I haven't exactly gone for a favourite song but its a blast from the past from the seventies. It reached number one, so I'm hoping younger people will have heard of it. Forget Dylan and Cohen - this was the anthem of the poetic generation of the seventies, seeking a new direction after the sixties went off the road in spectacular fashion.
This is my George Lucas style prequel to the song in question...
They say she was once a canary, my mother,
whistling gaily in exotic climes,
flitting between gnarled juniper bushes
with a flip of her tail
until my father threw his hat over her,
cupped her in his strong hands
and placed her in a cage in Francis Street,
where he showed her off to the neighbours.
He taught her how to be a woman,
how to cook dinners and sew
and hoover and not to answer back
and slowly my mother’s feathers moulted
and her beak became lips
and she began to walk,
awkwardly at first, like someone
woken after too long a sleep.
But, despite my father’s success,
he knew it was only a matter of time.
One day he would come home
to find the cage door open
and the seeds untouched
and he would know that she’d be
soaring and swooping beneath a big sun
in a land far away.
True enough, recently I have noticed
her arms have become flatter like wings
and her toes have developed claws.
I hear her fluttering in her bedroom
at nights when he is not there
and last night,
I heard my mother singing a song -
Ooo-ooo-wee, chirpy-chirpy, cheep, cheep...