Words and music by Steve Mann
One can be walking down a street in Los Angeles, conversing with an imaginary grass-fed friend, bothering no one, and be stopped by the police, questioned, arrested and put in jail. I would have no trouble understanding that the "Elephant Song" came from one or more genuinely scary situations involving being picked up by the police simply for being, looking, or acting a bit different in public.
Although Steve worries to this day about the use of the word "ostrich" at the end of "Elephant Song", (it really truly does not rhyme either with rhinoceros or with preposterous) no one else is bothered at all by the rhymes, or the non-rhyme, in "Elephant Song". If it is taken as a funny story, played in a straight-faced somewhat clumsy manner, "Elephant Song" is sort of cute. But if one knows how Steve can take a real life experience and make it into a song or a beautiful piece of music, then the story can be understood in a more serious way. Anyone who has ever been picked up by the police for any reason knows how scary this is, and how powerless one feels in the face of a large system that does not tolerate people's differences with any humor.
All those in favor of elephants and ostriches and rhinoceroses and such, let's hear it for freedom of the imagination, and no jails for musicians!