Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song)

Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song)

"Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song)" is a song in the widely popular Walt Disney film, The Jungle Book, from 1967. The song was sung by J. Pat O'Malley, playing the part of "Colonel Hathi". The song was also sung by Thurl Ravenscroft and The Mellomen, originally Terry-Thomas and Disney Chorus. The song was written by Disney staff songwriters, Robert and Richard Sherman. It is written in the spirit of a light commentary on the pointlessness of constant military drilling.[1]


The Shermans were brought into the film by Walt Disney due to his feeling that the film was keeping too true to the Rudyard Kipling book. In a deliberate effort to keep the score "light", this song as well as the Sherman Brothers' other contributions to the score generally concern darker subject matter than the accompanying music would suggest.[2] "Colonel Hathi's March" was the first song written by the siblings. As the elephants were "big clunky animals, crushing everything as they march through", the Shermans thought the best song for them would be a "heavy and ponderous" military march, with feeble lyrics only describing how the platoon tramples what is in its path.[3]


  1. ^ Sherman, Robert B., Walt's Time: from before to beyond, Camphor Tree Publishers, Santa Clarita, California, 1998, p 81., ISBN 0-9646059-3-7
  2. ^ Sherman, Robert B., Walt's Time: from before to beyond, Camphor Tree Publishers, Santa Clarita, California, 1998, p 80., ISBN 0-9646059-3-7
  3. ^ Sherman, Robert B. The Jungle Book audio commentary. The Jungle Book - Platinum Edition

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