William Rossiter

Going Out West to See the Elephant: How the West was Sung!

“How happy am I as I crawl into bed, a rattlesnake rattles a tune at my bed, A coy little centipede, void of all fear, crawls over my pillow and into my ear.” “Seeing the elephant,” they called it. It was the pioneer’s term for getting wised up and fed up. When the 19th century settlers started West, they sang songs about the land of milk and honey. By the time they got here, they rewrote the same songs to tell of rattlesnakes and alkali water