THE CAMERONIAN CAT / THE PRESBYTERIAN CAT / THE OLD SECEDER'S CAT

This was a popular country song/hymn parody that mocks the great pretended strictness of the Covenanters that could be taken to ludicrous extremes. For example they might deny the sacrament to the king and all his ministers; all witches and warlocks (or at least those who were alleged to be such); anyone who had committed or attempted suicide; anyone who had ever played cards and dice (i.e. gambling); all the men that had ever danced opposite a woman, and all women that had danced facing a man; all men who had tended their cattle or crops, or went hunting, on the Sabbath day, all women who had harvested or prepared vegetables on the Sabbath day, and even anyone who used artificial means a fan instead of God's natural wind when winnowing oats.

As with all folk songs, there are multiple versions, and it later appeared in compilations of comic or curious verse. In some versions the cat is executed, while in others it is given a good telling off and made to promise not to hunt on the Sabbath day. Hunts (i.e. of foxes, stags etc with hounds) often took place on Sundays.

There was a Cameronian cat was hunting for a prey,
And in the house, she caught a mouse, upon the Sabbath-day.
The Whig, being offended at such an act profane,
Laid by his book, the cat he took, and bound her in a chain.
"Thou damned, thou cursed creature, this deed so dark with thee,
Think'st thou to bring to hell below, my holy wife and me?
"Assure thyself, that for the deed, thou blood for blood shalt pay,
For killing of the Lord's own mouse upon the Sabbath-day."
The presbyter laid by the book, and earnestly he prayed,
That the great sin the cat had done, might not on him be laid.
And straight to execution, poor baudrons she was drawn,
And high hanged up upon a tree; Mess John he sung a psalm.
And when the work was ended, they thought the cat near dead;
She gave a paw, and then a mew, and stretched out her head.
"Thy name," said he, "shall certainly a beacon still remain,
A terror unto evil ones, for evermore. Amen."

 

There was a Presbyterian cat went searching for her prey,
And killed a mouse within the house upon the Sabbath day.
The people all were horrified, and they were aggrieved sir;
And straightway led that wicked cat before the Minister.
The minister was horrified, and unto it did say,
Oh, thou perverse pussy cat to break the Sabbath day.
The Sabbath's been for days of yore an institution;
So they straightway led that wicked cat to execution.
That cat it died a dreadful death, a death of agony,
For that it killed the Lord's own mouse upon the Sabbath day.

 

There was a Presbyterian's cat sat watching for its prey,
And in the house, she caught a mouse upon the Sabbath day.
The minister, offended, at such a cat profane,
Threw down his book, the cat he took, and bound her in a chain.
Then straight for execution poor baudrons she was drawn,
And hanged was she upon a tree, while parson sung a psalm.

 

There was a Presbyterian Cat went out to hunt its prey;
And in a house, it caught a mouse upon the Sabbath day:
An elder he was so enraged to see it so profane,
Down to the brook the cat he took, and drowned it in a chain.

 

There was an old Seceder Cat, and it was unco grey;
It brought a mouse into the house upon the Sabbath day;
They took it to the Session, and there rebuked it sore,
And made it promise faithfully to do the same no more.
[Unco: Scots dialect word for unknown, weird or uncanny]

 

There was a Presbyterian cat a-hunting for her prey,
And in the house, she caught a mouse upon the Sabbath day.
And thereupon that cat was brought before the Session,
And it exhorted was to make a full confession.
The minister offended at such an act profane,
Laid down his book, the cat he took, and bound her in a chain.
Thou vile, malicious creature, thou murderer, said he,
Oh! do you think to bring to Hell, my holy wife and me.
But be thou well assured, that blood for blood shall pay,
For taking of the mouse's life upon the Sabbath day.
Then he took down his Bible, and fervently he prayed,
That the great sin the cat had done, might not on him be laid.
Then forth to execution, poor Baudrons she was drawn,
And on a tree, they hanged her high, and then they sung a Psalm.

 

There was a Presbyterian's cat sat watching for its prey,
And in the house, she caught a mouse upon the Sabbath day.
"Now, puss, you naughty trollop, how can you treat us so?
Do you intend that wife and I shall to destruction go?
"Now since it is the Sabbath morn, one day you shall remain;
But when next Monday morning comes, you certain shall be slain."
So when next Monday morning came, poor pussy she was slain;
And hanging on an apple tree, while deacon said the Psalm.
"Now all you wicked hunting crew, lament poor pussy's fate;
Repent of all your evil deeds afore it is too late."

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