Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
One Elephant

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One Elephant

One Elephant

     One elephant began to play
     Upon a spider's web one day,
     He found it such tremendous fun
     That he called on another elephant to come.

     Two elephants began to play . . .

     [Ten] elephants began to play
     Upon a spider's web one day,
     But sad to say the web gave way
     And that was the end of a perfect day.

     Coll. 1959 from a 16-year old girl from Motherwell,
Lanarkshire.  One child starts singing, then a second joins
on behind, holding by the waist, and singing ("Two elephants"
etc.), and so on, till all are involved.  The movements mimic
a grotesquely lurching pachyderm (point foot, back to first
position, forward three paces; repeat).  Cf. "One little
elephant balancing" in Fowke SGS (1969), 42 (no. 40), from
Toronto.  Opies Singing Game (1985), 367, with tune
(Manchester, 1975); and refs. to foreign versions.

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