Songs About Birds

My sister and I got my mom an iPod shuffle for her birthday last year. She was mildly appalled when I showed her the iTunes store, where you have to buy music? I thought you kids all got it for free on Napster, which is illegal and wrong, by the way!

I asked her what song I should find on iTunes for her, and her immediate request was “Legendary Chicken Fairy,” the most psychedelic song title I’d ever heard. It turned out to be an actual song, by country duo Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan, who wrote songs mostly about birds in the ’70s. My mom started signing along to the iTunes clip:

Chicken fairy in the sky
Mother Goose’s butterfly
Do whatsever’s necessary
Legendary chicken fairy

Sing a song that’s sanitary
Take my wish o big canary
Legendary chicken fairy…

Then my dad joined in from the kitchen. It was weird and kind of cute. But once the moment passed, my mom refused to pay money for the music by these people who apparently had some part in my parents’ courtship. (“Where’s all that free music I’ve heard about?”) We found some NPR podcasts instead. So for Christmas last year I gave my parents Life and Death (And Almost Everything Else), which includes “The Legendary Chicken Fairy” among its 29 tracks. It got a laugh, if not a long listen.

jackandmistyBut it’s actually an impressive collection of songs. (I had bought the album for myself before getting another one for my parents.) Most of them are clever and melodic, and some are rather beautiful. A lot of them are about birds. I would recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor, and maybe kids.

4 thoughts on “Songs About Birds

  1. Oh my gosh is that funny!! I’ve been sick all week and grumpy, just taking a break at work for lunch and tinkering on the net and found this post… and laughed out loud. Thanks for your cute (and humorous) bird and parents story! ;o) That

  2. Yes, this was a weird moment in the household. Our parents had whole other lives before they had us, so mysterious.

  3. Now, I know my memory is not as good as yours, Anna, but I believe the song your Dad and I were singing together was another priceless hit from Jack and Misty, “I’m Calling from Virginia in the Rain.” No birds in this one, just the driving rhythm, the lonesome pine; the troubled fella, down to his last dime; he knows it must be 2 am by Blue Ridge Mountain time; he calls her from the pay phone and she answers without whine…talk about a duet that makes you melt! While your Dad can spin around the room, flapping his wings and jaws as the chicken fairy, this is the song that blessed our courtship and sealed the deal.

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