3 March 2021

The Story of Cats: A Musical History

By Theresa Cooper

Cats is a sung Through music, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, loosely based on the old English poem ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T. S. Eliot. The song includes some of the traditional nursery rhymes that children are taught in the United States. Some popular nursery rhymes that are often associated with cats and children include “Goodnight, Sleep Tight, and Let’s Fly” by the Docks and “How I Use My Love Along With Your Love” by Kabalevsky. While not exactly a love song, “How I Use My Love” was a hit for the Beatles and contains some of their memorable lyrics such as, “I use my love like a gun.”

This song has become famous in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world where the two cultures share a common love of cats. “How I Use My Love” was also made popular in the United States through the song lyrics being sung by the Beach Boys. Other countries where the cats have become quite popular include Russia and Germany. In Russia, cats are considered symbols of luck and wealth and are dressed up in furs to please the owners.

Credibility and reliability are two factors why this traditional tune has found a wide variety of fans throughout the world. Credibility refers to the faith in the songs quality by listeners, especially when it comes to children. Reliability refers to the wide acceptance of the basic melody and structure of the song, regardless of age or culture. While some people are able to recognize the basic elements in popular songs and easily sing them, most people need help learning how to write a good traditional tune.