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Lyr Req: The Elephant (Flanders & Swann)

DigiTrad:
HAVE SOME MADIERA, M'DEAR
MISALLIANCE


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Lyr Add: The English (Flanders & Swann) (9)
Lyr Req: Greenfleeves with an F (Flanders & Swann) (27)
Lyr Add: Misalliance (Flanders & Swann) (6)
Flanders & Swann for choirs? (2)
Lyr Req: The Sloth (Flanders & Swann) (21)
Chords Req: Madeira, M'Dear (Flanders & Swann) (31)
Tune Req: A Song of Patriotic Prejudice (11)
Lyr Req: Have Some Madeira M'Dear (Flanders/Swann) (6)


keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 01:47 PM
Charmion 13 Apr 20 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Starship 13 Apr 20 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 06:52 PM
RTim 13 Apr 20 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,Jerry 14 Apr 20 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Ray 14 Apr 20 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Starship 14 Apr 20 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Jerry 14 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM
Tiger 14 Apr 20 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Jerry 14 Apr 20 - 08:59 AM
keberoxu 16 Apr 20 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Starship 16 Apr 20 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Jerry 17 Apr 20 - 06:11 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 01:47 PM

Please correct me if I am mistaken,
but my searches at the Mudcat for this song
have met with almost complete failure.

Almost, I say, because of Mudcat member Joe F,
who recalls two stanzas of the lyrics
and has posted them to two threads,
but really, one must have the whole thing.

Especially now that I'm posting this
from a mental-health clinic for long-term residential treatment
(outing myself here, but I have a BS thread going about it).


Michael Flanders, when he wrote the chorus,
was required by somebody -- the BBC, I believe --
to change two words, as the words threatened to give offense.


The chorus originally went:

I'm an introverted, elepho-centric, hypochondriac
And I'll stick in the Elephants' Loony Bin
'Til I get me memory back.

Hue and cry, all-right-all-right-I'll-change-that,
and now the official lyric reads:

I'm an introverted, elepho-centric, hypochondriac
And I'll stick in the Elephants' Nursing Home
'Til I get me memory back.


Am I correct in believing that F & S expressly wrote this song for
singer Ian Wallace?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 01:48 PM

Yes, keb, Ian Wallace debuted most, if not all, the F&S animal songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 03:28 PM

https://www.rockol.it/testi/68531340/flanders-swann-the-elephant

I've never heard the song, but it looks like the complete lyrics are at that site.

https://www.rockol.it/testi/68531340/flanders-swann-the-elephant


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 06:52 PM

erm ...
does anyone object to
having the lyrics actually in a post
to the thread?
I don't mind links, as far as they go.

It's just that
the Mudcat has Flanders & Swann lyrics in the DigiTrad
(albeit, not this one)
and lyrics in full on threads for each song.
Would be nice to represent this one as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: RTim
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 07:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZccW-ntOKE


Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 04:36 AM

I have a F and S songbook with this song included, and the 1953 copyrighted sheet music for The Elephant includes the words ‘Nursing Home’, but it would have been a bit wittier, In the days before PC, to have had something colloquial like ‘funny farm’. There are three verses in all; let me know if you want them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 05:31 AM

On the 1961 recording of The Elephant - produced by none other than George Martin - they’re already using the words “nursing home” rather than “loony bin”.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ELEPHANT (Flanders & Swann)
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 07:40 AM

THE ELEPHANT
(Flanders & Swann)

A elephant's life is tedious, laborious and slow.
I've been an elephant all me life, so I blooming well ought to know.

He never forgets a name or face, ooooh!
He knows his way from place to place, ooooh!
Remembers to be dutiful
And when to push and when to pull
An when he's dead the dealer calls
And buys his tusks for billiard balls, ooooh!
And all because an elephant's got a perfect memory.
That wasn't the life for me!

So I'm suffering form amnesia
Me mind's a perfect blank!
Now life is very much easier
Amnesia's to thank;
I'm being psychoanalysed; I lie on a divan
And flap me ears and try to look as barmy as I can!

I'm an introverted, elephocentric, hypochondriac,
And I'll stick in the elephant's nursing home till I get me memory back!

I'm suffering from hysteria,
I nearly split me sides,
To watch the others get wearier
Of giving children rides;
I've told my psychoanalyst that I'm a sacred cow
I'd like to carry a howdah but I can't remember how.

I'm an introverted, elephocentric, hypochondriac,
And I'll stick in the elephants' nursing home till I get me memory back!

I suffer from schizophrenia
It comes on me in spells
Sometimes I'm King of Armenia
At others I'm Orson Welles.
I tell them I'm Napoleon and all that sort of bunk
They never guess that all the time I'm laughing up me trunk!

I'm an introverted, elephocentric, hypochondriac,
And I'll stick in the elephant's nursing home till I get me memory back!
Tra-tiddle-tumty-tumty tra-tiddletum!
Practising me trumpet half the night,
Tra-tiddle-tumty-tumty tra-tiddletum!
And I'll stick in the elephants' nursing home
Till I get me memory, get me memory, get me memory back!


Credits
Writer(s): tommy flanders, donald swann, michael flanders

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Those lyrics are from

https://www.rockol.it/testi/68531340/flanders-swann-the-elephant


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 07:45 AM

I have to say, you could argue that the whole song is pretty offensive now to our modern ears, although I confess that mine are not that modern. First, it suggests that elephants are only really valued for their ivory tusks, for making billiard balls, albeit through the use of irony. Secondly, each verse belittles a common human mental illnesses such as amnesia/dementia, hysteria/anxiety and schizophrenia, with the latter wrongly stereotyped by split personality disorder. I know that their songs can still go down a storm with those of us of a certain age, but comedy has also moved on since the 1950s, and clever though their use of language was, you can rarely get away with a one-joke comic song these days.


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Subject: Their recording is on YouTube
From: Tiger
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 07:51 AM

Tough one to sing, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 08:59 AM

Well, that’s another reason, I wouldn’t attempt to sing it to a modern audience,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 12:53 PM

One of the points of the Flanders & Swann animal songs
is their satire about human beings,
as in Aesop's Fables, it seems obvious to me,
but this thread has yet to point it out.

Thus, our 'Elephant' is a human being whose life has been
one of, I would guess, working-class drudgery
and back-breaking labor.
No wonder he prefers to remember as little of it as possible.

I'm all right with the fact that this lyric
is not for every audience;
the audiences who are in fact pleased by the song
are sufficient for me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 04:01 PM

I certainly agree. I think that whole collection by F and S was a clever anthropomorphization. It's also clearly demonstrated in the following song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zpDF3Py7r8


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flanders & Swann: The Elephant
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 06:11 AM

Anthropomorphism- imbuing animals with human traits for comic effect - has been the mainstay of cartoons and kids’ humour, all the way from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to Shrek and the Tiger Who Came to Tea. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s nothing really new.


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