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163460.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:04 pm Reply with quote

One for the "England" show:

What do bluebirds fly over?

F: The White Cliffs of Dover

The Bluebird, a member of the thrush family, is a North American native and never seen in Europe, over white cliffs or elsewhere.

The song was written by two New Yorkers the year after "Over the Rainbow" was a hit; Bluebirds flyng over things were very 1940 (and remained in vogue until at least 1946 - cf 'Mr Bluebird on my shoulder' from Zip-a-dee-doo-dah)

163527.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:54 am Reply with quote

That's the idea, IMO. It's supposed to be a song about hope and the melancholy unattainability of 'tomorrow'. While Tommy was out there thinking the war would never end, he could picture to himself the things that seemed they would never happen, including peace ever after, freedom and bluebirds in Kent.

There'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow, just you wait and see
There'll be love and laughter and peace ever after
Tomorrow when the world is free

The shepherd will tend his sheep
The valley will bloom again
And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again

But what do I know - I'm just a young'un.

163563.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:40 am Reply with quote

Right, well, if itís incorrect ornithology in popular music of the first half of the last century thatís turning us on today (ďAnd so we come to the round which we call ĎBluebirds Over.í Fingers on buzzards, please ... Ē) then may I point out that, pace Berkley Square, if you hear a bird singing in your garden at night you will get a forfeit for calling it a nightingale. It is much more likely to be a robin redbreast.

There are a number of different bird species that regularly sing at night, including Blackbird, Song Thrush and Robin [...] In fact, most people who claim to hear Nightingales singing in their gardens are actually listening to these other species.

It is interesting to note that the three species most commonly heard singing at night (Robin, Blackbird and Song Thrush) all have relatively large eyes and are thus better equipped for nocturnal activity.

Itís thought that light pollution might be ďa stimulating factor.Ē No-one is quite sure why birds sing at night, despite much research over many years. Some believe it is simply good time management: itís too dark to feed, so the time might as well be spent singing (for mating or territorial reasons). It maybe be safer singing at night, when youíre invisible to avian predators. Or perhaps sound travels further in the early hours, when there is less competition from other noises and the winds tend to be at their lightest.

Itís also been found that female Great Tits are at their most fertile at dawn, which might explain why male Great Tits sing at that time.

S: Bird Table - The Magazine of Garden BirdWatch, Spring 2007

Link to Eyes

Last edited by MatC on Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:27 am; edited 1 time in total

163572.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:04 am Reply with quote

But to be fair, the song does enter this reservation:

I may be right, I may be wrong, But I'm perfectly willing to swear

A deeply immoral sentiment, I always think: perjury is never acceptable behaviour.

163576.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:16 am Reply with quote

Yes, I prefer Lonnie Doneganís reading of the perjury laws:

ďWell I may be right, and I may be wrong
But I know youíre going to miss me
When Iím gone.Ē

163581.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:30 am Reply with quote

I'm also perfectly willing to swear, but it never seems to have the effect I'd like.


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