Yesterday I was helping in the kitchen of our church community café. The other gent who works in the café (also called Malcolm) started singing (as he does). It was the old nursery rhyme:

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king!

Musing… briefly on how and why you catch 24 blackbirds… and then on how you can bake them in a pie – and they’re still alive and able to sing!

I googled it… stories about Henry VIII, Henry IV of France and Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night telling a clown: ‘Come on; there is sixpence for you: let’s have a song’…

I’m left with a picture of resilient blackbirds, withstanding a baking, and still singing…

Musing… led me to Paul McCartney’s song Blackbird

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

McCartney wrote this in the context of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. It’s about a broken, oppressed people, ‘blackbirds’ discovering a new freedom.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

These blackbirds aren’t just resilient; they have hope.

It’s a sunny morning. I just went out in the garden to hang out the washing. A blackbird landed on the apple tree. It didn’t peck off my nose but it sang loudly and sweetly. I remembered the old school hymn:

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Musing… on resilient, hope-full, metaphorical blackbirds… and beautiful sweet-sounding real blackbirds in my garden.

4 thoughts on “Blackbirds

  1. there’s other kinds of blackbirds 1 and Epiphone Blackbird Bass guitar N6 special

    the Lockheed SR71….
    was highest/fastest Jet at the time…
    Nice 1 Malcolm
    StaySafe. AndyP


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