Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a classic Grammy award winning song from the 1960’s, ‘Baby Elephant Walk’.
In the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons, Dancin’ Homer (Season 02, Episode 05), Homer becomes a baseball mascot for a local team, thanks to his butt-swinging dance to ‘Baby Elephant Walk’. The team’s subsequent high scores bring him to the attention of the major league head hunters and big commercial sponsors. Eventually this leads to Dancin’ Homer filling in for the Capital City goofball.
But have you ever wondered where the song ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ comes from?
Baby Elephant Walk
Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was an American composer and conductor. A winner of four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995; Mancini is considered amongst the greatest composers in Hollywood history.
‘Baby Elephant Walk’ is a song written in 1961 by Mancini for the 1962 film Hatari!. In 1963, the song earned Mancini a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. The tune was written for an impromptu scene in Hatari! in which the lead actress, Elsa Martinelli, led three baby elephants to a waterhole to bathe.
Mancini himself described the music as:
I looked at the scene several times [and] I thought, ‘Yeah, they’re walking eight to the bar’, and that brought something to mind, an old Will Bradley boogie-woogie number called ‘Down the Road a Piece’ … Those little elephants were definitely walking boogie-woogie, eight to the bar. I wrote ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ as a result.
Now that we’ve learned more about ‘Baby Elephant Walk’, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Were you familiar with ‘Baby Elephant Walk’? What about Henry Mancini? What’s your favourite Simpsons musical reference? What about your favourite Simpsons episode where Homer gets a different job? Who’s your favourite mascot? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.