Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hipster-farmer music: Andrew Bird and CAFOs

I've seen Andrew Bird in concert three times. Yes, I like him that much. For the uninformed, Andrew Bird creates some incredible tunes using his violin and his own whistling. He also has a farm where he records much of his music.

No surprise then that his newsletter today linked to Stop the Mega Dairy, a campaign to stop a California (gosh do I hate on California ag enough?)- style megadairy from coming to Nora, IL. If you live in Illinois you should speak up about this.

Also, you should speak up about the proposed rule change which would allow CAFOs exemptions from air emissions reporting requirements under the Superfund and Community Right-to-Know laws.

Livewire: How did you come up with the title The Mysterious Production of Eggs?

Andrew: Well, it came from an old magic catalog. It's been in my head for years and kind of took on multiple meanings when I lived, for a few years, out in my barn. I had 26 chickens and I would go get their eggs for omelets in the morning and make coffee - I would write these songs. It's pretty amazing to hold this egg that just came out of the body of this animal and then go about cooking it and eating it. People just aren't used to having that direct connection.

First Song a song of Galway Kinnell's poem

Then it was dusk in Illinois, the small boy
After an afternoon of carting dung
Hung on the rail fence, a sapped thing
Weary to crying. Dark was growing tall
And he began to hear the pond frogs all
Calling on his ear with what seemed their joy.

Soon their sound was pleasant for a boy
Listening in the smoky dusk and the nightfall
Of Illinois, and from the fields two small
Boys came bearing cornstalk violins
And they rubbed the cornstalk bows with resins
And the three sat there scraping of their joy.

It was now fine music the frogs and the boys
Did in the towering Illinois twilight make
And into dark in spite of a shoulder’s ache
A boy’s hunched body loved out of a stalk
The first song of his happiness, and the song woke
His heart to the darkness and into the sadness of joy.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

OMG I *love* Andrew Bird too! And I had no idea he had any ag connection at all!

Thanks for giving me another reason to worship him.