“Senor Don Gato Was a Cat” Lyrics

In my last blog entry, I posted the original Spanish lyrics to Senor Don Gato with an English translation. Here’s a different version of Senor Don Gato that’s popular in English…

Senor Don Gato

O Senor Don Gato was a cat.
On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He was 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!

O Senor Don Gato jumped with glee!
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.

All the doctors they 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 Senor Don Gato.

But in spite of everything they tried,
Poor Senor Don Gato up and died.
No, it wasn’t very merry,
Meow, meow, meow!
Going to the cemetery,
Meow, meow, meow!
For the ending of Don Gato.

But as the funeral passed the market square,
Such a smell of fish was in the air,
Though the burial was slated,
Meow, meow, meow!
He became reanimated,
Meow, meow, meow!
He came back to life, Don Gato!

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World USA page for more Children’s Songs in English.

This article was posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2006 at 2:25 pm and is filed under American Kids Songs, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, El señor don Gato, El señor don Gato, English, Folk Songs, Languages, Senor Don Gato, Spain, Spanish, Spanish Folk Songs, Spanish Kids Songs, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

83 Responses to ““Senor Don Gato Was a Cat” Lyrics”

  1. Silverstar of SunClan Says:

    I just learned it a few days ago at school and I really liked it! Do you know where you can get thew piano sheets for it?

  2. Traci Duckworth Says:

    Hello! Would you know of a song called “Fender Bender”? It was in my 7th or 8th grade music book. It was used in Evansville, IN in the late 1970’s or very early in 1980.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  3. Skip Brown Says:

    I am looking for the music education series that contained “Don Gato” from the 1970’s. There was another traditional song about an old witch that put a curse on someone until they knew her name. After they said the name the imbittered woman went through the woods or the marsh, trying to find out who told her name (I suppose to curse them as well). It was in the same series of books that taught the basics of music (along with a record) with story songs or children’s songs from throughout the world. Don Gato Rules! :)

  4. sonya Says:

    I am 50 yrs young. WOW I was sit’n on my bed one night and all of a sudden this song came to me. My husband ask what are you singing.
    I said “it is a child hood song from my elementary days.” He hit the floor laughing. He Said, ” and you remember all the words.” ai strated laughing and said “yes”

    It is amazing that this was one of my fav songs in school.. i just wanted to share this

  5. John Horton Says:

    I am from England. At |Infant school we sang a different version which was broadcast on the radio to schools. But I cant find it anywhere. It was done by the BBC British Broadcasting corporation, and it an easier version.

    Some of the words were:- Once a noble cat Dongarto, from his noble sweet a note , merry merry meow meow meow, overcome with joy he tumbled

    Im 50 now and wish i could find it on the internet

  6. Roisin Says:

    I’d love the words too.
    These are some I (think) I remember

    Once the noble cat Don Gato
    To his sweetheart sent a note
    Merry merry meow meow meow
    Marry me oh mistress pussy

    On the rooftop high he waited
    from his noble sweet a note
    merry merry meow meow meow
    overcome with joy he tumbled

    then the smell of …fishes
    reached don Gato’s … nose
    merry merry meow meow meow
    Up he jumped his ills forgotten

    ….. mistress pussy
    Isn’t she a lovely bride
    Merry merry meow meow meow
    Seven lovely kits were bridesmaid

  7. Becky Says:

    I remember this song from elementary school (late ’70s, early ’80s). I love this song and when the class could pick songs I would ALWAYS pick this one. My classmates would hate it when I got picked because they knew which one it would be. Thanks for the trip down “amnesia lane.” (thank you Dead Poets Sociey for this phrase!)

  8. Cecily Says:

    I sang Don Gato in the 3rd grade in Florida in 1972! Loved it then and sing it to my children now.

    I am looking for another song from the same songbook but I can only remember the line:

    Girls and Boys like bread and butter, la la la la..
    Girls and Boys like bread and butter, la la la la..

    Does anyone know this song? And/or the song book?


  9. Brenda Winget Says:

    Awesome! My boss and I were reminiscing about singing this song as kids- we both sang it at our grade schools! I remembered the first two verses, and we remembered that senor el gato died, then we were stumped. How fun to have all the words again!

  10. Laurel Frank Says:

    I learned this song when I was just a kid in the 60’s. Tried to remember all the verses a few years back but couldn’t, but I never forgot the name of the song. Would love to have someone singing this on here as my grandkids don’t like my singing & I know my granddaughter would love this.

  11. Maggie Says:

    Like so many of the people who wrote comments here, I was thrilled to find these lyrics because I only recalled part of them, (about Don Gato’s injuries) and it took me right back to 1969, when I was about 9 years old and in public elementary school in San Mateo, CA, at Beresford Park School. Mr. Tchakalian was our music teacher and he taught us silly fun songs like this as well as exposing us to serious classical music and opera. He even inspired me to dress up as “Carmen” for Halloween one year, complete with black lace mantilla! I can vividly remember walking across the school grounds with some of my classmates, giggling as we sang “Don Gato”. What a great memory, thanks so much for filling in the blank spots for me!

  12. Brenda Stinson Thomas Says:

    This was one of my favorite songs that I learned from an elementary music book in the mid 60’s, probably 2nd or 3rd grade. I always remembered it, and a few years ago I actually named my black cat Senor Don Gato. We sing this song to him, but he doesn’t seem to care. ;) Perhaps if I started putting out his favorite salmon flavored cat food as I sing it, he would come to appreciate it more.

  13. Lisa Says:

    Ha ha ha!

  14. Randy G. Says:

    I remember Senor Don Gato Was a Cat!” Good memories! – This is for Traci Duckworth’s question about the song “Fender Bender.” That was also one of my favorites in music class! I’m thinking it was around 1977, but I believe the song to be from at least the early 70’s. The only words I remember are: “Fender Bender, yeah yeah yeah (2 times). Play, play, play, yeah yeah yeah. Play that rhythm, yeah yeah yeah.” – I really wish I could find this little song that is still stuck in my head, all these years later.

  15. Stephenie Surgeon Says:

    I remember singing this in grade school. This is the only song I remember from grade school. I still love this song even now. I did not go to the same school as my husband of 19 years. But he also remembers this song. It is so fun having this memory with him. This song brings back so many good memory’s for me. I love how he was brought back to life in the end. I sometimes just think of this song and it always brings a smile to my face.

  16. Patricia Says:

    Haha – the two songs I remember from elementary school are “Senor Don Gato” and “Fender Bender” I think our music book had a guitar on the front of it, for Fender Bender. The words I recall to Fender Bender went something like this:

    Fender Bender, yeah, yeah, yeah!
    Play, play, play,yeah, yeah, yeah!
    Play that rhythm, yeah, yeah, yeah!
    All the way, yeah, yeah, yeah!

    Bend that beat around.
    Syncopate the sound.
    All the way, yeah, yeah, yeah!
    Yeah, yeah, yeah!

  17. Eden Says:

    I have been trying to find the lyrics to this song all day, but I learned an entirely different version:

    Once there was a cat named El Gato
    Who wore a special sombrero
    One fine day he got a love note mew mew mew
    From a Persian with a white coat mew mew mew
    And she saaaaid she loooved him dearly

    And that is all I remember!! Can’t find this version of lyrics anywhere.

    This was taught in my elementary school 25 years or so ago. Fun times!

  18. Kitty kat Says:

    Eden- whatever song you think you heard as a version- it isn’t. Wipe it out of your memory.
    ‘‘‘Tis an insult to Don Gato”

  19. ACS Says:

    I learned this song at Junior School in the UK … in the 60s. We sang a rather different version!

    Don Gato
    There was once a cat of sooty black
    He was called Senor Don Gato
    On the rooftops he was basking
    Mira Mieow
    On the rooftops he was basking
    Mira Mieow
    When a letter came to ask him

    Do you wish to take to be your wife
    My little niece a cat of shining white
    She is young and very pretty
    Mira Mieow
    She is young and very pretty
    Mira Mieow
    Quite the loveliest in the city

    Overcome with joy, Don Gato
    From the rooftops fell and broke his tail
    Seven ribs and all his toes
    Mira Mieow
    Seven ribs and all his toes
    Mira Mieow
    And his whiskers and his nose

    All the doctors came to see him
    Shook their heads and thought he must be dead
    To the churchyard then they bore him
    Mira Mieow
    To the churchyard then they bore him
    Mira Mieow
    And they rang the churchbells for him

    But the funeral passed the market place
    Where sardines were lying in the sun
    Then the smell came gently wafting
    Mira Mieow
    Then the smell came gently wafting
    Mira Mieow
    And Don Gato left his coffin!

  20. Annette Finch Says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I used to sing this song with friends we lost contact with 40+ years ago and I could only remember the first verse and a few other lines… I’ve been wondering about this song since and I’m so glad
    I found it!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for keeping our childhood alive.

  21. Beth Cartwright Says:

    I remember every word of this song! I often sing it to my own gatos. I learned it as a 4th grader in 1985.

  22. Maria G Says:

    This is hilarious! I sang this in elementary school in NY in the late 70s, early 80s in music class. I, too, thought the cat died & that bothered me as a child but the tune was so catchy I never forgot it — it popped in my head recently & had do google the lyrics I had forgotten! I am amazed how many ppl remember this song so many years later. I wonder why. I never heard it before music class but I guess it’s such a fun & infectious tune! 😊

  23. Juliette Says:

    Eden, if you find these other lyrics, please post them here. I wd love to see them! There was a bit more of your version, further up this thread, too. Ignore Kitty Kat’s grumpy post, no one should IMHO presume to decide for all of us, what is a part of the Don Gato song and what is not. :D

  24. Katherine Drozd Says:

    Thank you for sharing these lyrics!! I learned this in elementary school in the 80s and am so happy to share them with my elementary schooler now!!

  25. Christopher Flores Says:

    I remember singing this song in 2nd grade.Thanks to remind me of my childhood!!!!

  26. Jason Sizemore Says:

    I was this cat in our first grade play, early 1980’s. Like others I could only remember most of the first part, I thought it was always “ El señor delgado was a cat”! I know better now. I can still remember being soo terrified of going on stage, even getting sick right before! I’ve searched for this many times before, glad my search finally got results!

  27. Trudy Duncan Says:

    I, too, learned this song in 5th grade. I am now in my 50’s. Thank you for posting this song. If only it were that simple to find all my childhood songs from elementary school. Those were the days when music and art was a part of the curriculum. I am pleased to have found your webpage. I will look through your collection, hoping to find a few more treasures.

  28. Judy Driskell Says:

    In the early 1980’s I was librarian and music teacher in Groesbeck, Texas. Silver Burdett published a music textbook series containing Don Gato which my students adored. Be they also loved “Best friends should be together”, and the garden song with words including “inch by inch row by row”. Those were happy times singing and dancing around the card catalog!

  29. Judy Driskell Says:

    Silver Burdett published a music textbook series for Texas containing Don Gato for second grade. At that time, I was the music teacher and librarian for grades K-4. Don Gato was the favorite. Those were happy times singing and dancing around the card catalog!

  30. Cari Vassel Says:

    I taught 4th grade in Provo, Utah in 1978-79. O Senor Don Gato was one of the class favorites. I could only remember the first verse and was delighted to find the lyrics again. Good job!!!!

  31. N. Bookworm Says:

    I remember this song from elementary school, too. I am 60, and we sang it in the 4th or 5th grade. Our Don Gato was missing a couple verses though.

    I lost my older brother this year, to dementia. Long before we knew he was ill, he brought up this song. We sang it the way we did as children, with lots of sound effects. This thread reminded me of that sweet moment.

  32. Anne Michaels Says:

    My mother used to sing this to me in Spanish when I was very young. It randomly popped into my head this evening. I was shocked and delighted to have been led to these lyrics after googling the tiny snippet of lyric I thought I remembered. Thank you, so much, for making this available for the rest of us to find! What a treasure.

  33. Laura Says:

    We sang
    Senor Don Gato jumped so happily

    Instead of jumped with glee

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