For the Birds

For the Birds

I love birds. We love birds. Let me explain.

My Grandmother loves birds. Ever since I was a little one we were careful and curious about examining her collections when we visited her house for sleep-overs. “No jumping!” I can hear it now as my two boy cousins and I ran around the sleeping bags on a Friday night. We were careful no to wake Grandma by shaking the den floor or the figurines representing her collection.

Many were gifts and I suppose milestone markers for special occasions, but they always perched in the case and held a special memory, especially now. I never knew I liked them so much until now, being around the artifacts in the house. Binoculars are always in reach for new species spotted on the feeder or bath, that is if the squirrels don’t leave a mess after their wild garden parties. When a visitor is spotted we can always run to the closet and find some Audubon reference for advice.

Perhaps the best thing about them is their song. Their appearance can brighten the dullest of days and their voices bring more sunshine into the yard. Caged or free, they adapt and set a good example of faith and spirit.

Many a poem or song has been given to them or inspired by them, art and jewelry being no exception. This post is not “for the birds”, but instead “FOR THE BIRDS”.

 

Art, Literature, Music and Poetry Inspired by Birds

Psalm 55:6,7

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest…

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)
Bird on the Wire

Leonard Cohen

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old-fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee
If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you
For like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, “you must not ask for so much”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, “hey, why not ask for more?”
Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Bird on the Wire lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Flee as a Bird

Flee as a bird to your mountain
Thou who art weary with sin
Go to the clear flowing fountain
Where you may wash and be clean
Fly, for the avenger is near thee
Call and the Savior will hear thee
He on his bosom will bear thee
Thou who art weary of sin, oh
Thou who art weary of sin
He will protect thee forever
Wipe every falling tear
He will forsake thee, oh, never
Sheltered so tenderly there
Haste now, the hours are flying
Spend not the moments in sighing
Cease from your sorrow and crying
The Savior will wipe every tear, oh
Haste now, the hours are flying
Spend not the moments in sighing
Cease from your sorrow and crying
The Savior will wipe every tear, oh
The Savior will wipe every tear
~ McGlamorous
Music Monday Review :: His Hand In Mine ::  Elvis Presley

Music Monday Review :: His Hand In Mine :: Elvis Presley

His Hand in Mine

 

I have been daydreaming about posting music reviews because I love music so much, but did not know what to begin with. That choice has come, and happily, it is a gospel cd by none other than Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll. Best of all, he sings to THE King of all Kings on this short and sweet gem with the Jordanaires as backup.

This is a fresh review for a cd I can truly recommend. It was also a bargain at five dollars, and the best five spent this month. There is not much to say about Elvis himself here. We all know his sound, so I’ll move to the lyrics and composers on the album, and perhaps mention some faves :

{1} Track one begins with a Mosie Lister (Georgia born, BTW) piece called His Hand in Mine. Elvis PresleyThis is a sweet intro with beautiful lyrics that speak of God’s love. If you’ve had “one of those weeks” or longer, then you will find comfort in this one. I particularly love the line,

Till the day He tells me why He loves me so (He loves me so)
I can feel His hand in mine
That’s all I need to know

 

Like clockwork, this came at a time of great need and perhaps I can pass the epiphany along. Nothing could be more true in the saying :

 

Where words fail, music speaks.

~Hans Christian Andersen

 

{2} Secondly we have I’m Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs. Cully Holt / The Jordanaires.

This one is very jumpy and fun. A foot tapper that takes you back to Andy Griffith type singing scenes. Totally happy.

 

{3} In My Father’s House. Sings of the truth of our eternal home . Shoots straight with a bow of beautiful lyrics from the good book :

 

In my father’s house are many mansions
If it were not true he would have told me so

 

{4} Milky White Way. One of the Personal Faves Alert. The best space song out there so far. It just has that blues rock swagger that makes you want to move. Very Elvis-y. Repeat button ready. Favorite part :

I’m gonna sit down and tell Him my troubles
About the world that I just came from

~Traditional

 

{5} It’s a Secret Known Only to Him. (Stuart Hamblen) Love the background on this one from Stuart Hamblen, one of radio’s first singing cowboys. Also the composer of favorite of my Mom’s, “It is No Secret”. This has the same trustworthy feel. A comfort piece for sure.

 

{6} I Believe in the Man in the Sky. Super favorite, and the reason for the purchase. Favorite line is about sparrows. Don’t know why I love to sing with it, but :

 

Though a sparrow is all I may be (Is all I may be)

On me He will still keep an eye

 

{7} Joshua Fit The Battle. I wish every story in the Bible were told like this. Self-explanitory.

 

{8} He Knows Just What I Need. Another beautiful composition by Mosie Lister. The title alone is of great comfort. A must listen when you need to know He is there and that you can trust and believe. Top of the list. He knew I needed this album!

 

{9} Swing Down Sweet Chariot. Hand clapping, foot stomping.Tambourine required. Reminds me of childhood and family gatherings. Has a really cool Rock Me Lord, Rock Me Lord lyric.

 

{10} Mountain Over The Hilltop. Another peaceful description of heaven and our / your home there.

 

{11} If We Never Meet Again. Love the rhythm here and mostly the comfort of seeing those that we have to be separated from until the time comes.

 

Where the charming roses bloom forever
And where separation comes no more
If we never meet again this side of heaven
I will meet you on that beautiful shore

 

{12} Working On The Building. A very fun beat and cheerful approach to our work for God. I can see workers moving around and hammering, nailing, or whatever!

 

Last but not least Bonus Tracks include the wonderful There’ll Be Peace (In The Valley) It is No Secret (What God Can Do), I Believe, and Take My Hand , Precious Lord. All of these are worthy of review as well. Perhaps a future post. 

 

Elvis PresleySo I’ll end here with a link to the album, and a link to the album on YouTube here.

 

Thanks for sticking with me on this first music loving post. Enjoy!

 

~ McGlamorous