe Offer-


05 Apr 01 - 11:20 PM (#434361)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

Joe,

Thanks for the information. I will definitely search for a copy of Natalie's CD.

Yeah, we cannot let Don Gato this thread die!

J.D. Roberson


06 Apr 01 - 08:06 PM (#434924)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Luke

I learned this song from my step daughter. She brought it home from school, knew it for many years befor she shared it with me a few years ago. It is a wonderful song. One of my favorites. I play it in a minor. But istead of going to G I play an e minor with a minor 7th thrown in to give the d required for the change. It makes it sound so very sexy and like Senior Don gato. It has become a required song to play for swing dancing at camp. Everyone dances and sings Meow Meow Moew as there dancing, it is so cool I love it.

Thanks for the reminder,

Luke


07 Apr 01 - 12:30 AM (#435057)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

We did this song at a school this very day and, as usual, it was dynamite.

Bev and Jerry


07 May 01 - 09:23 PM (#457500)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST


25 Jun 01 - 05:38 PM (#491688)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: SoloTheatre

We learned this song in the 2nd grade in CT from a beautiful music teacher that we were all in love with named MS. Miller. At a post show Q&A I mentioned that i was looking for the music and words, by the time I got back from tour a nice teacher had sent it to me.

I last heard it being sung by a troup of street musicians in the 42nd street subway in Times Square during a hispanic day parade celebration


26 Jun 01 - 01:44 PM (#492329)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: bobby's girl

The majority of people who have said they learnt this song are American, but it was taught to my two girls(now 15 & 16) at Junior school here on Portland, Dorset, aged about 7 yrs. They have always loved it and taught it to two friends from Durham Folkworks earlier this year, so it may make an appearance at Folkworks this year.


30 Jul 01 - 12:00 AM (#517478)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,CorRed4

Thank you for the lyrics i've been looking for them for some time. I knew the first 3 paragraphs to the song but couldn't remember the rest. I learned this song as a child in Tennessee at grade school. I also added my own music to the lyric, going by the melody I remember as a child. Again, Thanks alot!!!!!


01 Aug 01 - 12:54 PM (#519134)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.

I'm shocked this is a real song! My girlfriend was singing it, and I thought she made the whole thing up. I had never heard it, and she forgot most of the lyrics. What she did remember, however, facinated me. I don't know why. I was able to find the song lyrics at the following site: http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/lookup.cgi?ti=DONGATO


17 Nov 01 - 03:36 PM (#594762)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Melissa

I swear I thought my husband had dreamed it. He woke up one morning telling me about a song he had learned in grade school at Brown Elemetary in Sweetwater, Tennesse. All he could rememeber was that the cat fell, broke his solar plexus and came back to life when he smelled fish. I thought he has dreamed it all- then low and behold - 5 years after the 1st posting - I find you guys. Apparently I owe his a big apology!! thank you guys for all the great info on this song.


17 Nov 01 - 07:57 PM (#594864)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

Ahhhhh!

The thread that has nine lives comes back again.

Could this be the longest running thread on the Mudcat?

Bev and Jerry


17 Nov 01 - 08:48 PM (#594887)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: masato sakurai

Recording (mp3)of "El Senior Don Gato" in Spanish is HERE. ~Masato


17 Nov 01 - 11:28 PM (#594938)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Melissa

thank you for the mp3!!


14 Jul 02 - 11:22 PM (#748096)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Eric

I learned this song in grade school in St. Louis (around 1984), from Mrs. Gagnepain. We all loved it. My sister and I still sing it.

One day in college, I got the song in my head and started asking people if they knew it. As I was singing it for some dormmates, a guy walking past in the hallway chimed in "...and his little solar plexus, meow meow meow" and we both starting cracking up laughing.

That guy and I became friends after that. Last year he was the best man in my wedding.

And to think, without Don Gato we may never have met...


12 Aug 02 - 10:30 AM (#763812)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Trina

Wow, I was looking for the lyrics to one verse of Senor don Gato and stumbled upon this thread. Interestingly however, is th efact that with all these people who seem to know and love this song, I have never met any in person. As the mother of three, I have asked a lot of other moms and dads if they ever heard it, to no avail. I learned the song in NY in the 70's and now live in FL. I thought it was a regional thing, but I guess not. Does any body have a different chord suggestion for the song? The progression on here does not work too well and I would love to play it for my kids.


12 Aug 02 - 03:14 PM (#763982)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Calico

What a great song -- kind of a feline "Finnegan's Wake!"

Calico

  ^        ^
     @     @
 =  T  =
         w
 
 
 

Thanks for the MP3 link, Masato.


17 Oct 02 - 10:05 PM (#805763)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,tipnip@aol.com

My son's class performed Don Gato as a mini opera in 1989,5th grade in Downers Grove, IL. For a few years he would perform it on request. Glad to see others care for it as I do.


18 Oct 02 - 12:13 AM (#805838)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

Took a look at Google. Señor El Gato seems to have spread to all the European countries and Japan. The sources list it as traditional, northern Spain; no date. It truly is a great children's song.


21 Oct 02 - 05:01 AM (#807628)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,luxluxe

I've been looking to the lyrics to this song for years! We sang it in grade school in Tennessee maybe as early as '68 or '69. Never could meet anyone else who could remember all the lyrics! Now I want it for my nephews. Thanks for all the info!


21 Oct 02 - 05:43 AM (#807639)
Subject: Lyr Add: El señor don Gato
From: masato sakurai

El señor don Gato (from HERE)

Estaba el señor Don Gato
sentadito en su tejado
marramiau, miau, miau,
sentadito en su tejado.

Ha recibido una carta
por si quiere ser casado,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
por si quiere ser casado.

Con una gatita blanca
sobrina de un gato pardo,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
sobrina de un gato pardo.

El gato por ir a verla
se ha caído del tejado,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
se ha caído del tejado.

Se ha roto seis costillas
el espinazo y el rabo,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
el espinazo y el rabo.

Ya lo llevan a enterrar
por la calle del pescado,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
por la calle del pescado.

Al olor de las sardinas
el gato ha resucitado,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
el gato ha resucitado.

Por eso dice la gente
siete vidas tiene un gato,
marramiau, miau, miau, miau,
siete vidas tiene un gato.

~Masato


21 Oct 02 - 05:51 AM (#807641)
Subject: Lyr Add: ESTABA EL SEÑOR DON GATO
From: masato sakurai

ESTABA EL SEÑOR DON GATO
(From HERE)

Re _____________ La7 Re
Estaba el Señor Don Gato
Sol __________ Re __
sentadito en su tejado,
miarramiaumiau miau miau
_____________ La7 Re
sentadito en su tejado.

Cuando le vinieron nuevas
que había de ser casado
miarramiaumiau miau miau
que había de ser casado.

Con una gatita parda
con una pinta en el rabo,
miarramiaumiau miau miau
con una pinta en el rabo.

El gato de la alegría
se ha caído del tejado,
miarramiaumiau miau miau
se ha caído del tejado.

Se ha roto siete costillas
y la puntilla del rabo,
miarramiaumiau miau miau
y la puntilla del rabo.

Le llevaron a enterrar
por la calle del pescado,
miarramiaumiau miau miau
por la calle del pescado.

Al olor de las sardinas
Don Gato ha resucitado
miarramiaumiau miau miau
Don Gato ha resucitado.


21 Oct 02 - 06:03 AM (#807643)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: masato sakurai

On the Spanish version:
"Mr Cat was sitting on his roof when he received a letter asking him if he wanted to be married to a white kitty, niece of a brown cat. Upon receiving this letter he fell off the roof... he has broken seven ribs the spine and the tail...they are taking him to be buried... going down the fish street, upon smelling the sardines Mr cat has revived and that is why people say a cat has seven lives. (in Spanish folklore it is only seven and not nine)" (from HERE)

THIS PAGE has a score & midi.


21 Nov 02 - 01:04 PM (#831783)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Guest

WoW! This is unbelievable that so many people are brought together by "Don Gato"! I'm 30 as well, and one of my fondest childhood memories is riding in the camper of the back of our truck with my cousin singing me this song in the late 1970's. My mom picked up on it and sang it to me sometimes as well. My cousin had learned it in Spanish class in Nashville, Tennesse. She was five years older than me, and I never heard it from school, but then again I took French! I've heard fragments of it in my head over the years. I'm delighted that this little song has affected so many people and is not lost over time.
Long Live "Don Gato"!


05 Dec 02 - 11:11 AM (#841463)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Melissa in Kentucky

We sang this song in 2nd and 3rd grade in Clarksville, Arkansas. I used to go home and sing it to my grandmother. A year or so ago she told my mom to ask me if I could remember the words. I couldn't, and I couldn't find anyone who knew it. I just happened to find this thread today and found the words. Maybe I can put it to the vague tune I have in my head. Thanks everyone for this being out here!!! My grandmother will be thrilled.


05 Dec 02 - 01:50 PM (#841593)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: Genie

Masato, thanks so much for the link to the score and MIDI!


06 Dec 02 - 02:42 PM (#842518)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Lynneeo

It has been 30 years since I heard this song-I can't believe I found it! I used to cry whenever my elementary school music teacher would play it! It didn't matter that he came back to life. I couldn't stand it that he fell off the roof and died! My classmates made merciless fun of me!


10 Dec 02 - 10:36 PM (#845070)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: 4catfem

I ABSOLUTELY can not believe I found the lyrics to Senor Don Gato!!! I am 34 years old and learned the song in Elementary School in Bangor, Maine back in the 70's. I am a e-9-1-1 dispatcher and in down times, to relieve stress, we sing and goof around. I got to singing this song one day and have not lived it down since. NO ONE believed me that it was a real song. Now I have PROOF!!!
Thanks a MILLION!!!!


12 Dec 02 - 06:12 AM (#845821)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Iris

Oh my gawd!! I thought I was out of my mind for even *thinking* this song existed!! I've never met anyone else that knew of it.

I was home schooled, so it figures I wouldn't have learned it at elementery school. Like someone else up there, can't find the comment now, I heard it off a recored called The Lion Sleeps Tonight, somewhere around '77 or '78. It was sung in a strange Flamanco style and the singer had the most awful fake accent... but it was brilliant!! I completely loved it!

Thanks for proving I'm not nuts. I just won five bucks from my partner!


14 Dec 02 - 10:46 AM (#847321)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,trestrumpet@yahoo.com

Wow!!! I'm glad I'm not the only person who had this tune stuck in their head for 30 years!!! I, too, remember this tune from 2nd grade... Mrs. Firckle, music teacher, taught it to us. I was so sad when Don Gato died that I cried in the middle of class! I know he comes back to life at the end, but I was too deep in grief to cheer up again! Pretty funny.


18 Dec 02 - 01:49 PM (#849726)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Leslie

I am 40 years old and learned this song in elementary school in Wilmington, Delaware. For the first time in years, my three sisters and I were all together for Thanskgiving this past November. For some reason, during our wander down memory lane, this song came up. We tried and tried to piece together all of the lyrics. We remembered just enough to peak my 5-year old niece's interest, but couldn't come up with the whole thing. Now, thanks to this long-running thread, I can send them the full lyrics! Thank you all!


05 Jan 03 - 01:05 AM (#859014)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Susan

I have been sitting here having a blast reading what everyone has written about Senior Don Gato. I learned it in 3rd grade (1968) when my family moved to Frisco Colorado. The kids in my class had been singing it since kindergarten. Over the years I've had that wonderfully crazy tune in my head trying to remember all the words. A couple nights ago I tried to write them all down without luck so I thought I'd give the internet a shot not expecting much. Wow, I just couldn't believe all the Don Gato fans. This is great. I had the same teacher all through elementry and high school, everyone called her Mrs."A" or "mom". We always sang Don Gato, especially on Fridays. Even when we were in high school, she'd break into Senior Don Gato every once in awhile and all of us that grew up there would follow lead, leaving the newer students wondering what was going on. Oh what great memories. Thanks you guys.


27 Jun 03 - 12:20 AM (#973101)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,bartleby@bellsouth.net

I, too have been looking for the lyrics for years and years and I never met anyone who remembered this song. Before the internet, I even stopped by a few elementary schools to see if the music teachers knew of the song, without luck (but not without a few funny looks---"A children's song about a cat who reads a love letter on a roof, falls off, then is resurrected by the smell of fish? Riiiiiight.").

I learned the song in a Kentucky elementary school around 1970. It not only affected me every time Don Gato tragically fell and miraculously rose, it instilled in me a love for music and its power over us. Just think how a rising chorus of human voices can make you weep! How exhilarating to hear live music! All that started for me with Don Gato. Look at us all and what an impression Don Gato has made! Amazing!

Thank you so very kindly. Now I can sing the ENTIRE saga in the shower. :o)


03 Jul 03 - 12:10 PM (#976010)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Anne Jackson

I am so glad to find the lyrics!!! Surprisingly, I remembered the entire song but I had his name wrong, I was calling him Senior Grangato! I was in 3rd grade in Cleveland, Ohio, and just like another Don Gato fan, I have asked people all of the time (those that did not attent the same elementary school as I did)if they've ever heard of it and...NOT!

Thanks to Google.com, all I had to key in was, "lyrics to a song about a cat on a high red roof"!

It's interesting to know that there are many who love this song too!


03 Jul 03 - 11:52 PM (#976386)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Bo in KY

There must have been an amazing network of elementary school music teachers in the seventies from the looks of this thread. I learned it, in 3rd or 4th grade, in Cincinnati around '73-'74. As I remember, the tempo slows way down on the "in spite of everything they tried" verse until it picks up with "he became re-animated". The tune is as evocative for me as it apparently is for many. I always thought it had an "exotic" feel to it, but then, I was in 3rd grade, in the bowels of suburbia ...

Y'all have inspired me to work it up on the guitar and sing it for the kids - it may twist their minds a little. I'm sure Don Gato will live on in the next generation - he's nowhere near his 7th life (let alone his 9th!)

Shalom,

Bo


07 Jul 03 - 04:56 AM (#978136)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Steve

I too learned this song in the South Florida public school system in the early to mid 70's.

Steve


09 Jul 03 - 08:19 PM (#980215)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Marsha

This is so amazing! I love google for bringing me to this thread about our lovely friend, El senor Don Gato!!! I learned it in about 3rd grade (circa 1976ish) in Philadelphia.

It was my absolute FAVORITE song ever in school. Interestingly enough, I went to a Natalie Merchant concert about 2 years ago or so where she sang it. I WENT WILD!!!! I was so excited (I hadn't thought about this song in years.) My boyfriend thought I was on drugs, and like mostly everyone else there had never ever heard it before. I think I was the only person in our section of the concert hall singing along.

I'm going on a road trip with my 6 yr old and 9 yr old nieces a couple weeks from now, and I can hardly wait to teach them!!

Long live Don Gato!!


09 Jul 03 - 10:02 PM (#980250)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: marthabees

Okay - here is the definitive version of Don Gato.

Silver Burdett published "Making Music Your Own", an elementary music series, copyright about 1964. The third grade volume -it's orange -included "Senor Don Gato."   If anybody wants to know, I can find the book and look. I know - I taught the thing! It was a smash hit then and kids today (Yes, I'm still teaching....) still love it. I have a great rendition I do for the kids - very funny, if I say so myself.

The next few series abandoned the song, much to the chagrin of a lot of us who knew what a hit it was. And NOW it's back in some of the modern series, along with the Spanish version!

It is just credited as a Mexican folk song. Sorry, no more info than that.

Anyway, when I see kids - now grownups - who remember me, they almost to a person say "I'll always remember that song about the cat, Don Gato." And all of the input on this thread corroborates that experience.

If anybody wants me to scan the original book and send them a .jpg of the score with the picture of the cat knocked silly, just PM me and I'll do it. It includes chords, but not a fully-realized accompaniment.

Martha in Tallahassee
one of the handful of National Board Certified Music Teachers north Florida, by the way


09 Jul 03 - 10:44 PM (#980267)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Say, Martha - I wonder when Silver Burdett promoted the song to FOURTH grade. I have a Silver Burdett textbook titled Music Now and Long Ago, copyright 1956. It has three stars on its spine, so I imagine it's for third grade. I have most of the 1956 series, but not fourth grade. I do have a "Centennial Edition" of Silver Burdett Music, copyright 1985, and it has four dots on the spine - and it has "Don Gato" in it, in English only.
Anybody know the title of the Fourth Grade book in the 1956 series, and does it have "Don Gato"? When was the next series published?
-Joe Offer-


10 Jul 03 - 06:38 AM (#980413)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

This thread is amazing. Senor Don Gato will never die!
(wonder how this song would sound on the ukulele??)


12 Jul 03 - 09:09 PM (#982080)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,samunchkin@aol.com

Don Gato rules! I find it hilarious that this thread has lasted over 5 years! Keep it up guys!


17 Jul 03 - 04:34 PM (#985449)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,sonjabontrager@yahoo.com

http://www.elalmanaque.com/diciembre/28-12-poe.htm

¡Viva Don Gato! Imagine my surprise in 1987 in Barcelona when a Catalonian friend began to sing "Vamos a contar mentiras" ( Let's Tell Lies") to the tune of my beloved childhood "Don Gato." It seems our Don Gato got the lyrics & plot from one traditional song and the tune from a completely separate one, having nothing to do with cats.


18 Jul 03 - 12:28 AM (#985687)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Bo in KY

... but the cat thread came back, the very next day,
the cat thread came back,
they thought he was a goner ...


Sorry, couldn't resist.


18 Jul 03 - 01:37 AM (#985704)
Subject: Lyr Add: VAMOS A CONTAR MENTIRAS
From: GUEST,Don

From the link given above:
VAMOS A CONTAR MENTIRAS

Ahora que vamos despacio,
ahora que vamos despacio,
vamos a contar mentiras, tralará,
vamos a contar mentiras, tralará,
vamos a contar mentiras.

Por el mar corren las liebres,
por el mar corren las liebres,
por el monte las sardinas, tralará,
por el monte las sardinas, tralará,
por el monte las sardinas.

Salí de mi campamento,
salí de mi campamento
con hambre de seis semanas, tralará,
con hambre de seis semanas, tralará,
con hambre de seis semanas.

Me encontré con un ciruelo,
me encontré con un ciruelo
cargadito de manzanas, tralará,
cargadito de manzanas, tralará,
cargadito de manzanas.

Empecé a tirarle piedras,
empecé a tirarle piedras
y caían avellanas, tralará,
y caían avellanas, tralará,
y caían avellanas.

Con el ruido de las nueces,
con el ruido de las nueces
salió el amo del peral, tralará,
salió el amo del peral, tralará,
salió el amo del peral.

Chiquillo, no tires piedras,
chiquillo, no tires piedras,
que no es mío el melonar, tralará.
Que no es mío el melonar, tralará,
que no es mío el melonar.

Que es de una vieja muy pobre,
que es de una vieja muy pobre
que vive en El Escorial, tralará,
que vive en El Escorial, tralará,
que vive en El Escorial.

Y aquí se acaba la historia,
Y aquí se acaba la historia
de Pepino y Zanahoria, tralará,
de Pepino y Zanahoria, tralará,
de Pepino y Zanahoria.

Canción popular anónima. Existen numerosas variantes.


20 Jul 03 - 01:35 PM (#987066)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Pilar - Spain

Hey! This thread is just amazing! I didn't know that in the States you had an English version of El Senor Don Gato. By the way, the Vamos a contar mentiras has a completely different tune. The Catalonian friend who was singing it on The Senor Don Gato melody was just mistaken. Regards,


20 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM (#987075)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Originally from..

By the way, the origins of the song of Don Gato are rooted in Spain in the 15th century, as it has been proved that the Jews sent away at that time by the Catholic Kings keep it still in their folklor in Tetuan.


21 Jul 03 - 10:29 AM (#987473)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,.

..


21 Jul 03 - 05:23 PM (#987695)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,kagarci

I have also been searching for years. I sang Senor Don Gato in grade school (circa 1970) in Albuquerque, NM. Since the majority of the grade schools didn't have a music teacher, we all turned on the in-class TV's once a week for "Sound Go Round". It aired on the local PBS station. I have been singing it on and off over the years and still love it!


11 Aug 03 - 11:35 PM (#1000629)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,guest,

I can't believe how much stuff came up in a search for this song! I also learned it in elementary FPBS, NY 1973ish.
I was trying to find the lyrics for the part after
the doctors all came on the run...

I kept remembering another line that went something like

......get some linaments and linen
meow, meow, meow

Does anyone else recall this verse or anything like it? Out of all the stuff that came up I didn't see anything like it. Maybe from another song?


19 Aug 03 - 12:35 AM (#1004432)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,rmendezjr@satx.rr.com


19 Sep 03 - 04:22 PM (#1022006)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,pixeal@yahoo.com

I am 29 years old and have remembered this song since I learned it the 4th grade! I was looking for the lyrics and came across this wonderful thread! This is my favorite childrens song!

My class did this on stage. I got to play the fluffy white cat and the doctors. My friend played Don Gato while the rest of the class stood on stage in a chorus. It was great and the audience laughed and cried.

I was looking for the lyrics because I wanted to do something new for my barony the Barony of Rivenstar (Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA). We have been doing some Italian impromptu street theatre performances, and I thought Don Gato would be a great piece to sing and act out. Thanks to every one on the threads for posting lyrics. I could never remember the last line. Now I have several versions of it!

Thanks again!
Kat
aka: Lady Elisaveta Izmaragd Ivanova


24 Sep 03 - 01:02 AM (#1024118)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Jo

Hi, I have also been looking for this song. I learned it around 1970 in Georgetown, Texas.


06 Oct 03 - 10:50 PM (#1030993)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,SomeDude

I also heard it on the "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" record when I was a kid in the mid to late 70s.
Seems like there's another verse that says something like "the sound was heard for miles around".
Is there a verse with that in it?


18 Oct 03 - 09:10 PM (#1037860)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GUEST

Count me in as another one who had the song stay with him lo these many (33 or so) years. Learned it in elementary school in Pittsburgh, PA in the late 60's. I came to this thread because I now have two boys to whom I want to sing it, and wanted to find the actual melody (the years have messed it up in my head). The melodies provided above didn't have the rhythm so I kept looking (and because I didn't want to go trying to find a Silver Burdett book. )The following URL has it, though as I remember it the beginning two eighth notes are O and Sen-, not Se- and nor, and no "he" before "was a cat." Otherwise it seems to be the way I had learned it.

http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/ttDONGATO.html

It would be interesting to know whether this melody is the one most people in this Don Gato Fan Club had learned.


18 Oct 03 - 09:25 PM (#1037865)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

That's the one.

Bev and Jerry


24 Oct 03 - 01:23 PM (#1041158)
Subject: RE: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

There's now an illustrated book dedicated to our beloved, re-animated feline. See the link at Candlewick Press:

http://www.candlewickpress.com/cwp/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763617245&bkview=p&pix=n

J.D. Roberson


30 Oct 03 - 01:55 PM (#1044714)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

"By the way, the origins of the song of Don Gato are rooted in Spain in the 15th century, as it has been proved that the Jews sent away at that time by the Catholic Kings keep it still in their folklor in Tetuan."

Where did this information come from! I would love to document any information about this song that predates the 16th century.

If any one has any factual sources, please contact me!

email: pixeal@yahoo.com

Don Gato Fan,
Kathleen
SCA: Lady Elisaveta Izmaragd Ivanova


08 Nov 03 - 07:10 PM (#1050298)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Kathleen - This Google Search (click) for "Don Gato" sephardic brings up some information, notably this page (click) on the lighter side of Judeo-Spanish traditional song. You'll find "Estaba señor Don Gato" listed on a few CD's of Ladino/Sephardic songs.
-Joe Offer-
I can't believe it - I came across a Ladino Song Database, and it has lyrics for don Gato.

Don Gato

In other versions, it is the girl cat that jumps and is hurt.

Estando el señor Don Gato
    sentadito en su tejado
con la mano en la cintura
    y la otra en el costado.
Por allí pasó una gata
    con los ojos arrelumbrando.
El gato, por darla un beso,
    se cayó de su tejado.
Se partió media costilla,
    media costilla y un brazo.
Mandaron por los doctores,
    doctores y cirujanos.
Uno le miraba el pulso
    y otro le miraba el brazo.
Ya lo llevan a enterrar,
    por la calle las sardinas,
El olor de las sardinas,
    el gato resucitó.
[Por eso dice la gente,
    siete almas tiene un gato.]
    There was a boy cat
    sitting on a roof
with one in his waist
    and the other one on the hip.
A girl cat passed by
    with bright eyes.
The boy cat for giving her a kiss
    jumped from his roof.
He broke a middle rib
    and an arm.
They sent for doctors,
    for doctors and surgeons.
One looked at the pulse
    the other one at the arm.
They brought him for the burial
    to the street of sardines.
The smelling of the sardines
    brought him back to life.
[For this reason people say
    a cat has seven lives.]


09 Nov 03 - 09:52 AM (#1050598)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Nigel Parsons

As with another current thread, this song was taught in British schools through the medium of radio broadcasts, with small music books for teachers/pupils, many of which can probably still be found, and I have a few.
The version taught here is different from that quoted, so I quote it entire. (Melody line available if required)

Nigel

___________________________________________________________

THE GREAT DON GATO

Once the noblest cat, Don Gato
To his sweetheart sent a note,
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!
'Marry me dear Mistress Pussy.'

On the roof top high he waited;
Answered she, 'I'll be your bride'.
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!
Overcome with joy, he tumbled.
         
Oh how sad, the great Don Gato
Lies so still upon the ground.            
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!            
Doctors quickly come to help him.

Doctors shake their heads so sadly,            
'Nothing here that we can do',            
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!            
Through the market place they bear him.      

                 
But the smells of fruit and fishes            
Reach Don Gato's lordly nose.            
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!            
Up he jumps, his ills forgotten.
      
Mistress Puss comes from the country,         
Isn't she a lovely bride?            
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!            
No one had a grander wedding.
         
Seven fluffy kits are brides-maids,            
All the cats are there to see.            
Miri miri Miaw! Miaw! Miaw!            
'Best of luck!' they wish Don Gato.
         

Notes: published in: "Time and tune ; BBC Sound Broadcasts to Schools Autumn Term 1963"; Acknowledgements are given to J Curwen & Sons Ltd for the words and music from Children's Songs from Spain

NP


18 Nov 03 - 03:38 PM (#1056454)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,olrusty_2001@yahoo.com

For years I've asked friends if they remember this song to which I only remembered the first few lyrics. No one remembered!! They asked (joking) where you in Special Ed or something cause we did'nt sing that in our class? I sang what I knew to my boyfriend and he can't get it off his mind and keeps asking me to sing it. This AM I called and old school friend and sang what I knew on her voice mail. She called back and remembered more.
I was like "Oh my God you remember that song!" Then I got online and found you guys! I love the song!! I'm going to Barnes and Noble according to their website, they have CD or cassette!


23 Nov 03 - 12:33 PM (#1059429)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Laura

I sang this song in Mrs Boggan's 3rd glade class in Santa Monica in 1979/1980. We sang some other great songs, too. I was playing the guitar this morning with the kids while my husband was showing my 5 yr old how to draw a cat. I started figuring out how to play "The Cat Came Back". Then I vaguely remembered this Senor Gato song. All I could remember was the lyric "smell of fish" (was in the air). Anyway, I did a search and weve been playing the song all morning.

I use A minor and G for most of the song. Then E major for the last line in each phrase.

So great to hear so many others remember this song so fondly!


23 Nov 03 - 07:10 PM (#1059602)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: YorkshireYankee

I too learned this song in grade school (Detroit area) in about 1964-65. Haven't seen anyone on this thread mention learning it any earlier... so is that when it made its first appearance in US elementary school music classes? Or does anyone remmber learning it before that?

Just wondering,

YY


23 Nov 03 - 07:54 PM (#1059631)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

A long history of the song at this site, in Spanish, by Dr. Elfidio Alonso. It seems that the song can be traced to mid-18th century, but there is some question about it being found from the 14th century in Sephardic literature. A lot of speculation. Did it pass from Cuba to Spain? African predecessor? No habla Español, so guessing.
Website: Senor Don Gato

I hope someone who knows Spanish will summarize the highlights of this article.
Did the song enter North America from the south, or did it come across from Spain?


23 Nov 03 - 09:09 PM (#1059656)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Charles

The web is quite amazing. I have had this song in my head ever since I heard it from a friend of mine in High School in Jos, Plateau State in Nigeria! I am 27 and that was in 1989.

We went to boarding school and my friend Abu use to sing it all the time. My room-mates and I would ask him to sing it for us cause we liked it so much.

I remember that he use to sing another verse in which Don Gato rises, heads to the market and eats all the fish. The villagers then actually kill him! Has anyone heard of this, or is this some dark twist that was added at some point. Sorry for the potential bad news about Don Gato but I'd like to know if its real.

Thanks.


23 Nov 03 - 10:12 PM (#1059672)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: The Fooles Troupe

The Bonnie Phipps Site link given much earlier above has now died.

Robin


06 Dec 03 - 12:12 PM (#1066735)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Neo

does anyone have the music for Senor Don Gato? or at least know where to find it? if you can please email it to me at, n_o_f@msn.com


06 Dec 03 - 03:15 PM (#1066850)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

Neo:

It's winging its way through cyberspace as we type this.

Bev and Jerry


06 Dec 03 - 03:27 PM (#1066858)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Nigel Parsons

Melody line (mentioned 9.Nov.o3) going in e-mail

Nigel


09 Jan 04 - 12:22 AM (#1089198)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Estaba Senor Don Gato, sung in Spanish, in the folder Bridges of Song; mp3. Many Spanish Sephardic songs here and some other old Spanish songs: Spanish, Sephardic


09 Jan 04 - 12:48 AM (#1089203)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

Is this really the same Don Gato we all know and love? Sure didn't sound like it.

Bev and Jerry


13 Jan 04 - 12:06 AM (#1091686)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Carl

Well,
I too went a seaching for all the words, thanks everyone.
I learned it in 5th grade in WALLA WALLA Washington at Prospect point, 1970, Seems that when we get older and need to teach our grandkids a song this one pops out.


20 Jan 04 - 01:12 AM (#1096819)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Leena

wow, this is weird! We're playing A song in band called Monterey March and I found out it was based on a Mexican Folk song called Don Gato. I went to look it up on the internet to see if I could find more about it and I find this. Does anyone know if it's based on the same song you guys are talking about?


20 Jan 04 - 07:12 AM (#1096939)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Pierre LaPlante arranged the march tune. Senor Don Gato is Spanish, not Mexican, but it is well-known in Mexico.


07 Feb 04 - 10:02 PM (#1111664)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Robert

Like so many others over the years, I just stumbled across this thread while hunting for information about "Don Gato," a song I've never forgotten since hearing it in Mrs. Griffin's third-grade music class in 1974.

I liked the song so much I brought a tape to school and had Mrs. Griffin make a copy of the record for me. And I recently found that I still had the tape, and I was still able to play it after 30 years. There are other recordings of the song now available, but for me this will always be the definitive one. I wish I knew what record it was.

If anybody is interested in hearing my vintage 1974 recording of the old record, I could put up an MP3 of it (though it is pretty bad quality).


08 Feb 04 - 12:06 AM (#1111701)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Lori

I probably speak from many of us out here that we would love to here it- even in poor quality!
Thanks!


23 Mar 04 - 03:37 PM (#1144140)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,katie

This is awesome! I'm a 2nd grade teacher and I'm singing Don Gato with my students next week - I hope they all love it as much as you do! I chose this song because my mom used to sing it to me when I was little. It's such a neat song!


24 Mar 04 - 10:22 AM (#1144838)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST, Gina

I suddenly thought of this song while working at my desk this morning. I am so pleased to finally have all the words, and not just Meow, Meow, Meow! I learned this song in 3rd grade in Western New York. Here's to Don Gato and his nine lives!


24 Mar 04 - 11:53 AM (#1144903)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Geez, Senor Don Gato will never die, will he?

Good kitty!

Allison


01 Apr 04 - 10:41 PM (#1152476)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Robert

I offered to post this a month or so ago, and then had computer problems. Sorry about that!

Here it is: a recording
made in 1974 of "Don Gato" as I first heard it. I wonder how many other people remember this version.


07 Apr 04 - 08:17 AM (#1156448)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

Thank you Robert for posting that recording! Other than singing "Don Gato" to myself, that's the first time in many years I have heard it performed! This forum thread is amazing.

Has anyone located the John Manders book on "Don Gato" from Candlewick Press? It's special order at Borders and B&N, but I've not yet seen it already in stock.


07 Apr 04 - 01:11 PM (#1156721)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Manders' "Senor Don Gato" is available in school and library binding for $11.19 from Amazon. It came out Aug. 2003.


12 Apr 04 - 11:28 AM (#1159876)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,bartleby97@aol.com

I've been singing Don Gato since we learned it in third grade (1969), in Portsmouth, VA. I wanted to teach it to my daughter, who is thrilled and enchanted by the bit I remembered -- only the first and third stanzas! Now I have it all, the music, and the link to Amazon. You guys are great! Viva Don Gato!


13 Apr 04 - 09:16 PM (#1161342)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Suzette Fisher

I can't believe I found the words!!! I have been singing this song forever...I learned it in 5th grade 1975 Bay Village, Ohio. But, I forgot the last two versus. I've been singing it to my 2 girls for the last five years, but I would just make up the ending. Tonight I thought, well, it's a long shot, but maybe there will be something on the web. What a suprise to see all the other people just like me that had this catchy little tune also stuck in their heads all these years! Wow! Thanks for the lyrics. I feel complete now...haha!


14 Apr 04 - 03:15 PM (#1161663)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: ranger1

I'd forgotten all about this song until I happened across this thread. I learned it it 3rd grade in Enfield, NH, but not from the music teacher. Our 3rd grade teacher caught on quick that our music teacher was an absolutely horrible person and most of us were actually dreading going to music class every week. Mr. Downall started teaching us songs in our classroom to keep music a good experience. Don Gato was one, and we also learned a couple about foxes, one of which was in German. I hadn't thought about Don Gato in years, but as soon as I saw the thread, all the words and the tune came back.


16 Apr 04 - 07:27 PM (#1163564)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Manders' "Senor Don Gato," Candlewick Press, has sheet music at the end. The book in hard cover is on sale at Amazon for $11.19.


16 Apr 04 - 08:38 PM (#1163608)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The Sephardic Jewish origin of Don Gato has been mentioned in a previous posting.
At this web site given below are reproduced all of the versions so far found and incorporated in the Archive of Sephardic Folk Literature (in Spanish).

There are versions from all of the countries of Latin America, the state of New Mexico, Spain and Morocco. Versions may vary from town to town and area to area; they are all given here.

A truly amazing compilation, with references.
http://www.sephardifolklit.org/flsj/explore/searchBallads1.html?amp=W1

The website is a comprehensive archive of the folk literature of Sephardic Jews. The Home Page is:
Sephardic Folk Literature


17 Apr 04 - 04:47 PM (#1163949)
Subject: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,timatkins123@hotmail.com

I heard Senor Don Gato once - 12 years ago - in the Haight Ashbery SF Public Library on a Folkways [I think] disc that was so scratched that it was almost unplayable. I never wrote down who the singer was.

I took it home and taped it and - of course - I love it. I guess that anyone reading this thread won't be surprised.

I was living in San Francisco and soon after returned home to England. I now live in London and am very happy to be reading about the love that people have for the song. Nobody in England [except my daughter & I] knows of it.

I love the idea that it is in the library right opposite the houses that Jefferson Airplane & The Grateful Dead used to live in.

Now that I have the chords I will play it to her on my Ukulele.

Best wishes & thanks to all contributors.


19 Apr 04 - 12:18 AM (#1164857)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

I cannot believe how many people have heard this song. I've been trying to remember the lyrics for about 33 years, i knew the story but couldn't quite put the verses together. Every now and then it comes in to mind and I'm singing im my heaed. I first heard this song in 2nd or 3rd grade in New York and have been telling my kids and husband about it. of course they think i'm crazy, now I can show them this!!
Thanks for posting


27 Apr 04 - 10:05 PM (#1172875)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,ZTex

Well,

I went looking for Don Gato out of pure couriosity because the boys in our Scout troop sing a version of it on Campouts! WOW and I thought they made it up!

Whoduthunkit!

Cool


05 May 04 - 12:03 PM (#1178576)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

All right! I give in! I'm crying "uncle"!

After 10 Don Gato-free years, I'm teaching this song to my students this week!

I'll let you know how it goes...

Allison


08 May 04 - 09:35 AM (#1181048)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Tara Cox

I've been searching for these lyrics for years now. All I could remember was the first verse, although I remembered well how it ended! I attended school in Boyertown, Pennsylvania and learned it in 3rd grade from Mrs. Lamb, bless her heart! I've been wanting to teach the lyrics to my children. Thank you all so much, you've made my day! Don Gato will live on!!!


18 May 04 - 04:44 PM (#1187955)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Stewart

HA!

Years later, I happen to STILL be searching for a legit tab / chord
layout for Don Gato, and come across this thread... hysterical that
it's still rolling.

By gum, I'm going to get a solid guitar version of this down - I now
have a neice who is 1 yr old, and I can't imagine her growing up
without Don Gato!!

I'll be back,

Stewart


22 Jul 04 - 11:44 AM (#1231428)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Crystal

I'm from Springfield, Missouri.. I'm 17. I learned it in school as well.. I've been searching for a full leanth midi/wav/mp3 of the music for a while.. still no luck.


22 Jul 04 - 01:28 PM (#1231511)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Simple sheet music, midi, ABC, etc. at numachi. Not quite the original Spanish tune, but usable:
Don Gato
The best rendition was at the Sephardic site, but it is gone. Luckily I recorded it.


22 Jul 04 - 09:13 PM (#1231826)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

El Senor Don Gato - El Senor Mr. Cat (both Spanish and English) may be downloaded here: Don Gato- Mr Cat
A lively, unusual arrangement from an album of northern Spanish songs.


26 Jul 04 - 08:10 AM (#1233867)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

"Robert" posted a nice mp3 recording at this forum on April 1, 2004.


26 Jul 04 - 03:25 PM (#1234140)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

On 16 April, 04, I gave a link to the website Sephardic Folk Literature, which includes many versions of "Don Gato" collected in Spain, Latin America, New Mexico and Morocco. One, collected in Morocco, Tetuán, by Susana Weich-Shahak, is a child's version, used to teach Jewish children. It is brief.

Estaba el señor don Gato
sentadito en su tejado
con la(s) mano en la cintura
y la otra en el costado.
Por ahí pasóo una gata
con las ojos 'relumbrando;
la gata (sic), por darle un beso,
se cayó de su tejado,
Mandaron por los ductores,
Ductores y cirujanos;
uno le mira la pierna,
otro le mira el costado.
Señor Gato está muy malo,
señor Gato ya se ha muerto;
ya lo llevan a enterrar
y la plaza del pescado,
al olor de las sardinas
el gato ha resucitado.

Basic sheet music is given, and the song may be downloaded.
Music at Don Gato music
Discussion and text at Don Gato text
If these don't work, use the index link I gave 16 April 04 and scroll way down.

Age unknown. Apparently there are no known written records of the song before the 18th c, so it cannot be shown that it was sung in Spain before the expulsion of the Jews. Sephardic songs continued to evolve through time, with new additions, so the fact that a song is in their current literature is not proof of 15th c. existence.


26 Jul 04 - 03:30 PM (#1234145)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The link gets one to the Don Gato texts, but not directly to the song. Scroll way, way down. The link is slow; this is a large website.


26 Jul 04 - 11:43 PM (#1234442)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

There are many versions of the story, not all with happy endings for the cat.

Lyr. Add: El Señor Don Gato

Estaba el señor don gato,
en silla de oro sentado,
calzando medias de seda
y zapatitos dorados,
cuando llegó' la noticia
que debía ser casado,
con una gatita parda,
hija de un gato romano.

(There was Señor Don Gato,
Seated on a golden chair,
Wearing stockings of silk
and little golden shoes;
When the news came
that he was to be wed
To a brown kitten,
daughter of a Roman cat.)

El gato, con la alegría,
subió a bailar al tejado;
mas con un palo le dieron,
y rodando vino abajo.

(The cat, joyfully,
Ascended to dance on the tile roof;
But he tripped on a stick
and tumbled down below.)

Se rompió siete costillas
y la puntita del rabo.

(He broke seven ribs
and the tip of his tail.)

Llamaron a los médicos,
doctores y cirujanos;
mataron siete gallinas
y le dieron de un caldo.

(They called for the doctors,
Physicians and surgeons;
They killed seven hens
And made a broth for him.)

Lo llevaron a enterrar
al pobrecito don gato
y lo llevaron en hombros
cuatro gatos colorados.

(They came to bury
Poor little Don Gato;
Four red cats
Bore him on their shoulders.)

Sobre la cajita iban
siete rationes bailando
al ver que se había muerto
su enemigo más malo.

(On the little casket rode
Seven dancing mice;
Having seen that
Their worst enemy was dead.)

Apologies for my very free translation.
Don Gato


27 Jul 04 - 12:04 AM (#1234454)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The page has an n with a tilde (ñ); perhaps that is why I can't bring it up. Any advice?
http://www.profesorenlinea.cl/primysgdo/rimasypoemas/elseñordongato.html
You can reach it from this page (click), Q.
-Joe Offer-

Estaba el señor don gato,
en silla de oro sentado,
calzando medias de seda
y zapatitos dorados,
cuando llegó la noticia
que debía ser casado,
con una gatita parda,
hija de un gato romano.

El gato, con la alegría,
subió a bailar al tejado;
mas con un palo le dieron,
y rodando vino abajo.

Se rompió siete costillas
y la puntita del rabo.

Llamaron a los médicos,
doctores y cirujanos;
mataron siete gallinas
y le dieron de un caldo.

Lo llevaron a enterrar
al pobrecito don gato
y lo llevaron en hombros
cuatro gatos colorados.

Sobre la cajita iban
siete ratones bailando
al ver que se había muerto
su enemigo más malo.


27 Jul 04 - 03:41 PM (#1234957)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Kristen Miller

I can't believe there are so many people out there who remember this song! My sons were singing a song that had a similar tune this afternoon and I realized that I remembered this song (just not all the lyrics).

Thanks to all of you for supplying the rest of them!


08 Sep 04 - 06:04 PM (#1267137)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Guest, Fred

I stumbled onto this thread when searching for recordings of Don Gato, and I found one no-one has mentioned so far: It's on a childrens CD called 'The Bottle Let Me Down' by various artists. The artist that performs Don Gato is Kelly Hogan, and from the little blurb you get on Amazon it sounds like a really good version! Worth buying the rest of the CD for...It was recorded June 18, 2002 by
Bloodshot Records, ASIN: B000066JE8.

Any other Gato fans heard this recording? Is it as good as it sounds?


08 Sep 04 - 06:53 PM (#1267161)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Fred - yes, 'The Bottle Let Me Down' is a good collection, and the "Don Gato" cut is an exceptionally good English-language recording of the song. There's a Rounder CD called Songs and Games of Latin America by "El Lobo" that has a good Spanish-language recording of "Gato."
-Joe Offer-


11 Sep 04 - 06:46 PM (#1269581)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,David


11 Sep 04 - 06:51 PM (#1269588)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,David Rose

I learned this song in 3rd grade in Clinton, MD. I apologize for not remembering the name of my Music teacher. I cried for both the sadness and joy in this song then, and still do now that I am 37. In the version we sung, I seem to remember something about a credenza. I thought he had fallen from it and I don't recall a red roof at all. I remembered the credenza because everytime I heard the word, it reminded my of the song. This has got to be the longest running, semi-active thread that I have ever seen. Thank you for keeping it alive. This is my favorite song from my childhood (I love cats).


15 Sep 04 - 08:55 PM (#1272951)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Dr. Val

I learned this song in first grade (1967?) in Miami public schools. It was in a song book we used in class. I remembered the first stanza all these years, and I'm grateful to all who have posted on this site.
Thanks!


21 Sep 04 - 12:27 AM (#1276978)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,bethmariead@earthlink.net

I, too, am laughing my head off reading all these comments. I learned Don Gato from Mr. Henley in fifth grade in Cincinnati, Ohio (1973) I don't remember much from fifth grade but for some reason was able to sing almost the entire song to my kids using their stuffed kitties as props. I just couldn't remember the verse after "And they held a consultation about how to save their patient," so like Suzette I have made up my own ending to the song for years. Tonight I thought I would go on line for kicks and see if I could find the lyrics and there they were! I wonder what makes this song so memorable to so many people?


01 Oct 04 - 03:59 PM (#1286328)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

bethmariead,

When I've mentioned this song to people who remember it, they will almost always refer to the "Meow, Meow, Meow" lyric. I think it was simply a fun song that talked about an animal which many kids had as pets. The death-and-reanimation part was also very memorable to young children. Because it was a ballad, or story-telling song, it made sense to the young mind and was easy to remember in sequence.

JDRoberson


08 Oct 04 - 08:01 PM (#1292733)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The Spanish version posted by Joe, 15 Sept 98, has a chorus or refrain for each couplet, not just one for the song. It is just as easy to post the entire lyrics, with the pronunciation which is provided. It is an excellent version for small children. Perhaps Joe will wish to put it together in one post.

Lyr. Add: DON GATO (SIR CAT)

Sentado en silla de oro estaba el señor Don Gato
Sehn-tah-doh ehn see-yah deh oh-roh en-stah-bah ehl sehn-yohr Dohn Ga-toh
Seated on chair of gold was Mr. Sir Cat.

con unas medias de seda y unos zapatitos blancos
kohn oo-nahs meh-d'yahs deh seh-dah ee oo-nohs sah-pah-tee-tohs blahn-kohs
with stockings of silk and little shoes of white.

Chorus:
Até y alé pum, até y alé pum, y unos zapititos blancos
Ah-teh' ee ah-leh' poom, ah-teh' ee ah-leh' poom, ee oo-nohs sah-pah-tee-tohs blahn-kohs
Ate y ale pum, ate y ale pum, and little shoes white.

Ha recibido una carta que si quiere ser casado
Ah reh-see-bee-doh oo-nah kahr-tah keh see k'yeh-reh sehr kah-sah-doh
He has received a letter that if he wishes to be married.

con una gatita parda, sobrina de un gato pardo
kohn oo-nah gah-tee-tah pahr-dah, soh-bree-nah deh oon gah-toh pahr-doh
with a cat dark, niece of a cat dark.

Chorus:
Até y alé pum, até y alé pum, sobrina de un gato pardo
Ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, soh-bree-nah deh oon gah-toh pahr-doh
Ate y ale pum, ate y ale pum, niece of a cat dark.

El gatito, de contento se ha ca&#ído del tejado
Ehl gah-tee-toh deh kohn-tehn-toh seh ah kah-ee-doh dehl teh-hah-doh
The kitten, from joy, has fallen from the roof.

Ya se ha muerto, ya se ha muerto, ya se ha muerto, el gatito
Yah seh ah m'wehr-toh, yah seh ah m'wehr-toh, yah seh ah m'wehr-toh, ehl gah-tee-toh
Now he has died, now he has died, now he has died, the kitten.

Chorus:
Até y alé pum, até y alé pum, ya se ha muerto, el gatito
Ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, yah seh ah m'wehr-toh, ehl gah-tee-toh
ate y ale pum, ate y ale pum, now he has died, the kitten.

Ya lo llevan a enterrar, por la calle del pescado
Yah loh yeh-vahn ah ehn-tehr-rar, pohr lah kah-yeh dehl pehs-kah-doh
Now they take him to be buried, through the street of the fish.

Las gatitas van de luto y los ratones bailando
Lahs gah-tee-tahs vahn deh loo-toh ee lohs rah-toh-nehs b'eye-lahn-doh
The kittens go in mourning and the rats are dancing.

Chorus:
Até y alé pum, até y alé pum, y los ratones bailando
Ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, ee lohs rah-toh-nehs b'eye-lahn-doh
ate y ale pum, ate y ale pum, and the rats dancing.

Y al olor de las sardinas el gato ha resucitado
Ee ahl oh-lohr deh lahs sahr-dee-nahs ehl gah-toh ah reh-soo-see-tah-doh
And at the smell of the sardines the cat has revived.

Por eso dicen la Gente: siete vidas tiene el gato
Pohr eh-soh dee-sehn lah Hehn-teh: s'yeh-teh vee-dahs t'yeh-neh ehl gah-toh
That is why say the people: seven lives has the cat.

Chorus:
Até y alé pum, até y alé pum, siete vidas tiene el gato
Ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, ah-teh ee ah-leh poom, s'yeh-tehvee-dahs t'yeh-neh ehl gah-toh.

From the children's book by Henrietta Yurchenco, illus. Jules Maidoff, 1967, "A Fiesta of Folk Songs from Spain and Latin America," pp. 4-6 with music, G. P. Putnam's Sons, NYC.
Ethnomusicologist Ms Yurchenco lived in Mexico, lectured at CCNY, was folk song editor for The American Record Guide, worked on Gullah songs in the islands of South Carolina, and has spent 60 of her 80 years collecting and recording folk song in many parts of the world. She is featured in the National Geographic book, "Songcatchers: In Search of the World's Music." Some of her recordings have been issued by The Archive of American Folk Song, Library of Congress.


15 Oct 04 - 10:36 PM (#1298344)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST


15 Oct 04 - 10:40 PM (#1298345)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GA

I am so pleased to come across this site. I guess everyone learned this song in elementary school. I learned it at King Springs Elementary in Smyrna GA around 1978-79. I have been trying to remember the lyrics for a long time and now that I have kids, I wanted to see if I could find them on the internet. What a great invention! You can find anything!


16 Oct 04 - 12:30 AM (#1298380)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

We would translate the line "Las gatitas van de luto y los ratones bailando" a little more loosely as "The lady cats are mourning and the rats are dancing". This line never fails to get big laughs among Spanish speaking kids.

Bev and Jerry


27 Oct 04 - 05:48 PM (#1309009)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Liz P

I too remember a few snipits from lines that aren't here anywhere. One was the line about linens and lienent. The other was "the sound was heard for miles around." Does anybody else know about these missing lyrics?

Also in one version his name was Del Gato.

I sang this song in four Elementary schools all over the country in the early 80's. Westerville, OH; Hereford, TX; Lemont, IL; and Aiken, SC. It seems as though it was everywhere! You have no idea how excited I was to find this site.

I have been singing it to my 3 year old all day and she keeps asking to hear it over and over again. My husband is going to hate me!

VIVA DON GATO!


27 Oct 04 - 06:28 PM (#1309037)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

I wouldn't call them 'missing lyrics'. They might be called alternate lyrics. Over the many years that this song has been popular and spread beyond the Spanish-speaking realm, the story has changed and ramified. There is no version that has 'all' of the verses, because they would contradict each other. The music also differs from version to version.
'Del Gato' is simply a mis-hearing, or mistake in transcription. Natalie Merchant made the mistake in one or more of her concerts.


28 Oct 04 - 07:19 PM (#1310021)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Liz P

I would be interested to know if anybody remebers the alternate lyrics? I can't seem to find them anywhere. My daughter made me sing the song to her preschool teacher today ~ the entire song. It was great, they thought she was nuts talking about a song involving a cat, smelly fish, and a salty lexus (solarplexis). We got a good laugh out of that one!


28 Oct 04 - 08:01 PM (#1310054)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Oh, you mean parody. Clean or blue?
Possibly a parody of the (ugh) version here: Gato


21 Nov 04 - 01:50 PM (#1334550)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

http://www.bledsoe.k12.tn.us/docs/spsing.html


21 Nov 04 - 04:17 PM (#1334637)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Nice little children's versions of Spanish songs at this Pikeville Elementary website, posted by guest.
Vamanos a cantar!


20 Dec 04 - 10:49 AM (#1361547)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Amanda

I learned this song in public school, Arkansas, early 80's, Ozarks, Northwest corner as posted by JD Roberson sep 98. Additionally, moved to Arizona in 4th grade, had the same song in music class. Got this stuck in my head today for some weird reason, searched for the lyrics and found this page.


21 Dec 04 - 01:41 AM (#1362082)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

This is one of the very first threads to be started with the first post being about six weeks after the birth of Mudcat. It surly is the longest running thread ever.

Bev and Jerry


12 Jan 05 - 05:32 PM (#1377710)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Lisa W.

It's amazing how a song can take you back to a certain place, make you laugh, make you cry and put you in a very reflective mood. I have been there today. While at work, senior don gato popped into my mind. I made a quick note to myself to do a search for senior don gato, and it landed me here! I remembered a few verses, but not all of them. Part of the way down, when lyrics were posted, I thought they were missing a couple of verses. The next thing I know, someone is sharing those verses! I also remembered the tune, and sang it to everyone in the office. I am the only one who learned it in school. I wanted desparately to hear it, and as I kept reading, a man had the recording! It was the one I knew from my days at Petersen Elementary in Houston, Texas! I've been listening to it all day! I cant't wait to teach it to the children at my church and to share it with my sister, who teaches Pre-K. Thank you for taking me back over 30 years and helping me to relive those glorius days of 4th grade! Thanks to all of the music teachers across the nation for sharing the magic of music with your students!


19 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM (#1382827)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Liz P

Lisa,

Will you please share the missing verses with us? I would love it. Thanks,

Liz P


20 Jan 05 - 07:11 PM (#1383737)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Lisa W.

Hi Liz,

The verses I am referring to can be found above on an entry on September 15, 1998 from J.D. Roberson.


22 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM (#1385592)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Jim and Kristin

My wife and I love this song. We also learned it a children in the mid-70's. I learned it in Flint, Michigan, and she just south of there in Fenton, Michigan. She asked me to find the complete lyrics for it and I couldn't believe this thread existed. I'll take the chords and play it for my son on my guitar. He'll love it (I hope).

Viva Don Gato!


22 Jan 05 - 10:21 PM (#1385659)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Teresa

Oh, i almost forgot about this song! I know I heard it in school in the 70s.

I'm also thinking the Kingston trio recorded it, but I'm not sure about that; I'm going to see if I can find out if that's true.

Teresa


22 Jan 05 - 10:27 PM (#1385661)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Teresa

Oh no, I was thinking of an entirely different song recorded by the Kingston trio. LOL

But I do remember singing Don gato in school. :)

Teresa


23 Jan 05 - 10:39 PM (#1386701)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Liz P

Thanks Lisa,

I have seen those, but I think there might be some missing lyrics somewhere. I remember something about linen and linements...........


29 Jan 05 - 12:53 AM (#1392028)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

I've been searching for this version for years.
who did the recording in 1974? I'd love to buy
a copy of the original?

Ron H.


03 Feb 05 - 12:12 PM (#1398003)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,sthornton@cisd.org

Hi--I graduated from High School in '79, had listened to and learned the song in Louisiana--Miss Nutter was our teacher. CRY song, in third grade! We all loved it, but I think the class loved watching me cry when the music started to play. We had the music book Making Music My/or/Our Own. I actually sing it for my High school Spanish classes, and some of them join in!


08 Feb 05 - 03:46 PM (#1402860)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,JeffShalom@JesusAnswers.com

REALLY INTERESTING how many other people are into this song! I'd really like to know the history behind it. Fascinating all the different versions. I was at work at thought of it. Down here in Memphis TN, no-one I've talked to ever heard it! Ask my friends, too... no luck. I grew up in SouthCentral PA where we learned it in gradeschool. Okay, call me a softy... but it still makes me cry !


18 Feb 05 - 02:55 AM (#1413790)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GUEST, Kat

I heard this song in the mid 90's from my friends who went to school in another city. I live in New Zealand, and if you think it's hard to find someone who knows the song in america, boy, you should try it here! my mother and I have been singing this on and off for years since we heard it, although it never occured to me to come looking for the lyrics and music until now!


18 Feb 05 - 08:28 AM (#1413916)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,pavane

I have this in a BBC childrens program songbook, from the early 1960's, where it also says it was a traditional Spanish song (as we already know). Not sure when it was first translated to Engish though.


18 Feb 05 - 02:52 PM (#1414208)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

First appearance in English probably in one of the songbooks, but there are many versions of this 18th c. song, and thus a number of different translations.


18 Mar 05 - 09:43 PM (#1438074)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,S

Does anyone know what The title, Author, Copyright date or ISBN. to the Elementary Music Book this was in? I first learned it in the late 70`s in a Detroit suburb.(Garden City)
I think it was the 2nd or 4th grade. I seem to remember it to be a GREEN hardcover book with a picture of a cat on the cover. It seems it was the same picture that was on the page of the song. I have read about all the other threads and found several others that talk of what book it is in, but very few, and none that descibe it as I just have. Thanks


18 Mar 05 - 10:53 PM (#1438100)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Since the song probably has appeared in more than one elementary shool music book, and we have not posted a complete inventory, the question is difficult to answer unless a Mudcat member has the volume you are describing.

Among the school songbooks listed in our threads, it appears in only Silver Burdett Pub., Crook et al., Grade Four, Centennial Edition, 1985 (ISBN 0-382-05925-5).
Thread 69315, Silver Burdett school music books listed so far: Silver Burdett

I checked the thread on Follett Music Books, and the song is not in those we have inventoried- thread 70064. Follett


19 Mar 05 - 01:33 AM (#1438154)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

We have a xerox copy of this song taken from a book which we got at least 20 years ago. On the copy we have written, "Making Music Your Own, Vol. 4, p. 172". This book seems to be available here and here or here on Ebay.

Bev and Jerry


19 Mar 05 - 01:39 PM (#1438378)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thanks, Bev and Jerry. You have identified the Silver Burdett series.
The Silver Burdett Making Music Your Own in green cover, grade 4, 1967, is available for $2.00 through Abebooks (also a few others at various higher prices).
There are both hardbound and spiral bound editions in this 1960s-1970s time period. Was there a change in content? Ask the dealer if the song is in the book before you buy to make certain you are getting the right edition.


21 Mar 05 - 11:54 AM (#1439744)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,S

Thanks for the help! This site is great. I love the Internet.I will be visiting this site periodically, it`ll be great to see how much more detailed info will develop over time.
                                           Thanks again, S


24 Mar 05 - 10:04 PM (#1443145)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,S

Does anyone know who sings the version that Robert posted on April 1,04. According to him it would have to have been before 1974. It sounds like a small chorus of children or girls. It has some music instruments playing along (like guitar)and drums start at the part,"When the funeral passed the market square".
                                     ,Thanks for any help


24 Mar 05 - 10:17 PM (#1443158)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

www.gandronics.com/rberry. You can contact him at rberry@nc.rr.com and ask him where he got it.


25 Mar 05 - 02:22 PM (#1443680)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Joe Offer

I'm still intrigued by the possibility that this song has Sephardic/Ladino origins. Has anybody come across more information on that?
-Joe Offer-


25 Mar 05 - 05:36 PM (#1443841)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Joe, go to www.sephardifolklit.org/flsj/. Click on explore the archive. Click on 'View the List of Identified Ballad Titles.' Scroll down to "Don Gato." There are eight transcriptions that you can look at. Some have audio. I thought I posted this great website somewhere above.

Sephardic Folk Literature
The whole archive is worth exploring- or, for ballad transcripts, go directly to Ballad Search

This is a large archive and occasionally I have found it slow.
Here is one from Tetuán, Ladino, provided with realaudio.

CANCIÓN
Estábase Señor Gato
(CMP W1, audio file re27a-2)

Estábase Señor gato, !miramiau-miau-miau-miau!
sentadito'n su tejado.
Por ahi pasara una gata, !miramiau-miau-miau-miau!
con los ojos relumbrando.
Y el gato, por darla un beso,
se ha caído y se ha matado, !maramiau-miau-miau!
Se ha partó cuatro costiyas.
cuatro costiyas y un braso, !miramiau-miau-miau!
Ya mandan por los doctores
doctores y sirujanos, !miramiau-miau-miau-miau!
doctores y sirujanos.
Ya mandan por el doctor,
el doctor de don [se corrige] señor Carlos, !miramiau-miau-miau!
este doctor de señor Carlos.
Ya le mandan gayinas,
que le hisieran un buen caldo, !miramiau-miau-miau!
Y el dia siguiente
señor gato ya s'ha muerto, !miramiau-miau-miau-miau!
señor gato ya s'ha muerto.

Las gatas visten de luto,
los ga...[repite] los gatos, capote largo, !Miramiau-miau!
los gatos capote largo.
Las ratitas, de alegria, !miramiau-miau!
[....]
Los ratones, de alegria
se visten de colorado, !miramiau-miau-miau!
se visten de colorado.
Ya se yevan a enterrar
por la plasa del pescado, !miramiau-miau-miau!
Y el olor de las sardina[s], !miramiau-miau!,
señor gato ha resusitado.
Por esto suelen desir:
"Los gatodh tienen sien almas", !miramiau-miau!
"Los gatodh tienen sien almas".

Added later- ["Siete vidas tiene un gato. !Miramiau- miau!"]
Sung by Luna Elaluf Farache, Tetuán, Morocco, 1962.
A Hebraic version from Alcazarquivir also has realaudio.


28 Mar 05 - 12:45 AM (#1445313)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Clayton

I learned Senor Don Gato in elementary school in San Diego. Mid 80's. To this day I find myself singing what I could remember. My friend has heard me sing the song many times. Last November she was in Balize and recognized it being sung by street musicians. She couldn't wait to tell me.
This is a great site. Thanks.


20 Apr 05 - 09:28 AM (#1466261)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Drew

Hey there folks! A few weeks ago a memory of Don Gato from childhood popped into my head for no apparent reason and wouldn't leave. I jumped on the net to look it up and found this thread - WOAH! Don Gato lives!

I'm 26, from Sydney, Australia, and when I was a kid I learned Don Gato from the "Lion Sleeps Tonight" record that some others have mentioned here. So after a call to my parents, an interstate trip, and a rummage through their record collection, I have now recovered my Don Gato! And here is an MP3 of the version from that record.

I'm sure that will bring back some memories for those who knew that version - It did for me, tonight is the first time I have heard the record for about 20 years! For those who are interested the record is a 45 released by Peter Pan Records (F1256A), don't know what year - I would guess late 70's, it has The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Don Gato, Kookaburra, and Come To My Farm.

Thanks everyone for sharing their gato-memories, they were fun to read...

Drew


26 May 05 - 11:23 PM (#1494043)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Don Gato Eats Pineapples

I can't believe this thread is alive! This has been incredibly helpful to me! I was searching for the words to the Don Gato song, because I'd heard it at a camp and wanted to know if it was real. Seems it was! I'm thinking of making a website devoted to Don Gato and it's origins.

VIVA DON GATO!!!!! *waves Don Gato flag*


25 Jun 05 - 01:26 AM (#1509254)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,profwood1@comcast.net

I've been teaching music since the early 70's and Don Gato was my favorite song to teach to my students !! It was always a HUGE hit with the kids. I had the old Silver Burdett making Music Your Own series. But then the song just vanished from later editions. Right now I'm looking for a recording of it. Would you believe that after all these years I still remembered almost the whole song ? Anyone out there know where I can get one or if it's in any current series ?


25 Jun 05 - 02:33 PM (#1509608)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Very little seems to be available.
Kididdles has it on the cd El Patio de mi casa. May be too infantile.
www.kididdles.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=329
El Patio
There is a sound clip.

There is a rather nice one in Spanish, on the internet. I believe that it is linked above somewhere.


07 Aug 05 - 04:00 AM (#1536734)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,alex, in s f, cali

dude. i totally learned this song in middle school in 2000. don gato forever. definitely the funniest of the songs we sang in spainish. imagine my laughter when i went online to find the whole version and this is what i found. rock on.


09 Aug 05 - 08:40 PM (#1538932)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,LadyEdge

Oh my god. I am so happy to find out that this many people love this song too. I learned it in the late 70's, early 80's and never forgot about it. My aunt gave me handmade Spanish dolls when I was about 13 (I am 32 now) and I named the male one, Senor Don Gato! Long live that fiesty cat!


10 Aug 05 - 03:27 AM (#1539143)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Kaleea

In my earlier teaching years, some of the schools had 10-20 year old sets of Music books for the elementary kids. Truth is, I didn't mind so much cause of the abundance of wonderful folk songs like "Senor Don Gato." It was such a favorite of the children that I let them sing it in more than one grade. The beginning band kids in 5th & 6th grade one year wanted to include this in their concert. It was terrific!

Stranger thing is that in rural Minnesota I took my black Lab to the local vet (coincidentally of Italian/Swedish ancestry) & his name was-- no lie!!

       Dr. Donald Gatto!
      
He told me that I was the first person who ever said anything about understanding his name.


19 Sep 05 - 01:27 PM (#1566746)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

When I was in elementary school (around 1977) there was a local program on PBS. It was called Sound Go Round (obviously a program about music). Anyway, they used puppets a lot and did a version of Senor Don Gato on the show! It is great to see I am not the only adult who remembers and loves this song!!!


22 Sep 05 - 03:45 PM (#1568617)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,guest-zookeeper082

I actually have tears streaming down my face after reading thru much of this amazingly long thread! I've looked for these lyrics for sooo long, and my dd found your site today and emialed them to me! I also learned them in grade school, in the 70's....we were a military family, so I'm not sure which school, it was either in Ma. or in DODDS in Hanua Germany....I"m thinking the latter, as I recall a basement music class. Thanks soo much..for lyrics, and music links, and the joy in my heart over this silly old song.


30 Sep 05 - 09:27 AM (#1572654)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

I just purchased the "Senor Don Gato" illustrated book by David Manders. Found it at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Manders did a very nice job depicting our favorite re-animated feline. This will be a keeper on my bookshelf for many years.


19 Nov 05 - 09:17 PM (#1609231)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Bev and Jerry

Don Gato is apparently not a fictional character. He is alive and well and running a restaurant in Uruguay. Check it out!

Bev and Jerry


20 Nov 05 - 12:09 AM (#1609290)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

No, he is an illegal immigrant in the U. S.

Don Gato's
3308 Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

There is a bar and he takes Visa and Mastercard.

No, not illegal, a U.S. Citizen


10 Dec 05 - 05:13 PM (#1624601)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Eli

Wow, I can't believe how many people know this song! I learned it in elementary school back in the 80's.

One day recently I was singing the beginning of this song but had trouble recalling the rest. So I went on line to see if I could find the lyrics and I stumbled across this thread.

It's simply amazing how long his song has lasted! *hehehe*


12 Dec 05 - 07:48 PM (#1626004)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Colorado

I'm so happy I found a place that has these lyrics! My brother sang this song in his 4th grade elementary school choir in Colorado Springs, CO, and I fell in love with the song and made him sing it to me over and over until I learned it. I still get it stuck in my head every once in a while, and this time I figured I'd search to see if I could find lyrics to it ten years later. I'm going to send these to my brother now, he's shipped off in the Navy, and I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it!


29 Dec 05 - 11:10 PM (#1637138)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Scott

I learned Don Gato in the 4th grade (1983) at Huntington Elementary in Chillicothe, OH (thanks Mrs. Uhrig). One day early this year, out of nowhere, this song popped into my head and it stuck there. Soon after, my son was born, and I was singing it to him but could only remember the first 3 verses. My mom started cracking up because she too remembered this from when I was a kid, and over the last couple of months has been asking me to find the lyrics. Thank goodness for this site and all who've kept this thread alive. Viva Don Gato!


26 Jan 06 - 05:20 PM (#1656191)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Nitallica

Oh my, I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers this song! I've been wanting to teach it to my 8 year old daughter, but couldn't remember all of the words and so started a search to see if it was "out there" on the web. :)

I learned it in a Jefferson County Public School, just north of Birmingham, Alabama in 1982-83.

Good to see this song has made it around all over!


15 Feb 06 - 01:55 AM (#1669039)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Greta

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I'm 41 and love this song and have been trying to find the lyrics for years.


15 Feb 06 - 09:34 AM (#1669294)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Windsinger

Hehehe!

I may be one of the only 'catters here who didn't pick this song up as a kid at school. First time I heard it was at an SCA campfire. Nearly peed with laughter all the same.

(Been meaning to steal this one for a long time...lately my busking repertoire doesn't include as much humorous stuff as I'd like.)

Slán,

~Fionn

www.geocities.com/children_of_lir


27 Feb 06 - 01:01 PM (#1680337)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

I never knew our beloved feline had so many levels! Read a Colorado senator's account of how Senor Don Gato has affected his life and his career:

http://www.knowledgemessenger.com/prod/ViewNewsletter.asp?id=1069&App=dangrossman


27 Feb 06 - 01:05 PM (#1680338)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Senator Dan Grossman

Here's a direct link:

Senator Dan Grossman talks about Don Gato


01 Mar 06 - 02:54 AM (#1681949)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GUEST, Kimberly M

This tune popped into my head this evening while watching an episode of Seinfeld and to my amazement the lyrics are online! I've loved the song since childhood and look forward to sharing it with my 11 year old daughter.


16 Apr 06 - 09:56 PM (#1719848)
Subject: Lyr Add: Senor Don Gato missing verse
From: GUEST

I believe a verse is missing before the last one you have listed about the funeral....

Then the doctors all came on the run,
just to see if something could be done,
and they held a consultation, meow, meow, weow,
about how to save their patient, meow, meow, meow,
how to save Senor Don Gato.

As the funeral passed.....
    Message moved from another thread - we try to keep all the information on a song together, to avoid duplication and confusion.
    -Joe Offer-


17 Apr 06 - 12:39 AM (#1719948)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

There are many versions of this old song; with different endings, some happy, some sad. In some, Don Gato receives treatment from doctors (see Sephardic fragment posted above), in others no examination by physicians is mentioned.


21 Apr 06 - 02:19 AM (#1723543)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Guest - Cynthia

At last...at last...the memory is complete!


21 Apr 06 - 09:46 AM (#1723747)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

The missing verse is the following:

But in spite of ev'rything they tried.
Poor Senor Don Gato up and died.
O it wasn't very merry, Meow, Meow Meow.
Going to the cemetery, Meow, Meow Meow.
For the ending of Don Gato

For some reason, the messages posted to this thread are out of order on the earlier portion of the page. All six verses of the standard English-language version can be found on a post from 9/15/98.


21 Apr 06 - 01:26 PM (#1723937)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

There is no standard English language version. There are several translations in books and school songbooks current and past. Versions of the story have come to America from Spain, Latin America and Sephardic Jews. One of the more recent printings is by John Manders, "Senor Don Gato, A Traditional Song," Candlewick Press.
Scolastic Press offers a fine version, both Spanish and English, by Lucia Gonzales.
Also recommended is "Estaba El Senor Don Gato - Here is Mister Cat," illus. by Carmen Salvador.


24 Apr 06 - 03:13 PM (#1726209)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

I stand corrected.


25 Apr 06 - 09:28 AM (#1726863)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,ClaireBear

I'd never heard of Senor Don Gato outside this thread -- until this last weekend, when I was quite surprised to hear it performed at my kindergartner's school concert (in Santa Cruz, California).

Apparently it's the children's favorite and they demanded it be included in the program.

miao miao miao!


25 Apr 06 - 01:34 PM (#1727126)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Unconnected trivia-
I learned the other day that Italian cats say Niau! Or this just a dialect?


02 Jun 06 - 11:16 PM (#1752011)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Al

My wife learned Don Gato in the Fillmore Central School (Alleghany County in NYS) in the late '60s. She sang it to me many years later and I was captivated! She and several of her classmates just attended their reunion--30th High School graduation anniversary--and guess what topic came up!?! Soon there were several of us singing what we could remember of our favorite song right there in the restaurant!

A couple of days later, we came home and found a message from a classmate who now lives near Philadelphia, who had found this website and sang the verses we couldn't remember. Now all we have to do is teach our cat to sing along!


16 Jun 06 - 11:44 AM (#1761477)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

Anyone know how to put these posts back in full chronological order?


16 Jun 06 - 01:10 PM (#1761564)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Nigel Parsons

You may lose the links within the posts, but just go to the top of the thread, and select "Printer Friendly"

CHEERS
Nigel

(or click here)


17 Sep 06 - 01:58 AM (#1836442)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GUEST: AVanLatte

I learned this song in third grade in Sicklerville, New Jersey. For some reason it came to me the other day. My 14 year old daughter thought it was funny, so we set out to find all of the lyrics...I could only remember the first verse and something about solar plexus, and here you all were. What a blast from the past!


01 Oct 06 - 04:28 AM (#1847385)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Allison From Australia

Yah! My dad use to sing us three girls the senor song, and now i've found it! He has never left Australia and learnt the song when he was a young boy aged 7 years! We now have the song on our fridge!!
Cheers Don Gato


19 Oct 06 - 05:22 PM (#1863612)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

I remember singing this song in elementary school in new jersey in the late 70's and early 80's. I always loved this song as well. I am doing a Spanish culture day show with my kindergarten class this spring and would like to find the song on a CD or tape. I was wondering if anyone has had any luck in finding it anywhere on CD or tape.


20 Nov 06 - 11:06 PM (#1889589)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,GUEST karissa

I saw that a couple people from previous posts years earlier had the origonal sheet music that they were willing to email, i was wondering if anyone still had it and would be willing to email it too me?


08 Dec 06 - 07:02 PM (#1903972)
Subject: Gatoradee New
From: GUEST,TJ

Has anyone seen the new Gatoradee ad which is out?


10 Jan 07 - 11:13 AM (#1932366)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Ted

Senor Don Gato is one of those songs that has been trapped in my darned brain since elementary school (1970's, Hempfield Area Schools, outside of Pittsburgh, PA). The other sing is the Erie Canal Song. You remember that one, don't you? It starts "I got a mule her name is Sal / 15 years on the Erie Canal..."

But back to Don Gato. Not a month goes by that the Don Gato tune doesn't spontaneously pop into my head. I might be deep in thought at work when suddenly part of my brain starts singing:

-there is not a sweeter kitty, meow, meow, meow
-in the country or the city, meow, meow, meow
-and she said she'd wed Don Gato

Don't get me wrong though - I'm not annoyed by the song. On the contrary, I kind of like the nostalgic feeling I get when I think of it.

However, those few lines (and the line before that goes "She was fluffy, white, and nice and fat") were all I could remember. Thanks for posting the rest of the lyrics.


04 Mar 07 - 09:29 PM (#1986423)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

Does anyone have the lyrics to Senor Don Gato


04 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM (#1986469)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Guest, click on SENOR DON GATO at the top of this thread, or select from among several sets of lyrics in this thread.

Not sure what you are looking for.


10 Mar 07 - 05:43 PM (#1992948)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,azenafly

I have been singing this song to my 3rd 4rth and 5th graders for the last 5 years. It is their favorite song. I always teach it in the first week of school and then we sing it as a treat throughout the year. It's a great classroom managament tool. I have done some research on the song and have never found an author. Do you know who wrote it and when?


10 Mar 07 - 06:27 PM (#1992978)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The song is Spanish and Sephardic Jewish, possibly dating before the 17th century, as discussed in the material above. Time of origin and authors unknown.
Of course there are many modern revisions, some with known authors but most anon.


28 Apr 07 - 10:12 PM (#2038394)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Just Me

What a blast, reading all these reminiscences! I learned Don Gato in the 60's in Miami-Dade County public school. It has haunted me for years, so I'm thrilled to find this thread! Long live Don Gato!


30 Apr 07 - 09:52 PM (#2039944)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Campbell

Does anyone have a link to an mp3 of the english version. I tried the one above but it's a couple years old and no longer working. thanks.


06 May 07 - 09:07 PM (#2044914)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Guest Tina

Wow I thought I was the only person who remembered this song!!! I learned it in 4th grade in Anaheim, Calif. in 71 or 72! Glad to know I am not the only one "haunted" by the ghost of Don Gato!!


06 May 07 - 09:57 PM (#2044928)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Don Gato lives!


27 May 07 - 09:22 PM (#2062124)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Gotta Love the 70s

Like everyone else on this page, that tune stuck in my head tonight; and I found myself singing what I could remember to my 5 year old. Unfortunately, could only remember 'til verse #3. So glad to find this and fill in the blanks! The tune does sound like it's a minor key. Good ole Silver Burdett-what would we have done w/o Don Gato?!


11 Jun 07 - 11:52 PM (#2074367)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,John G

its amazing how many people love this song. indeed, I remember this as a second grader, and it still brings me goose bumps in my 40's. I always think of a certain girl in the class

thanks to google for allowing me to see that I am far from the only one who had this song stick in his head over all the years..

too bad we could not have a senor don gato reunion.....:)


06 Jul 07 - 09:23 AM (#2095577)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,JimmyG

My 3rd grade teacher put me on top of the filing cabinet with a sombrero and a shaker and I sang this song solo while sort of acting out the scenes.

Needless to say, I never forgot that. Now I am doing same at my son's b-day party. Glad i could find the chords and refresh the lyrics here.

That was Sharon, PA circa 1975


02 Aug 07 - 11:58 AM (#2117509)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,TBERKA

Wow..I cannot believe how many people know this song.. We learned it in Grade 1 in Richmond, BC Canada back in the mid 60's! Anyone know which the CD it may be on...I remember it was on an album that had kid's songs from all over the world...


22 Aug 07 - 10:02 AM (#2131071)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Slainte Maith

There's a 'grown up' band based in Charleston, SC called Sol Driven Train that plays a -very- good version of this song at their shows. If you've not seen 'em.


27 Aug 07 - 02:30 PM (#2134678)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,THERESA /PENNSLYVANIA

i am beyond amazed that there are so many other DON GATO fans. i learned this song over 30 years ago and shockingly i remember all of the words. people have thought i was nuts for always singing it but OH BOY what will they think now. maybe they will become DON GATO followers. lol


27 Aug 07 - 03:19 PM (#2134712)
Subject: Estando el Senor Don Gato - Score & MIDI
From: Genie

And thanks again to Masato for supplying this link:

Estando El Senor Don Gato - Score, lyrics, and MIDI


13 Sep 07 - 02:36 AM (#2148004)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Paula

Wow, this is amazing. I learned this song in 3rd or 4th grade in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am 40 now.... just typed in the first few lines to the Web tonight to see if I could turn up the rest of the lyrics... what a great thread to have been kept going for so long! :-)


18 Oct 07 - 01:54 PM (#2173807)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Jim from Milford, Connecticut

Wow, an active 12 year old thread about Don Gato! I learned this in the extremely early 70's. Our school music teacher taught it to us accompaning herself on the autoharp. Like you folks, I never forgot it. Years later, when I was a school music teacher, I taught it to all the young kids by memory, and it was, by and large, the most popular song I ever taught. Viva Don Gato!


10 Nov 07 - 10:21 AM (#2190479)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Ohio

Unbelieveable-- I generally never post,
but I can't resist helping keep the thread alive. I was reading and saw the word gato, and my mind instantly added-- Meow, Meow, Meow--
I learned the song in the mid-seventies, (Cleveland, Ohio)grade-school
Haven't thought of it in years...
how odd to have it jogged today.....
Thank you google for the instant satisfaction of finding the lyrics and reading the above posts:)


01 Jan 08 - 07:46 PM (#2226438)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Carol in Tennessee

OMG.. I was singing this song to my daughter and couldn't remember all the words.. she thought it was morbid.

My elementary class learned this song in Avon, New York when I was in like 3rd or 4th grade. I haven't heard it in years! And my husband certainly had never even heard of it at all (grew up in the west).

Wow, what memories... the solar plexus part got me.. never knew what that was!

Anyway, didn't want the Senor Don Gato thread to die either!


08 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM (#2231728)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Leah, Washington State

I too remember singing this song in the 80's at Elementary School with our music teacher Mrs. Manwell. I Googled it to help teach it to my kids and not only found the words but they got to hear it.

Thanks to all of you and to the internet.


12 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM (#2234953)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Michael, Northern CA

I randomly started singing this tune while walking down the stairs this morning. I googled "Del Gato" just for kicks and to see if I could get the words for my kids. I learned it from Mrs Newhouse in 4th grade, 1967, at McCullough Elementary in Albuquerque, NM. Hadn't thought of it for decades. Glad to be able to keep this thread alive.


13 Jan 08 - 03:39 AM (#2235204)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Lonesome EJ

I truly believe this thread has drawn more people to Mudcat over the years than any other factor. Viva Don Gato!


13 Jan 08 - 08:52 PM (#2235802)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Coral, Illinois

I learned Don Gato in the mid seveties at Tri-City Elementary School in Buffalo, Illinois. I loved the song when I was a kid, but I could only remember the words to the first verse. I'm so happy to now know all of the words so I can teach the song to my kids.


21 Jan 08 - 04:33 AM (#2241094)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Renessa from Cleve.Hts,Ohio

Oh my goodness. I am always singing the first verse to this song. I learned this song in the eighties at Roxboro Elementary. I was singing it at work and decided to google the lyrics. I cannot believe that this thrad has continued for sooooo long.I love Don Gato!


29 Jan 08 - 10:33 PM (#2248342)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,npenguino

Just like everyone else - learned this song in elem school - long island new york - don't remember the school, teacher or grade - but i remember the song - couldn't remember past the fluffy white cat adoring don gato - so decided to google for the lyrics!!!! This was my favorite song - i used to sing this song all the time to anyone who would listen


08 Feb 08 - 12:10 AM (#2256539)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,roy

anyone ever get a hold of a .wav or .mp3 or something with the lyrics and tune?


26 Feb 08 - 08:58 PM (#2273229)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Annie

We use to sing this in elementary school in the 70's I grew up in NJ. I thought it was morbid then, and now! But it obviously stuck with me on some level because I google Don Gato and find there are zillions of us who remember him!

Are there still these songs in school? (I have no kids, so I dont really know)


06 Mar 08 - 10:14 AM (#2281191)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Anne

Learned this song in Pavilion, NY in early seventies from the batty Mrs. Thomas.

Check out these youtube clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2fzQ7rjNbk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA9xCWvfDQ8


05 May 08 - 10:18 AM (#2333264)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,The Toonerator

I'm a cartoonist and I actually made a cartoon character based on this song, which I heard in some odds of the first grade... I actually wound up using the character again in a couple of unrelated cartoons including a Zorro parody...


05 May 08 - 12:48 PM (#2333374)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Where could we see them, Toonerator???


05 May 08 - 01:17 PM (#2333394)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Don Gato cartoons from Mexico (in Spanish) on Youtube. They use the tune "Top Cat" as a theme. It is the old cartoon film, "Top Cat," still available from Amazon, etc.
A DVD, Don Gato y su pandilla, the complete cartoon, can be downloaded at www.downloadprofessional.com. Search for titles.

A rather far cry from the original Don Gato.


04 Jul 08 - 04:44 AM (#2380787)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Monique

A site from the University of Chile gives several different versions of this song, some information about it and a bibliography. All in Spanish.


10 Mar 09 - 03:43 PM (#2585851)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,neil

I learned that song tody.


10 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM (#2585923)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Many versions from all over the Hispanic area (Spain, Portugal, North Africa, and the Latin American countries)
are collected at the University of Washington, some with music, midi, etc.
http://depts.washington.edu/hisprom/

One from New Mexico:

DON GATO
Coll. A. M. Espinosa, before 1953.

Estaba señor don Gato en silla de oro sentado,
usando media de seda y zapatito picado.
Entró su compadre y dijo si quería ser casado
con una gata morisca que andaba por los tejados.
El gato, por verla pronto, Cayó del tejado abajo;
se ha quebrado dos costillas, se ha desconcertado un brazo.
¡Ea, ea, que vengan pronto médicos y cirujanos.
¡Y sobre tocó que venga, el señor doctor Don Carlos!
El doctor Don Carlos dijo, después de haberlo pulsado,
que maten una gallina y que le den buenos caldos.
--Si acaso yo me muriere, no me entierren en sagrado;
entiérrenme en campos verdes, donde me pise el ganado,
pa que digan los pastores: "Aquí murió el desdichado;
no murió de muerte fina ni de dolor, de costado,
murió de un dolor de amores que le dio desesperado."--
Otro dia por la mañana amaneció muerto el gato.
Los ratones, de alegría, se visiten de colorado;
las gatas se ponen luto, los gatos capotes largos,
y los gatitos chiquitos hacen: ¡Miao! ¡Miao!

Nota de Diaz Roig: "Sacado de un cuaderno de materiales recogidos por su padre".
(ficha no. 5150). Music not recorded.

http://depts.washington.edu/hisprom/optional/balladaction.php?igrh=0144


10 Mar 09 - 06:42 PM (#2585959)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Monique

It's funny that this Don Gato thread "comes back from the dead" today. Someone's just sended me yet another version

Estaba el señor Don Gato
Sentadito en su tejado miarrau miau miau miau
Sentadito en su tejado
Quando le vinieron nuevas
Que había de ser casado miarrau miau miau miau
Que había de ser casado
Con una gatita parda
Con un pinta en el rabo miarrau miau miau miau
Con un pinta en el rabo
El gato de la alegría
Se ha caído del tejado miarrau miau miau miau
Se ha caído del tejado
Se ha roto siete costillas
Y la puntita del rabo
Le llevaron a enterrar
Por la calle del pescado
Al olor de las sardinas
Don Gato ha resucitado.

Nice version, Q! Do you have an idea about how old it can be ? (I ask because of the subjunctive future tense)


10 Mar 09 - 08:30 PM (#2586051)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

How old? The Spanish first settled in the area of New Mexico about 1580; by 1610, Santa Fe was the capital of a province. Settlers from Mexico and Spain continued to arrive until the 1920s.
How old? 'Tis a puzzlement.

The song is known from Spain, 19th c, but Sephardic survivals suggest it is much older. Sephardic Jews were kicked out of Spain in 1492, although some took the cross, but were kicked out as well in the 16th c. Sephardic collections are from N. Af., and Mediterranean areas, where they re-settled. But let's settle for about 1870 for the early date, since that is the earliest students are sure of "Don Gato" in Spain. Are Sephardic collections pre-diaspora, or did they just pick up a good song at a later date?

The Ladino version given by Joe (no location) is very similar. This surprises me, since Don Gato is well-known in Mexico, and I would expect that it came from there. Dr. Carlos is in the Sephardic version I posted from Tetuan, North Africa.
North Africa, New Mexico, and ? (Joe's).

Yep, 'tis a puzzlement (guess what old movie I was looking at yesterday).


10 Mar 09 - 08:53 PM (#2586064)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The large collection at Univ. Washington also has a Sephardic fragment from Marocco, with a brief musical score and streaming audio:

http://deprs.washington.edu/hisprom/ballads/bdgpidaction.php

I looked at the collection from Leon, but no Dr. Carlos.


11 Mar 09 - 12:49 AM (#2586148)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Jim Dixon

From Un verano en bornos by Fernán Caballero, 1882.

Aquella á quien se habia pedido recitase la famosa relacion del gato, complacía á su noble auditorio en estos términos:

Estaba señor don gato
En silla de oro sentado,
Calzando media de seda
Y zapatito picado.
Llegó su compadre y dijo
Si quería ser casado
Con una gata morisca
Que andaba por los tejados.
El gato por verla pronto,
Cayó del tejado abajo:
Se ha rompido tres costillas,
Se ha descoyuntado un brazo;
Venga, venga presto el médico.
Sangrador y cirujano.
Y sobre todo que venga
El doctor señor Don Cárlos.
El señor Don Cárlos manda,
Despues de haberle pulsado,
Que maten á una gallina
Y que le den buenos caldos.
Al otro día de mañana
Amaneció muerto el gato:
Los ratones de alegría
Se visten de colorado;
Las gatas se ponen luto,
Los gatos capotes largos,
Y los gatitos chiquitos
Dicen miau, miau, miau.


11 Mar 09 - 04:50 AM (#2586196)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Monique

Thanks!


11 Mar 09 - 12:23 PM (#2586428)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thanks, Jim.
In the New Mexico version, Don Gato broke two ribs, three in the 1882 text, but it is the same version, with Dr. Carlos. It is possible that this book reached the Spanish-speaking community in northern New Mexico.
This explanation does not seem likely, however, for the Sephardic versions, but I don't know how widely the stories in that book were circulated. Use of a German publisher could suggest a rather large readership.


18 May 09 - 02:39 PM (#2634955)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J. D. Roberson

I am thrilled this thread is still going! It was over a decade ago when I first posted. Senor Don Gato is my hero!


19 May 09 - 09:50 AM (#2635683)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Nigel Parsons

Guest J D R:
Some threads (like some cats) just don't know when to die!


19 May 09 - 01:36 PM (#2635859)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Old threads will never die,
Never die, never die;
Old threads will never die,
They just roll along.
-------------------------------

Adding a preceding verse to the 1882 text posted by Jim Dixon:

Entretanto las niñas proseguian en sus entretenimientos: unas bailaban, contándoles otras esta copla:

El el hospital del rey
Hay un raton con tercianas;
Y una gatita morisca
Le está encomendando el alma.


13 Apr 10 - 10:13 AM (#2885564)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

If you can't find the cassette, you can just go to youtube.com and save it to your favorites. then google the program that lets you convert youtube songs to mp3's then you can save it to CD or your mp3 player :)


13 Apr 10 - 01:47 PM (#2885701)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

?


08 Jun 10 - 05:49 PM (#2923393)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Mrs. Pena's Summer School Class

We are learning it in summer school. All the students love it!
They wanted to know the origins and I came across this thread. Our students love it. Memorized it in 2 days and we're performing it for parents @ the end of June.
Thanks for all the info!


22 Jun 10 - 08:34 PM (#2932956)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,Marcy Carroll

Thank you for verifying to my children that I was not making up this song. I have sung bits and pieces to them for the last 20 years. As their mother they thought I was insane. Thanks for helping me to prove to them that I do not hear voices. May the song live on forever. I learned it in Duncan SC in the 70's.


04 Dec 10 - 10:54 PM (#3046649)
Subject: ADD: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST

SEÑOR DON GATO
(English Version)
Written By: Unknown, Copyright Unknown

Oh Senor Don Gato was a cat
On a high red roof Don Gato sat
He went there to read a letter,
Meow, meow, meow
Where the reading light was better,
Meow, meow, meow
'Twas a love note for Don Gato

I adore you wrote the lady cat
Who was fluffy, white and nice and fat
There was not a sweeter kitty,
Meow, meow, meow
In the country or the city,
Meow, meow, meow
And she said she'd wed Don Gato

Oh, Don Gato jumped so happily
He fell off the roof and broke his knee
Broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
Meow, meow, meow
And his little solar plexus,
Meow, meow, meow
Ay Caramba cried Don Gato

Then the doctors all came on the run
Just to see if something could be done
And they held a consultation,
Meow, meow, meow
About how to save their patient,
Meow, meow, meow
How to save Senor Don Gato

But in spite of everything they tried
Poor Senor Don Gato up and died
And it wasn't very merry,
Meow, meow, meow
Going to the cemetery,
Meow, meow, meow
For the ending of Don Gato

When the funeral passed the market square
Such a smell of fish was in the air
Though his burial was slated,
Meow, meow, meow
He became reanimated,
Meow, meow, meow
He came back to life, Don Gato


05 Dec 10 - 02:03 PM (#3046966)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Similar to translation (re-creation?) posted by J. D. Robertson in 1998. Probably from a school text not yet identified.


23 Mar 11 - 04:25 PM (#3120008)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

Our favorite feline now has a Wikipedia entry. Please forgive me if this is a re-post on the thread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Gato


23 Mar 11 - 04:27 PM (#3120011)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: GUEST,J.D. Roberson

Okay, let's try this again ....

Wikipedia: Senor Don Gato (song)


26 Apr 11 - 10:02 PM (#3143102)
Subject: RE: Origins: Senor Don Gato
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Far up the thread I linked a discussion of the song by Dr. Elfidio Alonzo, the link is no longer good. Here is a new link.

Don Gato

There are several Spanish versions, from Spain, The Canaries, and the Americas. A Sephardic version also is known, age unknown.

----------------This thread has been closed due to persistent spamming. Contact Joe Offer if you need it opened. -------------