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Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat is introduced by Old Deuteronomy in Act 2.

Context

After the quiet melancholy of Gus' song ending, Old Deuteronomy calls for a change of pace and wakes up Skimbleshanks, who's been dozing on the car boot. This number is upbeat and fun, all the cats collaborating to act out Skimble's train passengers etc, to illustrate his story. The Cats collect bits and pieces of junk and assemble them into the shape of a train engine, but unfortunately just before Skimble can present his masterpiece to Old Deut, it falls apart as the cats lose coordination and concentration. But with a laugh and a shrug, Skimble moves on.

Lyrics

Skimbleshanks, the railway cat
The cat of the railway train!

There's a whisper down the line at 11:39
When the Night Mail's ready to depart
Saying "Skimble! Where is Skimble?
Has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can't start!"

All the guards and all the porters and the station master's daughters
Would be searching high and low
Saying "Skimble! Where is Skimble?
For unless he's very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can't go!"

At 11:42 with the signal overdue,
And the passengers all frantic to a man
That's when I would appear, and I'd saunter to the rear
I'd been busy in the luggage van

Then he gave a flash of his glass green eyes
And the signal went all clear!
They'd be off at last for the northern part
Of the Northern Hemisphere!

Skimbleshanks the railway cat!
The cat of the railway train!

You could say that by and large
It was me who was in charge
Of the sleeping car express
From the driver and the guards
To the bagmen playing cards
I'd supervise them all
More or less

Down the corridor he paces
And examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the first and the third
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred

He could watch you without winking
And he saw what you were thinking
And it's certain that he didn't approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the folk were very quiet
When Skimble was about and on the move

You could play no pranks with Skimbleshanks
He's a cat that cannot be ignored
So nothing went wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks was aboard!

It was very pleasant when they found their little den
With their name written up on the door
And the berth was very neat, with a newly folded sheet
And not a speck of dust on floor

There was every sort of light
You could make it dark or bright
And a button you could turn to make a breeze
And a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window should you sneeze

Then the guard looked in politely
And would ask you very brightly
"Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?"
But I was just behind him and was ready to remind him
That Skimble won't let anything go wrong!

When they crept into their cosy berths and pulled down the counterpane
They all could reflect it was very nice
To know that they wouldn't be bothered by mice
They could leave all that to the railway cat
The cat of the railway train!

Skimbleshanks, the railway cat!
The cat of the railway train!
Skimbleshanks, the railway cat!
The cat of the railway train!

In the watches of the night I was always fresh and bright
Every now and then I'd have a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of scotch
When I was keeping on the watch
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea

They were fast asleep at Crewe and so they never knew
That I was walking up and down the station
They were sleeping all the while
I was busy at Carlisle
Where I met the station master with elation

They might see me at Dumfries if I summon the police
If there was anything they ought to know about!
When they got to Gallogate, there they did not have to wait
For Skimbleshanks will help them to get out!

And he gives you a wave of his long brown tail
And says "I'll see you again"
You will meet without fail on the Midnight Mail,
The cat of the railway train!

The cat of the railway train!

Video

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat - part one03:28

Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat - part one

Skimbleshanks- The Railway Cat - part two01:32

Skimbleshanks- The Railway Cat - part two

Gallery

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