The Ballad of Señor Don Gato

Don Gato. Was a Cat.
Don Gato. Was a Cat.

I saw a YouTube video today of a dramatic reenactment of Señor Don Gato and it gave me so much ridiculous joy I decided tonight’s post had to feature poor, love struck Dan Gato.


I don’t know about you, but Señor Don Gato was a major part of my elementary years. I adored singing the “Meow, Meow, Meow” parts at the top of my lungs, rivaling the 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Shirley, who can only be described as “having a set of pipes on her.”


It’s a song of longing, a song of love, a song of tragedy. It’s simply… meow, meow, meow!


Oh, Señor Don Gato was a cat
On a high red roof Don Gato sat
He went there to read a letter,
(Meow, meow, meow)
Where the reading light was better,
(Meow, meow, meow)
‘Twas a love note for Don Gato.

“I adore you!” wrote the lady cat
Who was fluffy, white and nice and fat
There was not a sweeter kitty,
(Meow, meow, meow)
In the country or the city,
(Meow, meow, meow)
And she said she’d wed Don Gato!

Oh, Don Gato jumped so happily
He fell off the roof and broke his knee
Broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
(Meow, meow, meow)
And his little solar plexus,
(Meow, meow, meow)
“Ay, Caramba!” cried Don Gato.

Then the doctors all came on the run
Just to see if something could be done
And they held a consultation,
(Meow, meow, meow)
About how to save their patient,
(Meow, meow, meow)
How to save Señor Don Gato?

But in spite of everything they tried
Poor Señor Don Gato up and died!
And it wasn’t very merry,
(Meow, meow, meow)
Going to the cemetery,
(Meow, meow, meow)
For the ending of Don Gato.

When the funeral passed the market square
Such a smell of fish was in the air
Though his burial was slated,
(Meow, meow, meow)
He became reanimated,
(Meow, meow, meow)
He came back to life, Don Gato.


Isn’t that the most beautiful song? Imagine it re-enacted by a young child – or perhaps you have a memory of acting it out yourself! – and your day will simply be brighter.


According to Wikipedia, which is not an acceptable source in many college classes but in my mind is second only to Google searches in accuracy, the English version of  Señor Don Gato is familiar to generations of school-age children in North America due to its inclusion in several common elementary school songbooks in the second half of the 20th century. Additionally, the lyrics are loosely translated from the traditional Spanish song “Estaba el señor Don Gato”, but the melody is from a different song, “Ahora Que Vamos Despacio”. There is also a French version of “Estaba el señor Don Gato” called “Monsieur le Chat”.

And now you know a little bit more about the dear Don Gato with nine lives! Enjoy meow, meow, meow-ing yourself until bed tonight!




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