The Elephant
Words, Music and Activities: Hap Palmer

  Listen to this song.

This song is available on Hap Palmer's Early Childhood Classics.

Printable Right-Hand Music Notation with Chords is also available for this song.

Individual Instrumental Song Download


See below for suggested activities.

The elephant moves very slowly
Oh, so very slowly
He doesn't like to move too fast
Because he is so big and heavy

But should he see a tiger
Or spy a mean old hunter
He will start to run and shake the ground
And make them all fall down

Rumble, rumble, rumble
Hear the jungle rumble
Rumble, rumble, rumble
Hear the jungle rumble

Trees shake and sway
As the birdies fly away
Lions run and hide
With their babies by their side

Rumble, rumble, rumble
Hear the jungle rumble
Rumble, rumble, rumble
Hear the jungle rumble
    Repeat

The elephant moves very slowly
Oh, so very slowly
He doesn't like to move too fast
Because he is so big and heavy

Note from Hap Palmer:
     This is one of my earliest songs.  It has been used in schools and day care centers for over 30 years.   I changed the word "fat" used in the original version to "heavy" because, although an elephant can weigh in excess of 6 tons, it actually has no layer of fat under its skin.

Action:
     Pretend you are an elephant.  Bend forward from the waist and let your arms hang down.  Clasp your hands together to form the elephant's trunk.  Swing your trunk from side to side as you travel with slow, heavy steps.   When the music gets faster, run with quick, heavy steps.   Each time you hear the elephant sound (made by the French horn)  lift your trunk and make your own elephant sound.  You can also pretend to be a tree shaking or birds flying away as the elephants run by.

Variation:
     Listen to the instrumental version of this song.  How does the slow music make you feel like moving? Listen for the transition.  How does the fast music make you feel like moving?  Can you think of other animals that move slowly? ... quickly? ..
Play the music and move like the animals you choose.

Here are some facts about elephant's which will help you add variety to your movement:  
   (1) An elephant walks and runs with a shuffling step, barely lifting its feet from   
the ground.  With its padded feet, an elephant moves with surprisingly little noise.
   (2) An elephant sniffs the air and the ground almost constantly with its trunk.  It frequently waves its trunk high in the air to catch the scent of food or enemies.  
   (3)  An elephants huge ears pick up sounds of other animals from as far as 2 miles away.  When an elephant is curious about a sound, its ears stand straight out.   
   (4)  An angry or frightened elephant can run more than 25 miles an hour.  A sudden, strange noise can cause a herd to panic.  The animals may charge at the source of the noise or stampede away from it.  When frightened or angry, elephants sometimes use their trunks to make a loud shrill cry called "trumpeting."   
    (5)  Elephants are excellent swimmers.  An elephant gives itself a shower by shooting a stream of water through its trunk.

Create your own way of moving to show some of these facts about elephants.

 

This song is available on Hap Palmer's Early Childhood Classics.

Printable Right-Hand Music Notation with Chords is also available for this song.

Many thanks to Hap Palmer for permission to display these lyrics.
©Hap-Pal Music. All rights reserved.

These songs and activities are for the personal use of parents and teachers only. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Hap-Pal Music, Box 323 Topanga, CA 90290 e-mail: hap@netwood.net.