Little elephant

Little elephant

expendable friend's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

Based on a true story - the first line of the chorus is a real comment that was made to my mum in one of her childhood dance exams. Years later, I encountered the very same dance teacher. I imagine she despaired of my family's genes.

This song is a bit of a cheat, because I wrote half of it in 2016. I stumbled across it recently on my hard drive, and figured it was time to finish it.


Mother says she's no idea
Why I turned out the way I did
And she doesn't want to think about it, really
It's not as though she didn't try
To mould me into something like
The magazines and films insist I should be

But stubbornly I did resist
Every trick upon her list
For "elegant" and "graceful" lie beyond me
I don't know to play that part
I don't much care to make a start
Why do you think you're ever going to change me?

Still you roll your eyes and say, "can we try that...

Less like a little elephant, more like a little fairy?
Dance with your feet as light as air; float like cotton candy
You don't get extra marks for causing earthquakes in Hawaii
So don't be a little elephant; you should dance like a little fairy"

Mother says her hopes are high
For this, the last roll of the dice
Surely you're the one who'll finally break me?
You'll teach me how to point my toes
Hold my head up, strike a pose
I can't believe that no-one knows what's coming?!

But just in case I'm being unclear
I take no joy in coming here
To prance around like some performing monkey
And I look forward to a day
When I don't have to get on stage
And no-one must pretend it's fun to watch me

Still you fold your arms and say, "let's try that…

Less like a little elephant, more like a little fairy
Dance with your feet as light as air; float like cotton candy
You don't get extra marks for causing earthquakes in Hawaii
So don't be a little elephant; you should dance like a little fairy
Don't be a little elephant; you should dance like a little fairy
Don't be a little elephant; you should dance like a little fairy"

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


billwhite51's picture

tremendous production. i especially like the vocal and drum sounds. by using the mother child dynamic to te your story, you get your ponts across without getting didactic about it.the closest thing i have heard to a sonng like this is the album lush made made when they went commercial with Lovelife. As it was one of my favorite albums of the time, that is a huge compliment. It may be anti dance, but it is pure pop heaven.

cindyrella's picture

This blows me away! I love the lyrics and can relate to them well. The production is outstanding and your vocals-wow! Good all the way through!

Valerie Cox's picture

Oh my god I';m forever grateful my mother didn't put me in dance class. That just isn't for me. Two left feet. I felt mortified every time we had to even dance in school. So I guess I'm saying this is relatable. "Less like an elephant." That's just cruel. What does that do to a child? Boo for mean people. Anyway, I like they way you've built up to the chorus. The little stops and silences are so effective. The stereo imaging catches the ear. Is that melodica? Cool.

helen's picture

Ha! Brilliant. You're really good at saying something quite universal and then adding a completely bonkers touch to it. Played this in the living room and Deb asked if the "let's try that" was me.

coolparadiso's picture

Top class lyrics and great delivery, perfect example of the power of use of caesura in a song. Super just off husky delivery. Nice!

metalfoot's picture

Really great storytelling. And the music is just spot on.

phoenixash's picture

Firstly, the song writing is very good, all the melodies are very solid, good and full of feeling and then you go and tell this heartbreaking story about how your mother always tries to change you, which is for me the source of many traumas. Then on top of that, you sing very sweetly and yet with loads of power and emotion this very same "horrible" story. Bringing to life this wonderful melody with all its tortuous lyrics. And on top of THAT you make a very impressive production with all the instrument making love with each other and you voice. So... basically, yeah it's wonderful. Way to make chocolate mousse out of limes.

kahlo2013's picture

Fantastic - both funny with some of the images and so poignant! The concept is so brilliant and the lyrics as well crafted and your music is absolutely spectacular. Love the groove. Love the feeling created by the melodica. The chorus is so catchy. This brings back some horrific memories from years of ballet and tap lessons that my mother made me do. All of the other girls were so dainty and pretty and wore their hair with ribbons or pretty barrettes. I was tall for my age in elementary school and with my crooked teeth, glasses, crossed eyes, disheveled hair and awkward movements I was odd duck of dance class. In 4th grade the studio I was in had several recitals and they always had a professional photographer ... the other girls look like these perfect ballerinas and I looked like an uncomfortable tomboy trying to pose. My little sister was like a ballerina princess in her classes. I know I just embarrassed my mom but I think she thought dancing would help. In case you are wondering - I did not and in fact stripped any confidence I had. Your insights and nuances here are really perfect.

tamsnumber4's picture

Amazing Chorus write! Float like cotton candy, I think I will make that a goal of mine....LOVE the vocal on this and production, I could be listening to this on the well done, great write, it just captures the visual story that you are telling and I don't see anything wrong with working on old writes, I do that often, I build up lyrics and ideas and need to work on the eventually, I guess it all depends on what you want out of 50/90. I am a fan, you sound awesome on this!!!

fresh spotless youth's picture

As always, you put forward the full package--artfully crafted, arranged, and performed to deliver maximum bittersweet perfection. Yeah, that chorus is something. The song is quite a toe-tapper for an anti-dance song, so full of quiet, pretty aggression.

Susan Cantey's picture

Another musical feast, not to mention oh so original. When I was 8 my ballet teacher told my mum that I should switch to piano. So I did. This is NOT a cheat. If you changed even 1 line, it would be a new song. I just found an old folder of "song babies" and am using it big time for 5090. I'm going to go upstairs now and dance like an elephant just to spite that woman! Lol