Published 1967 by Random House
Inside page description:
“These are songs especially written by the Dokkulous Doctor for Young New Singers and their parents and their teachers.
Composer Eugene Poddany has captured the spirit of the Doctor’s lyrics and presented them in a voice range that young untrained voices can warble with ease.
Besides the piano score, most of the songs also feature guitar chords (in case you have a Beginner Guitarist in you home.)”
There is no narration for this book. It jumps straight into written music and is constructed of 19 songs written by Dr. Seuss (Piano Score and Guitar Chords by Eugene Poddany.) The Cat in the Hat ties things together by being in the title, on the cover, and featured in most of the songs.
The 19 Songs are as follows:
1. LET US ALL SING
A song about singing being good for almost anything.
2. The SUPER-SUPPER MARCH
A song made to help kids march to the table for dinner.
3. MY UNCLE TERWILLIGER WALTZES With BEARS
A concerned nephew sings about his Uncle’s addiction to dancing with bears.
4. In My Bureau Drawer
A song about a person keeping an extra tooth in their bureau drawer.
5. The No LAUGH RACE
This song consists of instructions to stand face to face and stare at each other without laughing. It comes with a note that reads:
“A Party Game Song
Note: This is an elimination contest. Any child who laughs has to drop out. The left-over children re-group with new partners. They keep this up until only one child, the winner, remains.”
6. PLINKER PLUNCKER
A song of silly noises.
7. HURRY HURRY HURRY!
A song about different creatures, with various amounts of legs, hurrying about.
8. CRY A PINT
A sad song about filling a pint jar full of tears and then crying so much that you fill up two pints, making a quart. Then crying so much you fill up four quarts, which makes a gallon!
A drawn out sneeze set to music.
10. I CAN FIGURE FIGURES
A math song full of equations that eventually equals “French fried noodles and a green string bean!”
11. SOMEBODY STOLE MY HOO-TO FOO-TO BOO-TO BAH!
A sad song about loosing a hoo-to foo-to boo-to bah.
12. RAINY DAY in UTICA, N.Y.
A song full of drips and drops.
13. LULLABY for MR. BENJAMIN B. BICKELBAUM
A lullaby for a very tired man that is trying to get some sleep.
14. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Little SALLY SPINGLE SPUNGLE SPORN
A birthday song not only for Sally, but also for Fred’rick Futzenfell, Waldo Wilberforce, Paul Revere’s horse and, of course, you.
15. MY UNCLE TERWILLIGER LIKES to PAT.
A song about good old Uncle Terwilliger and his enjoyment of patting any animal no matter how small or fat.
16. YAWN SONG
A song about yawning today.
17. THE LEFT-SOCK THIEVERS
A warning song to look out for people who steal left socks, because you’ll look awfully silly with only your right sock left.
18. DRUMMERS DRUMMING
This song is in a round and consists of drumming sounds repeated.
19. PARTY PARTING
A song to sing at the end of parties as a farewell to your friends.
SEUSS’S LIFE AT THE TIME:
While writing The Cat in the Hat SONGBOOK, Seuss was having an affair with his eventual second wife while his first wife was helping him publish this book.
Helen Palmer (pictured above) had fallen ill many years earlier and was in a decline again during this time. Her and Seuss were about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, but Helen killed herself a month before the date. On Oct. 22nd 1967 she wrote a note to Seuss and took an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 69 years old (six years older than Seuss.) Part of the note (which I have mentioned in earlier posts) reads:
What has happened to us?
I don’ t know.
I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, “failure, failure, failure, failure…”
I love you so much…I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you…My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed….Sometimes, think of the fun we had all thru the years…”
The note clearly hints that Helen knew about the affair and knew that it meant their marriage was at an end. They had not only been husband and wife, but business partners for almost 40 years, but Seuss had fallen in love with Audrey Dimond (at the time Audrey Grey.) Audrey and her husband were friends of Seuss and Helen’s and had spent many dinner parties together.
When Audrey (pictured above) approached her husband about a divorce he asked, “Who is going to do the driving?” When Audrey replied, in surprise, that she would be, he replied, “Good. I don’t want any wife of mine marrying a man who drives the way Ted does.”
Seuss (Ted Geisel) wrote a letter to his friends to explain Audrey’s divorce and his marriage to her:
“…I’ve written you kids at least ten times about my future plans. And, everytime, torn the letters up. The letters get so involved, so unbelievable. So let me put it out, flat on the line, without any comment or begging for understanding.
On the 21st of June, Audrey Dimond is going to Reno to divorce Grey Dimond…Audrey and I are going to be married about the first week in August. I am acquiring two daughters aged nine and fourteen. I am rebuilding the house to take care of the influx. I am 64 years old. I am marrying a woman eighteen years younger…I have not flipped my lid. This is not a sudden nutty decision…This is an inevitable, inescapable conclusion to five years of four people’s frustration. All I can ask you is to try to believe in me.”
This was a low point in Seuss’s career. His personal life clearly took a toll on his creative process and affected his and Helen’s business relationship as well. This is Seuss’ only book (other than The Seven Lady Godivas) to be allowed to go out of print because the sales did so poorly.
As if he was trying to give insight into his personal life, Seuss had recently dedicated a book to Audrey and this book he dedicated to her daughters. It reads:
“For Lark and Lea
A vinyl of the 19 songs was released the same year as the book and was equally unsuccessful.
It was reissued later with bonus tracks of If I Ran the Circus and Dr.Seuss’s SLEEPBOOK in spoken word.
Here is a link to Grooveshark where you can listen to all the tracks.
The reissued edition takes the gray out of The Cat’s body so he looks more like how he appears in his other stories. The background and title colors are swapped to make it more bright and the “19 songs” quote is moved up toward the title. There is no later cover because the book went out of printing.
I am not a big fan of any of the illustrations in this particular book, but I do enjoy the expressions on these little kid’s faces. Very serious.
My favorite song is the final song of the book, The Party Parting . I want to play it at the end of parties and see how people react.
“Time goes past.
Time goes fast.
Comes a time in every party when the party parts.
Good time ends.
Good night good friends.
Good night to all your warm and friendly foolish hearts.
So rumble, rumble, rumble home now.
Rumble, rumble, rumble home.
Rumble, stumble, stumble home now,
In your rumble, stumble carts.
Bless your souls.
Don’t fall in any holes.
This party’s only parted till the next one starts!”
Thanks for reading,