The Cat in the Hat Songbook/If I Ran the Zoo/Dr. Seuss Sleepbook

by: Dr. Seuss

The long-winded title of The Cat in the Hat Songbook/If I Ran the Zoo/Dr. Seuss Sleepbook is meant to explain that this reissue of Dr. Seuss' 1967 album The Cat in the Hat Songbook is sandwiched between two bonus tracks: spoken word adaptations of the books If I Ran the Zoo and Dr. Seuss' Sleepbook. The latter two cuts consist of Marvin Miller delivering Seuss' rhymes over a bed of music composed by conductor/arranger Marty Gold. The Cat in the Hat Songbook, on the other hand, features actual songs that Seuss wrote with Eugene Poddany, a veteran composer of cartoon music. The lyrics are far more offbeat than the music, which consists of a mixed chorus à la the Ray Conniff Singers with spare piano and organ backing. The whimsical songs wordlessly mimic the sound of rain ("Rainy Day in Utica, N.Y.") and the sound of drums ("Drummers Drumming"), and tell lightly humorous tales filled with Seuss' characteristic made-up words. In addition to providing entertainment for children, The Cat in the Hat Songbook has made a contribution to the folk canon in that a number of artists, including Bill Clifton and Rosalie Sorrells, have recorded "My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes with Bears" under the expurgated title "Waltzing with Bears." ~ Greg Adams

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