‘And this bird you cannot change’

It’s no secret that I am a music fanatic; perhaps more than sports. There, I said it. But “My View From the Orchestra Pit,” doesn’t have the same ring as “My View From the Stands,” does it? Or does it?

Anyway, it’s also no secret that I use music, either by my playing guitar or listening to real guitar-players, as my “Calgon” (ala the “Calgon take me away,” bubble-bath advertisements).

And it’s also no secret that my musical tastes are quite eclectic; rock, blues, classical, country, Christian, folk, etc. But there’s one musical genre that’s out there that is perhaps the purest and most soothing of all — and there are no instruments or human voices involved. No, I’m not talking about techno-music. 

I’m referring to what could be considered God’s orchestra — songbirds.

I’ve always loved the spring, summer and fall, when I can sleep with the windows open, and except for the pollen that sneaks its way in, it’s great for listening to rain storms and particularly the songbirds, who, by the way, begin their day at about 3:45 a.m.

I know there are some who would rather slam the window shut, or hurl a house slipper at the little critters, but I also know there are many more who find these creatures absolutely delightful.

For the last dozen years or so I’ve enjoyed listening to the early-morning concertos. This year, we decided to up the ante by adding a bird-feeder to a nearby tree.

It took all of a half-hour for the winged musicians to find the seed-ladened lantern and summons their family and friends to join them.

What was once maybe a quartet or quintet serenading me in the morning is now a full-blown choir. It’s great.

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to spend some real quality time on my deck, after what has seemingly been an eternity of stress and busyness.

Just in front of my deck, I’ve “planted” a pair of “rock” speakers in my garden. These speakers, connected to my indoor stereo, look like landscaping rocks, thus the name. But as usual, I digress.

On Sunday and Monday I was able to relax outside with some of my favorite blues and rock CDs. But I had the additional pleasure of being joined by a chubby little black-headed chickadee, that very often landed in my lilac tree and, in full voice, joined in singing the blues and rock and roll. The feathered diva appeared much more often when the music was playing than when not, so my hypothesis is that little chickadee is fan of the blues and classic rock and roll.

It should be noted that the tree in which my little friend alit was very close to where I was perched on my deck chair, and where Igor was flaked out next to me. And Igor was equally unfazed by the bird’s presence so nearby. This coming from a pooch who snaps at bees and yellow jackets; a habit she’ll stop only when she gets one! The tiny rock star was seemingly very comfortable and confident with us there.

I watched the bird as it sang along and it literally brought a smile to my face, then a chuckle. The thing was brilliant. It wailed to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Who, Elton John, and even Led Zeppelin.

Maybe the little thing was showing its appreciation for the newfound, endless supply of bird seed. Or maybe it’s the music. Or maybe it senses my appreciation. Or maybe it’s a combination of all three.

It doesn’t matter. I hope it’s here for the summer and fall, and I’ll be sure to keep that tube of seeds filled throughout the winter months as well.

As we spent the weekend together, sharing music (but not seeds), I couldn’t help but think of the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, whom I was lucky enough to see in concert just prior to many of the members perishing in a plane crash in the ’70s.

Some of the lyrics are as follows: 

’Cause I’m as free as a bird 
And this bird you cannot change
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
And the bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change
Lord knows, I can’t change
Won’t you fly high free bird yeah

I’m curious to see my little friend’s reaction when I slap on “Free Bird.” Perhaps this weekend. Meanwhile rock on my little chickadee. Rock on my little free bird. And thanks for a peaceful weekend.


© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts