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Old Deuteronomy is the leader of the tribe, the beloved grandfather of most of the cats.  He is greeted with respect and great affection, even Rum Tum Tugger loses his "Devil may care" attitude to sing with fondness.

ContextEdit

Initially Mistoffelees senses Old Deuteronomy's presence and leaves to escort him.  Munkustrap begins singing about Old Deuteronomy, even Rum Tum Tugger joins in.  As Old Deuteronomy appears, the whole tribe sings to welcome him.

On the original cast recording, the song is twice as long (but still shortened slightly from the original poem) and sung by Quaxo (Mistoffelees), Munkustrap and George. Most later productions either shortened or entirely removed the instrumental break and second verse, and there is no record of any production outside of the early years of London, and the Paris production (which had Asparagus sing a shortened second verse) having the song not sung by Munkustrap and Tugger (discounting some localised productions which deviate from the licensed script).

LyricsEdit

Old Deuteronomy's lived a long time
He's a cat who has lived many lives in succession
He was famous in proverb and famous in rhyme
A long while before Queen Victoria's accession 
Old Deuteronomy's buried nine wives
And more I am tempted to say ninety-nine
And his numerous progeny prospers and thrives
And the village is proud of him in his decline 
At the sight of that placid and bland physiognomy
When he sits in the sun on the vicarage wall 
The oldest inhabitant croaks

Well, of all things, can it be, really!
Yes, no, Ho! Hi! Oh, my eye!
My mind may be wandering, but I confess
I believe it is old Deuteronomy!
Old Deuteronomy sits in the street
He sits in the high street on market day
The Bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat
But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away 
The cars and the lorries run over the curb
And the villagers put up a notice "Road closed"
So that nothing untoward may chance to disturb
Deuteronomy's rest when he feels so disposed 
The digestive repose of that felines gastronomy
Must never be broken whatever may befall 
The oldest inhabitant croaks
Well, of all things, can it be, really!
Yes, no, Ho! Hi! Oh, my eye!
My mind may be wandering, but I confess
I believe it is old Deuteronomy!
Well, of all things, can it be, really!
Yes, no, Ho! Hi! Oh, my eye!
My legs may be tottery, I must go slow
And be careful of old Deuteronomy


VideoEdit

Cats 09 Old Deuteronomy04:18

Cats 09 Old Deuteronomy

"Old Deuteronomy" as performed in the 1998 film by Ken Page, John Partridge and Michael Gruber.

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