Let’s Go Birding With Hum And “Why I Like The Robins”
today at 11:29 am
After listening to Hum’s latest record, Inlet, on Spotify, all the way through, their algorithm kicked into gear giving me “HUM Radio.”
“Why I Like The Robins” was the first song to play, and it brought back millions of distant memories. My first love, my first house, my first band.
A rapid stream of thoughts came rushing into my mind. A time machine of little movies appeared, stimulating my brain cells and taking me on a journey into a past life. As I listened, another quest unfolded, one that would lead me into a world of bird watching.
There I was engulfed in the beautiful lyrics of “Why I Like The Robins,” singing when it hit me. This is a love song about birding, where the heroine is a birder.
The pastor at our church is the first person who brought birding into view for me. After reading his book, and learning some of the phrases and techniques involved in the hobby, I had more of an awareness of the wonders surrounding us, flitting by. So listening to this tune, 25 years later, made more sense to me.
The distance outside of you comes into focus, collapses away
Loving me/And hands to the glass and eyes to sky and glued to the south
She waits to see
The distance outside is her hobby and passion, or the world inside of the binoculars. He’s understanding her love affair with birding. She’s staring, hands to the glass, and her eyes glued to the sky looking for that special bird, arriving from the south.
“She’s looking for birds she met last fall/Who said they would come back different than all
She’s waiting for six who know about sound/Who’d promised to come back upside down.”
With a little bit of research, I found out that the Nuthatch, sometimes called the Upside Down Bird, feed this way and spend much of their time in this position. Hence the “come back upside-down” part? I still can’t figure out the “six who know about sound” reference though.
“So hand me the glasses and teach me to use them/Show me the window, I want to look too.”
The writer wants to understand their partner’s passion, asking for the binoculars, and help using them. He’s ready to peer into her world, to see what she sees, and why she loves it so much.
“I’ll take the glasses and cover for you/You get some sleep and I’ll stay ’till two.
I’m looking for six who know about sound/Who promised to come back upside down.”
In the final verse, “I’ll take the glasses and cover for you” her partner is going to be the lookout for this life bird, while she snoozes, “until two,” so they won’t miss it. Now that’s love, huh?
What a cool song idea. I would’ve never thought about doing so until now after I put it together.
I’m going to reach out to Pastor Vince to see what I got right and what I got wrong. I’ll update with his corrections, and see if he can help with those “six who know about sound.”
For now, I’ll leave you with a few Redditt breakdowns.
I’d go with take one over take two, but…
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