Jumbo the Elephant
DESCRIPTION: "Oh have you seen the elephant? is all the people's cry, The great and mighty elephant who stands so broad and high." The song describes its daily diet (a ton of hay, plus lemonade, plus rye). The people are amazed at the creature
AUTHOR: Words: F. H. Evans / Music: J. A. Snow
EARLIEST DATE: 1977 (Peters)
KEYWORDS: nonballad animal
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peters, p. 278, "Jumbo the Elephant" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: Peters includes three songs from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He does not offer a reason for including them in a book of folk songs; all are composed and two of the three give no evidence of having existed in tradition. This is the one slight exception; based on the information in Roud, it appears there was one traditional collection printed in the Journal of American Folklore 36 in 1923.
Jumbo the Elephant apparently was a sensation, however; P. T. Barnum imported the animal and showed it around the U. S. in the 1880s (see Zachary Karabell, Chester Alan Arthur [a volume in the American Presidents series edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.], Times Books, 2004, p. 90). - RBW
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