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Songs that mention species of bird (1 Viewer)

Arbu

Well-known member
I must be bored, but I thought I'd start a list:

1. Fleetwood Mac "Just like the White-winged Dove".
2. The Police, King of Pain "There's a Black-winged Gull". What is that?
3. The Beatles, "Blackbird".

Any more? I don't think that a song that just references a generic "bird" counts as there would be too many.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Technical point: 1 is Stevie Nicks solo 'Edge of Seventeen'.

I can probably think of quite a few, including a few relatively obscure birds. I'll have a think!
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Flight of Icarus - Iron Maiden - '...like an Eagle...'

Sorry just saw reference to not generic...
 

Jonno52

John
Supporter
United Kingdom
"There'll be Bluebirds over / The white cliffs of Dover" (though actually there very likely won't). Composer Walter Kent, lyrics by Nat Burton. Made famous by Vera Lynn in 1942.
 
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dantheman

Bah humbug
I don't think I know any birds in songs, but there are groups called The Housemartins and The Guillemots of course ... hopefully not too generic.

There must be a few Cuckoos, Swallows and the like?
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Albatross - Fleetwood Mac
Nightingales and Bombers - Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
The Raven - The Stranglers
 
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janvanderbrugge

Well-known member
Hello, Abu and other readers (mainly from UK, now),

This is quite wonderful, all this seems to correspond perfectly to one of my personal activities, which started many years ago. I found a combination of birding passion and love for music and languages in "Human Bird Song and Music", a project of collecting songs (not poems) on birds, at any level. Of course I started (in the 80s) with gathering the lyrics of children's songs about birds and I think the first ones were the one-liner "Boer, er ligt 'n kip in 't water" (for piano and voice: "Farmer, there's a chicken in the water", there is an English version of it) and one that everyone (older persons) in Holland is familiar with: "Papegaaitje, leef je nog? i-ya, day-ya. Ja meneer, ik ben er nog, i-ya, day-ya. ik heb m'n eten opgegeten and m'n drinken laten staan, i-ya day-ya, poof!" = Dear parrot, are you still alive? i-ya day-ya. Yes sir, I'm still around, i-ya, day-ya. I have eaten my food and left what I had to drink, i-ya, day-ya, poof!" (at "poof" lightly (nearly) dropping the child on the floor)
I asked people around to send things from their memories and started to gather foreign songs and pieces of music, with translations. The result as it has been lately: some 450 pieces of music, in a variation from popular songs to opera arias and titles of instrumental works, from general and generic to species level. Of course the doves, chickens and ducks are ubiquitous (and birds for themselves), but the collection also offers real jewels, from songs dedicated to one species to arias for "fake birds". Example: in the opera "La Perle du Brésil" (the pearl from Brazil) by Félicien César David (1810-1876), première: 22 November 1851, Opéra National, Paris), soprano Zora sings these "Couplets du Mysoli" (English version: Thou, brilliant bird)

"Quel ravissant séjour! J’ai vu jadis une forêt pareille! Les mêmes chants caressaient mon oreille, je ne me trompe pas! C’est mon oiseau chéri! C’est lui, c’est lui, c’est le doux mysoli!
Charmant oiseau qui sous l’ombrage étale à nos yeux éblouis
Les couleurs de son beau plumage mêlé d’azur et de rubis, mêlé d’azur et de rubis!
Quand sur le tige à fleur dorée il se balance, tout joyeux, tout jouyeux, tout joyeux,
Son aile brille, diaprée ainsi qu’un prisme radieux!
Qu’il est joli, qu'il est joli, qu’il est joli, le mysoli!
Qu’il est joli, le mysoli, le mysoli!

Well, beautiful as it is (azur and ruby), the mysoli is undeterminable, it seems just a fantasy creature. Here's another opera fragment, much better known:
The aria "Stridono lassù" (Screamingly they are passing over there), sung by mezzo soprano Nedda in the opera "I Pagliacci" (Ruggiero Leoncavallo, 1858-1919):

Qual fiamma avea nel guardo! Gli occhi abbassai per tema ch’ei leggesse il mio pensier segreto!
Oh ! s’ei mi sorprendesse ... brutale come egli è! ... Ma basti, or via. Son questi sogni paurosi e folle!
O, che bel sole di mezz’agosto! Io son piena vi vita e tutta illanguidita per arcano desio, non so che bramo!
Oh, che volo d’augelli, e quante strida ! Che chiedon? dove van? chissà!
La mamma mia, che la bona ventura annunziava, comprendeva il lor canto, e a me ambina così cantava:

Ah! ah! Stridono lassù, liberamente, lanciati a vol, avol come frecce, gli augel.
Disfidano le nubi e’l sol cocente, e vanno per le vie del ciel. Lasciateli vagar per l’atmosfera
questi assetati d’azzurro e di splendor ! Seguono anch’essi un sogno, una chimera, e vanno fra le nubi d’or!
Che incalzi il vento e latri la tempesta, con le ali aperte san tutto sfidar: la pioggia, i lampi,
nulla mai li arresta, e vanno sugli abissi e i mar.
Vanno laggiù verso un paese strano, che sognan forse e che cercano in van.
Ma i boemi del ciel seguon l’arcano poter che li sospinge, e van!

The determination does not get beyond "gli augel" (for gli augelli = the birds), but I think it can only refer to swifts in an Italian village).

Opera and popular song: when Maria Callas ended her performances in the Mexico Opera House at the end of the contract there, the audience became aware of the farewell evening and started to sing to her, all together: "Adónde irá, veloz y fatigata, la golondrina que de aquí se va?", which made La Callas burst out in tears.
(worldwide famous song to the departure of swallows in the autumn, it is part of the collection of course)

I would gladly continue and expand my activities in this music field with BF members who share this passion.
A few days ago I collected the lyrics of a rapper contribution on the "bin chicken", which is the depreciation synonym for the Australian White Ibis; the off-white (!) bird has established a bad reputation for gathering edible things from refuse bins in the cities down under. Fortunately there are enough Aussies who still like this bird; after all the animal is not to blame for using what became available by human spilling.

My collection, as partly gathered from all types of free sources, is available for all. There is no printed music to it, but it has many things to sing along!
One of the jewels I would like to mention and sing, is the original song for Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender. Elvis has no birds in it, but the real old song (same melody, 1861) is: "Aura Lee", which starts: "As the blackbird in the spring, beneath the willow tree, sat and piped I heard him sing, sing of Aura Lee.
Aura Lee, Aura Lee, maid of golden hair,
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air."
I suppose it refers to the European Blackbird (thrush) with its appreciated jubilant voice.
And there's this mocking short version of the same song:
"When an egg falls on a rock, too bad for the egg . . .
But when a rock falls on an egg, ........."

Well, that will do for now. Just let me know if you want to receive the contents of my file or any part of it, like songs which are clearly dedicated to a species, or if you just want to discuss such things and share this hobby with me and/or the linguistic features of such stuff. I hope this topic can be the start of a valuable element in this variegated Bird Forum, which already offers so much to every one's taste. There's a world of fantasy to detect here, from the famous Malay "Burung kakatua" to Mozart's "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja."

[sidetrack, some poetry is unavoidable to all this:)
(Burung kakatua mentjok (hinggap) di jendela.
Nene sudah tua, giginya tinggal dua.) This is somehow tricky, as it is a Pantun, poem of 2x 2 lines, which are apparently unrelated: Cockatoo bird is sitting in the window. Grandmother is old, she has only two teeth left.
I look forward to receiving a wealth of positive reactions, stay healthy and music-minded!
Jan van der Brugge
 

janvanderbrugge

Well-known member
Hello, Abu and other readers (mainly from UK, now),

This is quite wonderful, all this seems to correspond perfectly to one of my personal activities, which started many years ago. I found a combination of birding passion and love for music and languages in "Human Bird Song and Music", a project of collecting songs (not poems) on birds, at any level. Of course I started (in the 80s) with gathering the lyrics of children's songs about birds and I think the first ones were the one-liner "Boer, er ligt 'n kip in 't water" (for piano and voice: "Farmer, there's a chicken in the water", there is an English version of it) and one that everyone (older persons) in Holland is familiar with: "Papegaaitje, leef je nog? i-ya, day-ya. Ja meneer, ik ben er nog, i-ya, day-ya. ik heb m'n eten opgegeten and m'n drinken laten staan, i-ya day-ya, poof!" = Dear parrot, are you still alive? i-ya day-ya. Yes sir, I'm still around, i-ya, day-ya. I have eaten my food and left what I had to drink, i-ya, day-ya, poof!" (at "poof" lightly (nearly) dropping the child on the floor)
I asked people around to send things from their memories and started to gather foreign songs and pieces of music, with translations. The result as it has been lately: some 450 pieces of music, in a variation from popular songs to opera arias and titles of instrumental works, from general and generic to species level. Of course the doves, chickens and ducks are ubiquitous (and birds for themselves), but the collection also offers real jewels, from songs dedicated to one species to arias for "fake birds". Example: in the opera "La Perle du Brésil" (the pearl from Brazil) by Félicien César David (1810-1876), première: 22 November 1851, Opéra National, Paris), soprano Zora sings these "Couplets du Mysoli" (English version: Thou, brilliant bird)

"Quel ravissant séjour! J’ai vu jadis une forêt pareille! Les mêmes chants caressaient mon oreille, je ne me trompe pas! C’est mon oiseau chéri! C’est lui, c’est lui, c’est le doux mysoli!
Charmant oiseau qui sous l’ombrage étale à nos yeux éblouis
Les couleurs de son beau plumage mêlé d’azur et de rubis, mêlé d’azur et de rubis!
Quand sur le tige à fleur dorée il se balance, tout joyeux, tout jouyeux, tout joyeux,
Son aile brille, diaprée ainsi qu’un prisme radieux!
Qu’il est joli, qu'il est joli, qu’il est joli, le mysoli!
Qu’il est joli, le mysoli, le mysoli!

Well, beautiful as it is (azur and ruby), the mysoli is undeterminable, it seems just a fantasy creature. Here's another opera fragment, much better known:
The aria "Stridono lassù" (Screamingly they are passing over there), sung by mezzo soprano Nedda in the opera "I Pagliacci" (Ruggiero Leoncavallo, 1858-1919):

Qual fiamma avea nel guardo! Gli occhi abbassai per tema ch’ei leggesse il mio pensier segreto!
Oh ! s’ei mi sorprendesse ... brutale come egli è! ... Ma basti, or via. Son questi sogni paurosi e folle!
O, che bel sole di mezz’agosto! Io son piena vi vita e tutta illanguidita per arcano desio, non so che bramo!
Oh, che volo d’augelli, e quante strida ! Che chiedon? dove van? chissà!
La mamma mia, che la bona ventura annunziava, comprendeva il lor canto, e a me ambina così cantava:

Ah! ah! Stridono lassù, liberamente, lanciati a vol, avol come frecce, gli augel.
Disfidano le nubi e’l sol cocente, e vanno per le vie del ciel. Lasciateli vagar per l’atmosfera
questi assetati d’azzurro e di splendor ! Seguono anch’essi un sogno, una chimera, e vanno fra le nubi d’or!
Che incalzi il vento e latri la tempesta, con le ali aperte san tutto sfidar: la pioggia, i lampi,
nulla mai li arresta, e vanno sugli abissi e i mar.
Vanno laggiù verso un paese strano, che sognan forse e che cercano in van.
Ma i boemi del ciel seguon l’arcano poter che li sospinge, e van!

The determination does not get beyond "gli augel" (for gli augelli = the birds), but I think it can only refer to swifts in an Italian village).

Opera and popular song: when Maria Callas ended her performances in the Mexico Opera House at the end of the contract there, the audience became aware of the farewell evening and started to sing to her, all together: "Adónde irá, veloz y fatigata, la golondrina que de aquí se va?", which made La Callas burst out in tears.
(worldwide famous song to the departure of swallows in the autumn, it is part of the collection of course)

I would gladly continue and expand my activities in this music field with BF members who share this passion.
A few days ago I collected the lyrics of a rapper contribution on the "bin chicken", which is the depreciation synonym for the Australian White Ibis; the off-white (!) bird has established a bad reputation for gathering edible things from refuse bins in the cities down under. Fortunately there are enough Aussies who still like this bird; after all the animal is not to blame for using what became available by human spilling.

My collection, as partly gathered from all types of free sources, is available for all. There is no printed music to it, but it has many things to sing along!
One of the jewels I would like to mention and sing, is the original song for Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender. Elvis has no birds in it, but the real old song (same melody, 1861) is: "Aura Lee", which starts: "As the blackbird in the spring, beneath the willow tree, sat and piped I heard him sing, sing of Aura Lee.
Aura Lee, Aura Lee, maid of golden hair,
Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air."
I suppose it refers to the European Blackbird (thrush) with its appreciated jubilant voice.
And there's this mocking short version of the same song:
"When an egg falls on a rock, too bad for the egg . . .
But when a rock falls on an egg, ........."

Well, that will do for now. Just let me know if you want to receive the contents of my file or any part of it, like songs which are clearly dedicated to a species, or if you just want to discuss such things and share this hobby with me and/or the linguistic features of such stuff. I hope this topic can be the start of a valuable element in this variegated Bird Forum, which already offers so much to every one's taste. There's a world of fantasy to detect here, from the famous Malay "Burung kakatua" to Mozart's "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja."

[sidetrack, some poetry is unavoidable to all this:)
(Burung kakatua mentjok (hinggap) di jendela.
Nene sudah tua, giginya tinggal dua.) This is somehow tricky, as it is a Pantun, poem of 2x 2 lines, which are apparently unrelated: Cockatoo bird is sitting in the window. Grandmother is old, she has only two teeth left.
I look forward to receiving a wealth of positive reactions, stay healthy and music-minded!
Jan van der Brugge
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
You will be aware of the fairly grisly

Alouette, gentille Alouette, je te' plumerais ...

(French, but a well-known English children's song)
 

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