T.S. Eliot's unpublished verses, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and CATS the musical...

I can’t find some of the lyrics to Cats in my library’s copy of The Complete Works of T.S. Eliot. (and yes, I do understand that Old Possum isn’t a word-for-word lyrics guide, it’s more like a riff. I finally managed to figure out the part about “the cat who hesitates towards you”.)

So, I understand from the credits in my video copy of the musical that Trevor Somebody wrote some additional lyrics to the Prologue. However, I also read somewhere a reference to ALW’s using “the unpublished works” of Eliot, when concocting this thing. My question is, how did he get his hands on something that was “unpublished”? My library sure doesn’t have it.

It’s the reference to the Russell Hotel and the “heaviside layer” that’s driving me crazy.

From this link:


Nunn, above is Trevor Nunn.

This was from Google and there seemed to many similar but not the same, so a quick look might find precisely what you want. It depends how strong a stomach you have for writing like “gossamer weave of fancy” I suppose. Blleuuuuggh.:slight_smile:

As for “unpublished”, the same link includes:

The above might not really answer your question, but I think “Practical Cats” is out there in a couple of online versions, and, given that “Cats” was so popular, somebody may well have added all the text you need.

Right, it’s the “fragment” about the Russell Hotel and the Heaviside layer that I can’t find in Practical Cats. Is it in the unpublished stuff then?

Yes, thank you, the second quote has the other thing I was looking for–so the widow was the one who gave him the stuff? Sometimes there are “published unpublished” fragments floating around out there in the literary world that everyone (except me) is perfectly familiar with, so I thought maybe that was it.

I should have selected more carefully perhaps - I’m pretty sure the thing I looked at (ok glanced at:) ) implied that your “heaviside” bit was part of the unpublished stuff from the widow, because the unpublished stuff was thought too “sad” for the book, and your text seems to be a bit that refers to Grizabella ascending to heaven etc.

Sorry, but all the Lloyd-Webber things were so heavily publicised as to put me off the idea, so I never actually saw “Cats.”