Where Are the Elephants?

Regular price $ 16.95

by Leon Rosselson

PM Press

2/7/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781629639734


Fierce and funny, this memoir in essay and song is full of wonderful tales of art and protest. Leon Rosselson's Where Are the Elephants? is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the life and times of one of England's foremost songwriters. This clear-eyed portrait of a creative activist who never gave up and whose talent, wit, and verve brought the world into finer focus provides a model for a whole new generation of radicals. Filled with glimpses of the stories and events that inspired his songs, Rosselson's story of becoming a modern troubadour up against the barricades is a tale for the ages. The book concludes with an intimate and wide-ranging interview by Rosselson's longtime friend and collaborator Robb Johnson.


"Rosselson remains fearless. He provides something that the world is in dire need of currently--dissent that seeks dialogue versus greater division and disconnection." -- Ian Brennan, Grammy-winning music producer and author, Silenced by Sound and Muse-Sick: a music meritocracy in fifty-nine notes

"Leon Rosselson's Where Are the Elephants is fascinating mixture of autobiography, critical inquiry, and polemic, spanning his long life as a musician, author and revolutionary. Rosselson's rich experience is the basis for profound insights on many themes central to an appraisal of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. From folk music and songwriting to communism and antisemitism, from protest and demonstration to rancorous political debate, Rosselson weighs in, not as an observer, but as a participant. His is the testimony of an engaged artist dedicated to his craft and the struggle against suffering and injustice. Anyone interested in music, England, Jewish identity in opposition to Zionism, critical takes on Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, or Jesus and Judas Iscariot, this book is for you. And lest it be forgotten in the breadth of its subject matter, Where Are the Elephants is exemplary as autobiography: the sharing of a full life with grace and humility." -- Mat Callahan, musician and author of Working-Class Heroes: A History of Struggle in Song

"To write a literate critique of late capitalism is not easy. To do it in metre and rhyme, with wit and a memorable melody is quite an accomplishment. To do this again and again is a remarkable achievement. Leon Rosselson has managed it consistently for 40 years and has created a remarkable body of work." -- Songlines

About the Author:

Leon Rosselson has been at the forefront of songwriting in England for over sixty years. He started his performing career in the early days of the folk revival as a member of the Galliards with whom he made many radio and TV broadcasts and concert appearances. He began writing songs seriously (and humorously) in the early 1960s and has yet to stop. His early songs were topical-satirical, but he broadened out from there, absorbing different influences. He has performed at every conceivable venue around the UK and has toured worldwide. He has recorded many albums and published two songbooks. His song, "The World Turned Upside Down" was taken into the pop charts by Billy Bragg, and covered by artists including Dick Gaughan and Chumbawumba. Leon has published 17 children's books, the first of which, Rosa's Singing Grandfather was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 1991.