Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sound of Mew-sic

For most of my school life, I was in the choir. At senior school, we went to all kinds of competitions, and had numerous set pieces, one of which was a selection of songs from The Sound of Music. As we were a convent school, our competitors found this hilarious, and I still remember the merry quips with which they greeted us ('How many girls sing in the La Sagesse choir? Nun!!'). Anyway, this has left me with the lyrics stuck fast in my memory, for better or for worse.

I have been writing poetry again lately, which has been wonderful (I've had writer's block for most of the time I've been ill), and I will be posting some of it here in future. This week, though, I want to share with you the discovery I made yesterday afternoon when Merlin was being - well, himself.

It came to me in a flash that it would be very easy to rewrite 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?' to refer, not just to Merlin, but to any kitten. If I ignored the half-sung, half-spoken introduction, then it would need only a few small tweaks, and I would have a song I could hum to relieve my feelings as he tears across my lap in pursuit of Chloe, sits on my crossword, and steals my lunch. Feel free to sing this to your cat (with apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II):

How do you solve a problem like the kitten?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means the kitten?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay
And listen to all you say?
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?

Oh, how do you solve a problem like the kitten?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When he's with me I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
He's as flighty as a feather
He's a darling! He's a demon! He's a lamb!

He'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
He could empty any belfry of its bat
He is gentle! He is mad!
He's a riddle! He is bad!
He's a headache! He's an angel!
He's a cat!

(Rpt ad lib)

Merlin says: 'Don't believe her. Look at this noble profile.'

Merlin - head

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the song Heather! And as for Merlin, there's many a rogue had a noble profile. We are not taken in.