Kate Rowe - ASA Songwriter of the Year 2010
Kate Rowe
Kate Rowe line
Kate Rowe line
© 2012 Kate Rowe
Website by Ryan Morrison

Lyrics

The Simplest of Things
1. Family Outing
2. Butterfly
3. Catacombs
4. Talk To You
5. Don’t Kiss Me
6. Fred the Dog
7. Kitchen Shop Romantic
8. Jindabyne
9. Safe
10. The Frog

Nature's Little Game
1. Coffee My Lover
2. Deep Blue Sea
3. Song for Frank
4. Circus Song
5. Dusty Room
6. The Tent
7. The First Run Through
8. If Only You Knew
9. Dragon Orchid (How David Attenborough Saved My Love Life)
10. Lover Come Closer
11. Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons

Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons (lyrics coming soon: in the meantime visit the Planet Brocklevoons website)

1. Sparky the Giant Squid

2. Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons
3. Big Bang (The Great Big Incredible Magnificent Extraordinary Legendary Fabulous Explosion)
4. My Cat Won't Eat That
5. Scaredy Cat
6. The Bears Who Will Not Behave
7. Fred The Dog
8. Steppo
9. Don't Listen To This Song
10. Family Outing
11. The Café Where the Lost Dogs Go
12. Pegasus With Pink Wings

 

Family Outing

Young Jack Roberts is a pirate’s son
His dad takes him out for fresh air and fun on the weekend
They sail the high seas at leisure
And search for treasure
But Jack hates the boat and hates the sea
And all the pillaging of villagers makes him feel queasy
He dreams of icecream he’s never had
But he wouldn’t like to disappoint his dad

Chorus:
Yo ho yo ho la da da
Da da da da da da da da

Little Sally Roberts is a pirate’s daughter
Who hates the waves, hates salt water
T he family outing gives no pleasure
To daddy’s treasure
Sally hates parrots Sally hates gold
All the pillaging of villagers makes her feel cold
She’d rather walk on a mountain top
But she’d never dream of disappointing her pop

Chorus

Wild Man Roberts is a pirate bold
Or at least he was, before his heart and hook got old
Marauding makes him tired, he’d rather
Stroll in the city, but he says a good father
must think of his kids
cause every kid dreams about the pirate life
and I’d hate to disappoint them

Chorus

So the boat goes up
The boat goes down
Fish swim by
The world goes round ...

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Butterfly

I didn’t come out anymore
You saw my light under the door
Your love melted the walls away
It was a beautiful day
So simple and so fine
I let you free my wings a thread at a time
I wanted to be your good angel divine
And you said:

Chorus:
Come up with me, into the sky
Be who you are, my butterfly
Into my arms, into the air
Come away my beauty my fair
All of my life all of my days
See only light be only amazed
Spread out your wings, set them ablaze
My butterfly

But how could I go and abandon my Nile
My lumpy green skin, my dangerous smile
My cruising through water, my feasting on through
I’d starve to death on just honey and dew

Chorus

I’d gain the heavens but I’d lose my claws,
My mane, my teeth, my velvety paws
Never to run across prairie or plain
I’d just go insane I’d just go insane I’d just go insane
The time came to fly, I waited too long
And you faded away in my varying song
What can I do when I am of the kind
That howls at the moon and changes her mind

But one day when this is all over
I’ll go to the sky
I do have these wings I’ll give them a try
I’ll go without you, I now understand
I’ve got nothing to prove to any man
All of my life all of my night
I will be dark as much as I’m light
You know the owl also takes flight
My butterfly

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Catacombs

My brothers always were fascinated by the sight of skulls and bones
So we went to see the catacombs
There on display six million Parisians lay in ordered rows stacked on the floor
The graveyard couldn't hold them anymore
Visitors are greeted by cheery signs in every room
Encouraging you to consider your own impending doom
And here and there amidst the gloom you wander through the chilly tomb
And you look at all the bones arranged — it’s really strange

Chorus:
And my brother said:
If I knew that one day I’d be in that line
Under a sign, I think I’d find that very depressing
And my other said: m
Makes me wonder, six feet under isn’t bad
Who’s got time to be sad
It’s a heartbeat away

Well I was freaking out because we were enclosed
You know I’ve always been a major claustrophobe
And no matter where you tread an unnamed liquid drips upon your head
And it smells of dusty marrow
There are guards to lead the wake they’re chatting through a rusty gate
It’s very Hamlet, they sure seem well at ease
I’ve heard of underground soirées and laughter in this gloomy haze
But oh my God — just get me out of here please

Chorus

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Talk To You

Let sleeping dogs lie, they say that it’s best
But ten thousand words lie locked in my chest
I’d be wrong not even to try
To shake the bars of the cage of the how and the why

Chorus:
Can we talk this over can we see it through
Can I lay everything down on you
Can you melt down to me a moment or two
Can I talk to you
Talk to you

Just for once can we be straight up and real
Can I please, please know how you feel
I've got a lot on my mind and I’m so damn confused
Can I talk to you
Talk to you

If you ask how I am, I’ll just say that I’m fine
But I mean bittersweet, I ache and I shine
I can’t find the words but I’m trying to
Can I talk to you

Chorus

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Don’t Kiss Me

Please don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay
I’ll be alone but I like it that way
Don’t explain it, there’s nothing to say
Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay
I don’t see the good in goodbyes
I’d give twenty sunsets to get a sunrise
I just can’t take it like a grownup today
Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay

Chorus:
Cause I’m tired of seizing the day
Only to feel it fade away through my fingers
It makes me colder, more than before
To feel what I’ll miss when you walk out the door
I’ve got no time for pining away
Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay

Please don’t tell me I’m pretty and nice
If you have no intention of seeing me twice
I won’t believe a word that you say
Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay
I don’t see the good in goodbyes
I’d give twenty sunsets to get a sunrise
I just can’t take it like a grownup today
Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay

Chorus

Please don’t kiss me if it don’t mean a thing
I need my heart for the songs that I sing
And if you’re leaving at the rise of the day
Don’t kiss me cause I’m not gonna stay

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Fred the Dog

Have you heard about the brand new Japanese machines
That translate for your dog so you know just what he means
I strapped one to the collar of my faithful kelpie Fred
I asked him if he felt all right and this is what he said

Chorus:
I’m hungry I’m hungry I’m hungry rub my belly
What’s that noise what’s that noise
Schmacko*, Schmacko, walkies kick the ball
I’m hungry I’m hungry I’m hungry rub my belly
What’s that noise what’s that noise
Schmacko, walkies kick the ball

I took Fred for a walk cause we both had itchy feet
And soon enough we met a lady walking down the street
She said that Fred was lovely so Fred told her she was pretty
And when she screamed and ran away he sang his little ditty

Chorus

Then Fred asked me questions he’d often thought about
Like why do humans change their skins when they are going out
What happened to your tails and how do you open gates
And without a real good sniff how do you recognise your mates
And by the way...

Chorus

Fred became quite learned, he really got quite pesky
Always wanting me to read him Freud and Dostoevsky
And when I asked him what he thought of everything I’d read
Fred looked up and winked at me and wagged his tail and said

Chorus

Fred went into politics the people loved him dearly
Soon there were new flaps in all the doors at Kirribilli
And when he made his maiden speech the people cried for more
They’d never heard such honesty from a PM before

Chorus

* Schmackos is a registered trademark of Uncle Ben’s of Australia

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Kitchen Shop Romantic

Love burns like that cook’s blowtorch— the big one that costs fifty bucks
It’s deep and whole like a mixing bowl, and sweet, like those forks shaped like ducks
Love has been on my mind a long silken time
Like a damask tablecloth with the same soft shine

Love’s in the air of the kitchen shop, it’s there in the simplest of things
In the stamp for your toast that says I love you the most
Or in the heart-shaped teacups and egg rings
Food for your love is food for your soul so let it fill you up
Like a white china teapot fills a green teacup

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Jindabyne

My brothers and I felt it was time
To make the trip we had to make to Jindabyne
The countryside was beautiful, I’d never been before
I said I wish, and stopped myself, and said no more

Chorus:
And the road is clear and the weather’s fine
And we’re driving down to Jindabyne
I don’t recall the last time we all went away alone
Just one night to spend and just one place to find
Then we’ll all come home from Jindabyne

We fought on the way down about something really small
The hotel gave us dinner but we couldn’t eat that much at all
We spoke of everything except what still lay in store
I said I wish, and stopped myself, and said no more

Chorus

We got up very early, none of us complained
My little brother took the wheel, our conversation was restrained
I looked at them all grown up, all strong and kind and wise
I said I wish, and stopped myself, and tears came to my eyes

Chorus

At last we found the river, we knew it was the one
It sparkled and it tumbled like a river ought to run
We let our father’s ashes go in water clean and clear
We looked around and said he would have liked it here

Chorus:
And the water’s clear and the weather’s fine
At the river near to Jindabyne
I wish there was another reason why we’re here alone
But it’s all okay and the sky is blue and we’ve done what he asked us to
And now it’s time to all go home

Chorus:
And the road is clear and the weather’s fine
And we’re driving back from Jindabyne
On the first time we all went away alone
Just one night to spend and just one place to find
Now we’re coming home from Jindabyne

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Safe

They want a piece of you
They can’t find in themselves
Hungry wolves who never wondered why
Shelter in this simple place
Tell me if you need more space
I’ll climb a tree, watch the clouds go by

Chorus:
You are safe here
Let your heartache disappear
Put down the load you carry for a while
Breathe easy
You don’t have to please me
You don’t even have to smile

The trees are still
The sun is warm
They don’t need you to perform
The river tells its stories to the sky
Inside every song is a place where you belong
Where it’s safe to take the time to wonder why

Chorus

How long have you been running
Do you remember when it started
Were you born the day
They left you broken-hearted

Chorus

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The Frog

There’s a frog outside my window
In a tiny pond alone
It croaks all night until the day
But I wasn’t sleeping anyway
Its faith is just amazing
No one answers, yet still it calls
And at last another frog turns up
And they fill the pond with tadpoles

Chorus:
They’re singing:
You have a choice
So what do you say
Will you dance down the street
Or be dragged all the way
You might think you’re lonely
But baby it’s just a brand new day

There are tadpoles outside my window
In a solstice ‘tween tadpole and frog
Two legs then four, their tails disappear
But they don’t seem to feel any fear

Chorus:
They’re singing:
You have a choice
So what do you say
Will you dance down the street
Or be dragged all the way
You might think you’re dying
But baby it’s just a brand new day

Tadpole, to frog, to tadpole again
The seasons together make one
The cycles spread out from the earth as it spins
To the planets circling the sun
Take heart, they sing, on the blackest of days
Who knows where you are on the wheel
Maybe one day you will look back and say
Those bad times made the good times more real

There’s a frog outside my window
In a tiny pond alone
But I know for sure it will be all right
So I turn and sleep through the night, singing:

Chorus:
I have a choice
I know what to say
Rather dance down the street
Than be dragged all the way
And when the night is over
It’s a brand new day
A brand new day

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Coffee My Lover

I saw you in the cafe
I loved you at first sight
You’re hot, you’re smooth and you’re sublime
You’re my first thought in the morning
My last desire at night
You’re in my veins I want you all the time

Chorus:
Coffee coffee you make me want to scream
Ooh my blood is thumping like a jungle in a dream
Coffee coffee I don’t want no other
Oh coffee my lover

I don’t like it instant
Loving should be long
When you sit and brew a while
You get all hot and strong
I am thirsty for you
All the long day through
When it’s time to drink you down
Lord you know I do

Chorus

They say I’m addicted
They say you’re bad for me
They say you keep me up at night
But I sense their jealousy
My caffeinated lover you make me so delighted
When your scent is in the air I get so excited

Chorus

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Deep Blue Sea

I love it when you wear that dark blue T-shirt
You look as gorgeous as the sea
It gives me cause to think about the depths in you
And about the depths in me
Caves and colours, oysters, pearls, silence and commotion
Every stripey fish a new idea, a new emotion
If you were a documentary by Jacques Cousteau, my friend
It would be called Beauty and it would never end

Chorus:
Deep blue sea
Reflects the starry sky above
Made of everything we ever were, and ever now will be
Deep blue sea
Deep blue love

Each of us is one entire ocean
Connected in the flow but not the same
Made of salt and water every one
We wash together but we each have our own name
Though I admire the treasures of your heart
Your pretty sea is yours and mine is mine
I know where you end I know where I start
And that is all there is
And that is just divine

Chorus

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Song for Frank

Oh Frank we’re finished we’re through
I’ll never know your embrace
We almost blind-dated
But our friends hesitated
So we never got to first base
Oh Frank I’m sorry it’s over
But it’s all in the hands of our friends
They’ve been right through it
They say we can’t do it
And that’s how our love affair ends

Oh Frank my darling farewell
It’s over before it began
I’ll never know what it’s like in your arms/bedroom/bathroom/panel van
I don’t remember the light
In your blue/brown/hazel eyes
When you stroked my face/dog/ego
On that day of our final goodbyes

Chorus:
Oh Frank I’m sorry it’s over
Before it was love at first glance
I won’t forget you cause I never met you
It’s sure been a whirlwind romance
We could have been sharing our tea and our toast
But we never got past that old starting post
Of all the men that I’ve never loved
I’ve never loved you the most

We haven’t been through so much together
Just think of the things that we’ve missed
You never ran off with a waitress/postman
I never got angry/pissed
We never had kids, we never so much as kissed
I don’t even know if you know I exist
Frank you’re a mystery
And so is our history
Frank you’re a mystery to me

Chorus

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Circus Song

Oh the world seems greyer today
Men with brooms sweep confetti away
Breakfast in a cafe’s just not the same
The circus has left town
Living in the morning after
The elephants have all gone home
The posters curl they’ve lost their glue
But I’m still here thinking of you

The world seems smaller today
The big top’s gone
They took it away
I try to like my coffee
But it’s not the same when you are not around
Living in the morning after
No acrobats to make me smile
The music’s gone, the magic too
But I’m still here thinking of you

And that day in the big top we suddenly met
And music shook the town
And the sun and moon flew trapeze
And the weathervanes spun round and round
Oh this town is empty
Oh it’s so damn quiet
Oh the feast is over, baby
And now I’m on a diet

Oh the world seems greyer today
Men with brooms sweep confetti away
Breakfast in a cafe’s just not the same
When you are not around

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Dusty Room

Take a good friend to your dusty room
The one with the ghosts, strange candelabras and mirrors of gloom
She’ll pore over maps, she’ll sigh at the ash where the phoenixes did not care to rise
Let her look at it all with new eyes

CHORUS
Let her open the windows
Let her come with her buckets and broom
She’s seen it all before
Let her see into your dusty room

She’ll laugh in her good-natured way
And talk about seasons and tides
You’ll see that it is kind of funny and normal besides
All that dust will never make diamonds
No matter how hard you hold on
Never make sense, and it’s taking the place of what is to come

CHORUS

And you’ll understand something grand
A vision of people and rooms
Bless us, we all have dusty halls, treasure troves, closets and tombs
Treasure troves, closets and tombs

And at last you will see that you are not the only one
Nothing too special, nothing new under the sun
And this you’ll see is good, and makes you feel relief
You don’t need to suffer, you don’t need this old grief
And the only thing left will be light from the moon
When you take a good friend into your dusty room

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The Tent

A tent is only nylon walls and rope
Strong in wind and safe from rain we hope
Carving out from empty air a space that wasn’t always there
A tent is only nylon walls and rope

A tent’s supposed to guard you from the night
But through its pores comes seeping in that underwater light
Until you’re dreaming helplessly underneath a starry sea
Underneath the night

At 3am our tents are breathing shells
They swallow us like Jonah on the brine
Ominously lurking in the morning gale
You in yours and me in mine

Sleeping humans in our tents
Keeping up our pale pretence
That we are safe, separate, apart
Sleeping humans in our tents
Keeping up our frail defence
Against the beating of each other’s heart

In the belly of the whale
Marooned with you
Nothing else exists and all the world is blue
I live for those waves along my skin
The thrill of being suddenly let in

And when it ends, as end it always must
A tent folds up and all that’s left is empty air and dust
There was no room there were no dreams
Nothing’s ever what it seems
All that’s left
All that’s left is empty air and dust

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The First Run Through
Download chord charts in Bb minor: page 1 and page 2
(NB. For easier version, put capo on 6th fret of guitar and make the following substitutions: Bb min=E min, Gb=C, F7=B7, Ab=D)

They say life is not a dress rehearsal
It makes my blood run cold
Cause when was the dress rehearsal
And why wasn’t I told
This cannot be the final show
It’s too messy to be true
Surely this must be the first run through

CHORUS
So take your joy when you find it in your hands
Bury your face in roses while they bloom for you
So what if you fall it’s only practice after all
Never mind it’s just the first run through

There is no cure for foolishness
There is no cure for new
Everybody stumbles in the first run through
But moments of sheer beauty happen
When you let them in
You don’t have to be perfect
You just have to begin

CHORUS

Say yes, say yes, don’t wait
Taste the feast that life has heaped up on your plate

Take your joy when you find it in your hands
When life holds out his hand across the crowded room for you
There’s nothing here to prove
Go ahead and bust a move
You might as well, it’s just the first run through

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If Only You Knew

If only
If only you knew
That I drink the thunder down when I look at you
If only
If only you knew
I’m a summer storm waiting to fall over you

CHORUS
Ooh I’m black and golden rolling cloud
Lit within by summer sun
All unsaid, all undone

If only
If only you knew
That something blue-white in me goes snap
When you walk in the room
If only
If only you knew
It’s like a thunderclap hoping to happen to you

CHORUS

I would say a red storm steams in a silver cup
As rich and dark as mulled thunder wine
I’d tell you that it curls exotic in my blood
And melts away in time

Darling the rain
The rain slips wasted, away
Down the window like these days do
Without you
Oh my love
If only you knew

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Dragon Orchid (How David Attenborough Saved My Love Life)

In West Australia grows a little orchid
Drakonorchis barbarossa is its name
Bizarrely, in a far out twist of nature
The female Thynnid wasp looks and smells just the same

The male wasp is fooled by the orchid
He tries to mate and gets the pollen stuck to his head
Next time he meets an orchid he passes pollen on
And this is how the Dragon Orchids spread

I was watching David Attenborough explain this
Marvelling at nature’s little game
When all at once it hit me
Oh my God, my love life’s just the same

CHORUS
Oh darlin’, you are my Dragon Orchid
I’m the wasp who’s always hanging round
I fly in singing love love love
But I can’t seem to get it off the ground

All those times I struggled to fly off with you
Wondering what the hell was going wrong
I thought you were the perfect wasp for me
But you’ve clearly been an orchid all along

CHORUS

Science calls it sexual deception
But I would call it unrequited love
It cheers me up to think my failed romances
May have some greater purpose that I can’t conceive of

So next time, oh next time that you fall in love
And the object of your love will not respond
Check very carefully the back of your head
Cause there’s some weird pollination going on

CHORUS

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Lover Come Closer

We’re like satellites
Shining silver all night
Circling the sweet smooth edges of each other’s light
But now that we’re dancing in rhythm
Now that I’m breathing with you
The look in your eyes tells me you’re feeling the way that I do

CHORUS
Oh lover, lover come closer
Closer to me
There’s space and there’s time
And there’s you and there’s me
You make it so easy
Oh you make it so easy
Lover, lover come closer
Closer to me

We’ve been around an orbit or two
We’re burnished by time down to a beautiful sheen
I’m in love with our scars
The hard-won souvenirs of the far flung places we’ve been
The touch of your hand tells me
That you know what I mean

CHORUS

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Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons

I woke up in the morning, I wanted cereal
I went into the kitchen to get myself a bowl
And while I sat there eating, there was a flash of light
Suddenly in front of me appeared a freaky sight

They looked like normal rabbits except that they were pink
Wearing little space suits, standing in the sink, they said
Greetings Earthling we come from Brocklevoons
Do not try to stop us we’re here to take your spoons

CHORUS
Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons
Landed in my kitchen because they needed spoons
Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons
Landed in my kitchen because they needed spoons
Oh bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce
Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce
Left left right right round and round and pounce! Hey!
Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce
Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce
Left left right right round and round and pounce! Hey!

I gave them all my spoons they took me in their ship
We travelled through the universe very very quick
Their little eyes were worried, their little eyes were grave
They said: We’re in a hurry, cause we’ve got ducks to save!

CHORUS

We got to Brocklevoons, we landed by a lake
I could see the rabbits had made a big mistake
They’d tried to make a place where they could jump and hop
They’d turned the lake to jelly so they could bounce on top

But no one told the ducks and all the ducks got stuck
Stuck inside the jelly, what awful rotten luck
We had to eat the jelly, we had to set them free
We took our spoons and got to work, the space rabbits and me

CHORUS

The ducks were very cross, the rabbits said: Don’t worry
We won’t do it again, we’re very very sorry!
The ducks forgave the rabbits and it began to rain
Everyone was happy, the lake filled up again

And then they took me home and gave me back my spoons
And told me I was welcome anytime on Brocklevoons
My cereal was waiting but after all that jelly
I couldn’t fit another thing into my big fat belly

CHORUS

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Sparky the Giant Squid

I remember when I was a kid
We had a really awesome pet
He was a tiny little squid
In a bowl, by the TV set
He was really cute, his name was Sparky
He was a happy little soul
But he grew a bit more every day
We had to get a bigger bowl

CHORUS
And he ate big fish little fish fat fish skinny fish all day long
Big fish little fish fat fish skinny fish all day long
With a great big slurping sound (slurp!)
Waving all his tentacles around.

Now that he had room to swim and play
Sparky liked his bigger bowl I think
But he grew a bit more every day
We had to put him in the sink
He was very helpful I must say
Always gave the dishes a good scrub
But he grew a bit more every day
We had to put him in the tub

CHORUS

He was very helpful like I said
He folded all the towels for us
He even tidied up the bathroom cupboard
And he never made a fuss
But when we had guests they couldn’t wash their hands
They’d scream and panic and all that malarky
They'd say“There’s a giant squid living in your bathtub!”
“For heaven’s sake,” we’d say, ‘it’s only Sparky!”

CHORUS

But we knew that it was time to set him free
We put him in the ocean with a sigh
He swam away quite happily
Waving one tentacle goodbye
He met a lady squid and fell in love
Their underwater wedding was spectacular
They had 80 little babies
Very cute, and very, well, tentacular

CHORUS
And they eat big fish little fish fat fish skinny fish all day long
Big fish little fish fat fish skinny fish all day long
With a great big slurping sound (slurp!)
Waving all their tentacles around
Waving all their tentacles around!


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