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A not so Baby Elephant walks the gap!

After an eventful time in Bombay (Passepartout unintentionally causes offence in a temple), the pair manage to escape from Bombay on the train that is supposed to take them all the way to Calcutta. Contrary to reports of the completion of this line, a 50-mile section of the line remains unfinished, and the train comes to an unexpected halt in Kholby. Alternative transport is urgently required to get to Allahabad, so they can resume the train journey. Kiouni the Elephant is acquired for an exorbitant fee.

"Baby Elephant Walk" was composed in 1961 by Henry Mancini for the 1962 film “Hatari!” and earned Mancini a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1963. Mancini's inspiration was based on his impression that the elephants in the movie scene “were definitely walking boogie-woogie, eight to the bar”, and so the catchy tune was born. In the original recording, Mancini uses a calliope introduction to suggest the sound of a circus. A cheeky melody is then played over this on a clarinet, and the song concludes with the calliope playing the old four-note phrase known as "Good Evening, Friends". In the middle section, brass instruments (including repeated blasts from the tuba) and woodwind elements are combined to convey a large and plodding elephant toddler that is filled with the exuberance of youth.

If you love this tune, as we do, have a listen to a few early cover versions, by Bill Haley and The Fabulous Echoes. Whatever you do, make sure you check out this Ska version!


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