The song begins with Ratigan mentioning his earlier crimes, and that his current plan will be even more wicked than before. It then changes to his henchmen singing their admiration of their evil leader before switching to Ratigan lamenting over Basil's constant interference with his plans, before wickedly claiming that not even Basil can stand in his way this time. The henchmen sing their praises again, but the song is interrupted when Bartholomew, a mouse who had made himself extremely drunk throughout the song, loudly calls Ratigan the 'world's greatest rat'. Enraged, Ratigan flings the henchman out his lair and has him devoured by Felicia. Once Bartholomew has been consumed, the henchmen resume their singing (mostly out of fear due to Ratigan giving the implied threat of feeding them to Felicia next if they didn't), and the song ends with them smashing their wine glasses together as Ratigan displays his signature grin.
Ratigan: From the brain that brought you the Big Ben Caper
The head that made headlines in every newspaper
And wonderous things like the Tower Bridge Job
That cunning display that made London a sob
Now comes the real Tour de Force
Tricky and wicked of course
My earlier crimes were fine for their times
But now that I'm at it again
An even grimmer plot has been simmering
In my great criminal brain
Chorus: Even meaner? You mean it?
Worse than the widows and orphans you drowned?
You're the best of the worst around
The rest fall behind
The world's greatest criminal mind!
Ratigan:(Playing harp) Thank you, thank you. But it hasn't all been
champagne and caviar. I've had my share of
adversity, thanks to that miserable, second rate
detective, Basil of Baker Street.
Ratigan: For years that insufferable pipsqueak has interfered with my plans.
I haven't had a moments piece of mind.
Ratigan: But, all that's in the past! This time, nothing, not even
Basil, can stand in my way! All will bow before me!
Chorus: Oh, Ratigan
You're tops and that's that
To Ratigan Bartholomew:(Drunk) To Ratigan the world's greatest rat! (Hiccups)
(Song temporally stops)
(Ratigan spits out his drink in shock; the thugs gasp)
Ratigan: What was THAT?!
Ratigan: What did you call me?
Bartholomew:(Opens his mouth to respond)
Thug #1: Oh, he didn't mean it, Professor!
Bill the Lizard: It was just a slip of the tongue!
Ratigan:(Angrily) I AM NOT A RAT!
Thug #2: 'Course you're not! You're a mouse!
Thug #1: Yeah, that's right; right, a mouse!
Bill the Lizard: Yeah, a big mouse!
Ratigan: SILENCE! (Throws Bartholomew outside; speaks in dramatic tone) Oh, my dear Bartholomew, I'm afraid that you've gone and upset me. (Tone becomes hostile; pulls bell out of pocket) You know what happens when someone upsets me... (Rings bell)
(Felicia the cat walks toward Bartholomew)
Bartholomew:(Starts singing) Oh, Ratigan Oh, Ratigan You're the tops and that's that. (Hiccups; speaking) Oh, dear (Resumes singing) To Ratigan To Ratigan
(The thugs cry in fear; Felicia grabs Bartholomew who is still unaware)
Bartholomew:(Continued) To Ratigan The world's greatest... (Felicia eats him)
(The thugs mourn their friend's loss)
Ratigan:(Speaking lovingly) Oh, Felicia, my precious, my baby. Did Daddy's little honey-bunny enjoy her tasty treat?
Ratigan: I trust there shall be no further interruptions. And now, as you were singing?
Chorus: Even louder
We'll shout it!
No one can doubt what we know you can do
You're more evil that even you
You're one of a kind
The world's greates criminal mind!!!
There was a deleted lyric that expanded a bit on the London Bridge Job: Ratigan had thrown several civilian Mice into the Thames River, and shot any that attempted to surface. It was presumably cut because of the dark and family-unfriendly nature of the lyric.
Interestingly, the part that says "The Widows and Orphans you drowned" may be the same crime.
Coincidentally, the name of the song was previously used with the character Egghead in the 1960s Batman show, who was portrayed by Ratigan's voice actor, Vincent Price.
On February 28, 2018, TimzUneeverse uploaded a bait-and-switch video parodying the song, titled "The Big Ben Caper", with most of the lines modified to say "Big Ben Caper", and featuring lines from Tsushima Yoshiko from the anime series Love Live! Sunshine!!. (link)
"From the brain that brought you the Big Ben Caper"
Ratigan coughing up his wine after hearing Bartholomew call him a rat