The song's lyrics are actually the first stanza of the Jabberwocky poem by Lewis Carroll, from the book Through the Looking-Glass (an early rendition of Alice in Wonderland).
And the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe
Meaning behind the lyrics
The meaning behind each word was discussed within the novel Through the Looking-Glass by the character Humpty Dumpty. Each word was described as such:
- Brillig: a specific time "four o'clock in the afternoon, the time when you begin broiling things for dinner."
- Slithy: mixture of the words "lithe" and "slimy".
- Tove: a creature that is a mixture between a badger, a lizard and a corkscrew.
- Gyre: to go around like a gyroscope.
- Gimble: "to make holes like a gimlet."
- Wabe: a small spot of land underneath a sundial, called such because it "goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it".
- Mimsy: mixture of "flimsy" and "miserable".
- Borogove: a thin, tall looking bird.
- Mome: to feeling of losing or longing for home (Humpty Dumpty was uncertain of the definition).
- Rath: a green pig.
- Outgrabe: a strange act of "something between bellowing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle".
In the movie, Mome Raths are depicted as small colorful little creatures.