Misheard Lyrics by Graham Bruce Fletcher
In the tree a blackbird sings
shrill, bubbling ululations;
uncorks my human ear, which rings
to feathered modulations.
For me, no numbness – it awakes
forget the hemlock; this song makes
my heart feel jubilation.
Not dead of night, not wing that’s broken;
but morning – now the blackbird’s spoken.
This bright spring song from up above
evokes the tones of courtly love:
with music phrased like sweet romance, he
turns a young (and old) man’s fancy.
The ornithologists now know
(they say) the meaning of his song
I heard it on the radio
apparently, I’m wrong.
His lyrics are no loving words
to arouse the females’ passion
but addressed to other, smaller birds
clothed in blue and yellow fashion.
‘Hey, you snivelling little tit!’
This blackbird’s really saying,
‘It’s not your tree; get out of it!’
Which is awfully dismaying.