Kilkenny Cats

DESCRIPTION: "There once were two cats of Kilkenny, Each thought there was one cat too many, So they fought and they fit And they scratched and they bit, Till, excepting their nails, and the tips of their tails, Instead of two cats, there weren't any."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (Baring-Gould-MotherGoose)
KEYWORDS: fight animal
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #835, p. 315, "(There once were two cats of Kilkenny)"
NOTES: I don't know if the poem of the Kiklenny Cats is traditional, but the legend certainly is, so I thought I should include this item.
According to David Pickering's The Cassell Dictionary of Folklore, there are at least two explanations offered for this legend. One is that, in Norman times, there were rival English and Irish towns in Kilkenny, which naturally were in competition. Another bases it on a story of two cats who had their tails tied together by soldiers during the 1798 rebellion. I can't say that I find either explanation very convincing. - RBW
File: BGMG835

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.