Morning Birds

We stopped somewhere in the south on the last tour to put my band in a motel and park our tour bus outside of it. On tour, Billy and I sleep with the dumpsters and the parking lot animals.

I like dumpsters; you can throw garbage in them. And I like parking lot animals ’cause they have a hard time but they make the best of it. They’re also fun to watch in the morning while I drink my tea and wait for the band to wake up and bring me oranges and little boxes of cereal from the breakfast bar.

Sometimes parking lot animals are excellent: giant roaches, squirrels, peregrine falcons, snakes. Sometimes, they’re just fine, like the morning birds that wake all southerners at dawn. Morning birds (there are many different kinds — all they gotta do is wake up and start singing in order to fall into this category) remind me of my childhood in Georgia. I love lying on my bus bed and listening to them, wondering where the hell I am.

Except the birds that sang to us this particular morning began singing at a time that was only technically morning, like three minutes past midnight or something. And they sounded awfully…agitated. We spent a restless night hoping they were okay and wishing they’d shut up even if they weren’t.

Somehow, they made it into a song.

I especially like the hypnotic repetition in the first part of this track. Each instrument is playing its own loop; only the rhythm guitar and bass are playing together. The resultant cacophony is not as unsettling as you might think, given that your ear learns a bit more of each part as it goes by.

The quiet part, I couldn’t make quiet enough. I just pulled instruments out, then pulled out more until I had only sweet/sad left. Something about a “purifying sin” demands a certain amount of respect and, for a musician, that usually means get out of the way.


Find this song and all my recent work, in multiple formats – including lossless, free for download on my CASH Music pages. Information on how you can support the creation and distribution of this music by becoming a subscriber is here.

Posted in: Kristin Hersh, music, words on February 26, 2008