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.
But 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.