The Gnu Song

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Concept.png The Gnu Song Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
A Gnu herd in the wild

"The Gnu Song" is a humorous song about a talking Gnu by Flanders and Swann who first performed and recorded the song in their revue At the Drop of a Hat. It was released as a single on the Parlophone label in 1957 and produced by future Beatles producer George Martin.

Richard Stallman mentioned "The Gnu Song" in connection with the naming of the GNU Project in a 2002 interview.[1]


A year ago last Thursday, I was strolling in the zoo
When I met a man who thought he knew the lot
He was laying down the law about the habits of baboons
And the number of quills a porcupine has got
Flanders and Swann - The Gnu Song
So I asked him "What's that creature's name?" and he answered "That's a h-Elk"
And I'd have gone on thinking that was true
If the animal in question hadn't put that chap to shame,
And remarked: "I ain't a h-Elk, I'm a Gnu
"I'm a Gnu, I'm a Gnu
"The g-nicest work of g-nature in the zoo
"I'm a Gnu, how do you do?
"You really oughtta g-know w-who's w-who
"I'm a Gnu, spelt G - N - U
"I'm g-not a Camel or a Kangaroo
"So let me introduce, I'm g-neither man nor Moose
"Oh, g-no, g-no, g-no, I'm a Gnu."
I had taken furnished lodgings down at Rustington-on-Sea
Whence I travelled on to Ashton-under-Lyne
On the second night I stayed there I was wakened from a dream
Which I'll tell you all about some other time
Among the hunting trophies on the wall above my bed
Stuffed and mounted was a face I thought I knew
A Bison? An Okapi? Could it be a Hartebeest?
Then I seem to hear a voice: "I'm a Gnu
"I'm a Gnu, a g-nother Gnu
"I wish I could g-nash my teeth at you
"I'm a Gnu, how do you do?
"You really oughtta g-know w-who's w-who
"I'm a Gnu, spelt G - N - U
"Call me Bison or Okapi and I'll sue
"Nor am I in the least like that dreadful Hartebeest
"Oh, g-no, g-no, g-no, I'm a Gnu
"G-no, g-no, g-no, I'm a Gnu
"G-no, g-no, g-no, I'm a Gnu"[2]


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