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The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles

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The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles is a musical number, framed as a play performed by the cats to entertain Old Deuteronomy and directed by Munkustrap.  

The cats dress up as various kinds of dogs in "home made" costumes made of junk. They tell the story of how a big dog fight was averted by the The Great Rumpus Cat.

Context Edit

Once Old Deuteronomy has arrived at the Jellicle Ball, the Cats perform a play narrated and directed by Munkustrap. Munkustrap has clearly been rehearsing with the other characters, and expects them to remember their cues. The "Matinee Lines" include Munkustrap saying "Hurry! Make Ready! Remember what I told you to do!" as he checks that various characters are in the right place, they have their "Dog" costumes ready.

The performance does not go smoothly, the leader of the Pollicles steals a line from the leader of the Pekes, Tugger interrupts with bagpipes, the Rumpus Cat does not appear on cue. By the end of the performance, Old Deuteronomy is critical of the message of Munkustrap's play, saying "Jellicle cats and dogs all must, pollicle dogs and cats all must, like undertakers, come to dust" - meaning that Dogs and Cats are not so different.

In the 2000s, the line "heathen Chinese" was replaced with "winsome Chinese".

The 2016 Broadway Revival production gave this number a completely different context. Rather than have Gus the Theatre Cat go into a reverie and dream of his days playing Growltiger, rather Gus recalls having played Rumpus Cat, and goes on to perform, in real time not a dream, as Rumpus Cat one more time, with the ensemble playing along.


LyricsEdit

Of the Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles
Together with some account
Of the participation
Of the Pugs and the Poms
And the intervention of
The Great Rumpus Cat!

The Pekes and the Pollicles, everyone knows,
Are proud and implacable passionate foes;
It is always the same, wherever one goes.
And the Pugs and the Poms, although most people say
That they do not like fighting, yet once in a way
Every symptom of wanting to join in to the fray.
And they:

Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you can hear them all over the Park.

Now on the occasion of which I shall speak
Almost nothing had happened for nearly a week
(And that's a long time for a Pol or a Peke).
The big Police Dog was away from his beat -
I don't know the reason, but most people think
He'd slipped into the Bricklayer's Arms for a drink -
And no one at all was about on the street
When a Peke and a Pollicle happened to meet.
They did not advance, or exactly retreat,
But they glared at each other and scraped their hind feet,
And started to

Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you could hear them all over the Park.

Now the Peke, although people may say what they please,
Is no British Dog, but a Heathen Chinese.
And so all the Pekes, when they heard the uproar,
Some came to the window, some came to the door;
There were surely a dozen, more likely a score.
And together they started to grumble and wheeze
In their huffery-snuffery Heathen Chinese.
But a terrible din is what Pollicles like,
For your Pollicle Dog is a dour Yorkshire tyke,
And his braw Scottish cousins are snappers and biters,
And every dog-jack of them notable fighters;
And so they stepped out, with their pipers in order,
Playing When the Blue Bonnets Came Over the Border.
Then the Pugs and the Poms held no longer aloof,
But some from the balcony, some from the roof,
Joined in
To the din
With a

Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you could hear them all over the Park.

There are dogs out of every nation,
The Irish, the Welsh and the Dane;
The Russian, the Dutch, and Dalmatian,
And even from China and Spain;
The Poodle, the Pom, the Alsatian
And the Mastiff who walks on a chain.
And to those that are frisky and frollical
Let my meaning be perfectly plain:
That my name it is Little Tom Pollicle -
And you'd better not do it again.


Now when these bold heroes together assembled,
The traffic all stopped, and the Underground trembled,
And some of the neighbours were so much afraid
That they started to ring up the Fire Brigade.
When suddenly, up from a small basement flat,
Why who should stalk out but the GREAT RUMPUS-CAT.
His eyes were like fireballs fearfully blazing,
He gave a great yawn, and his jaws were amazing;
And when he looked out through the bars of the area,
You never saw anything fiercer or hairier.
And what with the glare of his eyes and his yawning,
The Pekes and the Pollicles quickly took warning.
He looked at the sky and he gave a great leap -
And they every last one of them scattered like sheep.

And when the Police Dog returned to his beat,
There wasn't a single one left in the street.

VideoEdit

The Awefull Battle Of The Pekes and The Pollicles06:05

The Awefull Battle Of The Pekes and The Pollicles


GalleryEdit

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