Bird Songs: "I Like Birds," "Razor Wire" & "Proud Penguin"
"I Like Birds" by The Eels
This punchy number caught my ear more than a decade ago when a friend turned me on to The Eels. No birder pretension here, just simple bird appreciation:
"I can't look at the rocket launch
The trophy wives of the astronauts
And I won't listen to their words
'Cause I like birds
I don't care for walking downtown
Crazy auto-car gonna mow me down
Look at all the people like cows in a herd
Well, I like birds
If you're small and on a search
I've got a feeder for you to perch on"
"Razor Wire" by Carolyn Aiken
There are bird references all over Aiken's latest recording, Broken Wings Heal, and the title track itself is a confident ode to healing. But "Razor Wire" is the heartbreaking gut punch of the album, a song I first heard live at The Freight a last summer:
"behind razor wire
sings a song bird
her heart beats strong
her spirit flies free
undaunted and sublime
she sings to the sun and the wind and the trees
she remembers in her dreams
Outside her confines
she knows what it’s like
flying tandem with her kind
free to dive and climb and be
of the time she will fly
and readies her wings
calming her mind
knowing that all that stands between her and the sky
"Proud Penguin" by Jamie Purnell
Purnell is a Bay Area songwriter I met at FAR-West. He performed this song live the other night at the KC Turner Presents Shhhongwriters Open Mic at Doc's Lab. A shorty and powerful ditty about flying, swimming, being only who you can be and self acceptance, I couldn't help but love it.
"hey there seagull, it's fun to swim in the sea/I may not be able to fly, but I'm happy to be me."
Know of a fairly-recent (post-2000) "bird song" I should hear? Please email me!