Special Sub-Topic: Songs Strictly for the Birds
|Who had a UK number one hit single in 1966 with "Pretty Flamingo"?|
Manfred Mann. "Pretty Flamingo" was the second number one for the Manfreds; it was written by Mark Barkan. It was the last Manfred Mann single to feature Paul Jones on vocals. The band also included future Cream bassist Jack Bruce at that time.
Flamingos are large pink wading birds; there are six separate species. They are mainly found in Africa and South America.
|This was a UK number two hit single in 1970, can you name the song?
"Catch a bright star and a place it on your forehead
Say a few spells and baby, there you go
Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder
And in the morning you'll know all you know, oh."
Ride a White Swan. "Ride a White Swan" was The first top-ten single for T Rex, it reached number two in 1970.
"Disco Duck" was a novelty number six in 1976 for Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots.
"Fly Like an Eagle" was a number thirteen hit for Seal in 1997.
Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Teal You Get Enough" was a number three hit in 1979. (What do you mean, there's a typo?).
Swans are large water birds, there are six (possibly seven) different species they are found around the globe.
|Here is an old romantic number which name-checks a few birds.
Which type of birds are missing?
"Let there be ___
A lark and a dove
But first of all please...let there be love."|
cuckoos. The much covered song "Let There Be Love". My favourite version is by Nat King Cole. It has also been covered by his daughter Natalie and by any number of naff 'pap idol' winners and the like.
I've always thought that using the word cuckoos was a bit of an odd choice for a romantic song. Several species of cuckoo are brood parasites, meaning the females usurp other birds nests; the word cuckold has it's origins here, so maybe not so romantic after all?
|Which of these is a song by The Beatles?|
Blackbird. "Blackbird" is a song written by Paul McCartney and appears on "The Beatles" album (often referred to as 'The White Album'). Paul was woken up by a blackbird singing one morning and wrote this lovely song. It was written in reference to the civil rights movement in the US, the lyric "Take these broken wings and learn to fly..." having particular resonance.
The Spencer Davis Group recorded the children's rhyme about magpies (one for sorrow, two for joy etc) as the theme for the children's TV show, "Magpie".
It is a little known fact that Edith Piaf was a keen bird-watcher. She wrote a song about a trip to an estuary where she saw lots of waders, lots of herons but unfortunately "No Egrets". It was originally written in French and often gets mis-translated as "No Regrets", hmmm.
|Who had a hit single singing these words?
"Take time for your pleasure
And laugh with love
Take the hand of another
And sing for the wings of a dove."
Madness. Madness with "Wings of a Dove", one of their last big hits; it got to number two in 1983. The song was used in the 1999 movie, "Ten Things I Hate About You" which revived its popularity.
|Can you recognise who first sang these lyrics?
"You can't plant me in your penthouse;
I'm going back to my plough,
Back to the howling old owl in the woods,
Hunting the horny back toad..."|
Elton John. Elton John with the title track from the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" album. The single got to number six and the album to number one.
Of all the people you'd be least likely to see driving a tractor and pulling a plough, Elton John must be near the top of the list! Still it's a good song (Bernie Taupin lyrics) and I guess a lot of people can identify with the sentiment.
There are around 200 species of owls around the world, they are found in every continent except Antarctica. Most, but not all, are nocturnal hunters.
|Which of these is the correct title of a UK hit single?|
Rockin' Robin. "Rockin' Robin" was originally a hit Stateside for Bobby Day in 1958, Michael Jackson covered it in 1972 scoring a number five hit in the UK.
"WHEN Will I See You Again?" was a number one hit for The Three Degrees in 1976.
Eddie Holman scored his only UK chart success with "(Hey There) Lonely GIRL" in 1974.
The Hollies first released "He Ain't Heavy, He's My BROTHER" in 1969; it reached number three. It was re-released in 1986 and got to number one.
|Can you name the song here?
Need more info maybe? It was the first UK number one for Fleetwood Mac.|
Albatross. "Albatross" was a number one single for Fleetwood Mac in 1968, it was also their first and last instrumental hit single. Peter Green's guitar work producing a very evocative sound.
There are around twenty species of albatross around the world, the majority in the southern hemisphere. Almost all are on the endangered list of bird species.
|Well I've heard loved ones be called swans, ducks, doves, pigeons even "My Little Chickadee", but gannets? A great big seabird known for its voracious appetite, how romantic is that?
"I'd rendezvous with Janet
Quite near the Isle of Thanet
She looked more like a gannet
She wasn't half a prannet
Her mother tried to ban it
Her father helped me plan it
And when I captured Janet
She bruised her pomegranate."
Charming; who sang this little ditty?
Ian Dury and The Blockheads. The marvellous and much-missed Ian Dury with "Billericay Dickie" taken from the "New Boots and Panties" album. I don't know of another song with gannet in the lyrics and there surely can't be any more with both gannet and pomegranite in the same verse. A prannet is a slang term for an idiot. Oh, he really knew how to charm the birds from the trees did Ian.
Gannets are closely related to boobies and live almost exclusively on fish and other marine creatures. They catch them by plunging headfirst into the sea in a spectacular manner,
|A beautiful Spring Sunday afternoon in the park, surely no-one is harbouring dark thoughts here?
"Spring is here, a-suh-puh-ring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the Spring.
I do, don't you? Course you do.
But there's one thing that makes Spring complete for me,
And makes ev'ry Sunday a treat for me.
All the world seems in tune
On a Spring afternoon,
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park."
OK, so maybe one man is bent on carnage. Who is he?
Tom Lehrer. The wonderfully irreverant Tom Lehrer of course. "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" is one of Tom's best-loved songs and can be found on the album "An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer" (first released in 1959) and on several compilation albums.
Feral pigeons (Columba livia) can cause problems in city areas. In 2003, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced a ban on feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square declaring them 'rats with wings'.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction