30 March 2009
Manic Monday - Bird
You just knew that if the word was bird
Then here the howls would be owls.
Just recently, I came across The Owl Pages which have more than anyone other than an ornithologist would want to know about owls. They have articles on everything from the physiology to the sounds of the different species. It you just like owls, there are pictures of living birds, owl paintings, and even tattoos to add to your body art collection. My favorite pages are about owls in mythology as viewed by many cultures over the centuries from wisdom and prophecy to the companion of witches and other dark forces. These beautiful birds of silent flight have stirred the imagination of all who have ever seen them
For your musical selection this week, two different blackbirds.
Paul McCartney wrote Blackbird about the civil rights struggle for blacks after reading about race riots in the US. (Blackbirds referred to anyone kidnapped for slaves on ships out of Africa).
Only 3 things were recorded: Paul's voice, his acoustic guitar, and a tapping. According to the video The Complete Beatles, the tap was not a foot or metronome - the Master was intentionally scratched. If you listen closely you will notice that is sounds like a scratch on a record. Birds were dubbed in later.
Blackbird Singing is the title of a book of poems McCartney wrote.
The much more uptempo (though it has been sung as a lament) jazz standard "Bye Bye Blackbird" from the 1920s, here with dance choreographed by Bob Fosse for Liza Minnelli in Liza With A Z.
The story told by Chicago singer Mae Arnotte was that the song is about a “lady” fed up with the city and the “blackbirds” or “johns” and wanting to return home to her mother. And another version based on the same story explained that the “blackbirds” referred to the city of New York.