Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
Owl and the Pussycat
Born in 1812, Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet, now known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. This dance title is taken from "The Owl and the Pussycat," first published during 1871 as part of Edward Lear's book, "Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets."
Lear wrote the poem for a three-year-old girl, Janet Symonds, the daughter of Lear's friend poet John Addington Symonds and his wife Catherine Symonds. The term "runcible", used for the phrase "runcible spoon", was invented for the poem. For more on Edward Lear, click on his portrait.
And for a recipe for a "honey-poached" quince pie (which you can eat with a runcible spoon if you like), click the elegantly clad in plaid or tartan owl and pussycat!
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.