Philosopher Bird

Philosopher Bird

Klaus's picture



Liner Notes: 

This was originally an instrumental intended for 2016's Challenge. Didn't post it. Now I have done the lyrics. It's a sort of synthesis of the two previous songs: "Paradox in Paradise" has a bird as the main character and "Playing Together" is about children.

Now lyrics are with footnotes !!! [1]

[1] I'm using them so that my lyrics would appear more highbrow and scholarly. Smile


Philosopher Bird by Klaus

Philosopher Bird
Philosopher Bird

resting his wings
thinking of things
spending time on the ground

Philosopher Bird
Philosopher Bird

shutting his beak
thinking in Greek
wond'ring what he has found

Fly away, fly away!
right now and don't delay [1]
Fly away, fly away!
to see another day [2]
Fly away, fly away!
it's gonna be ok

Philosopher Bird
Philosopher Bird
taking a stance [3]
like in a trance
lost in placidity [4]

Philosopher Bird
Philosopher Bird
then with a glee
tweed-di-ly dee! [5]
that is how it should be

Fly away, fly away!
right now and don't delay [6]
Fly away, fly away!
to see another day
Fly away, fly away!
it's gonna be ok [7]

[1] Has the right amount of syllables, but still feels a bit difficult to sing.

[2] Each of these lines should have as good rhythm as this line.

[3] Taking a stance means that you are ready to fight for some idea or opinion. It doesn't quite fit the idea of somebody or a bird just standing still. There was no determination in this bird. But it also means "standing" behind an idea...

[4] First there was "tranquility" here. I don't know if "tranquility" and "trance" has the same Latin or Greek tran-prefix, so I changed that to "placidity" to avoid repetition. It's close enough.

[5] Darn, these "onomatopoetics" are hard to google and get right.

[6] Some of the first draft alternatives were " It's in your DNA " and " Plato is so passé". They sounded too complicated. I wanted to keep this so simple that children could understand it. If they don't know what "placidity" means, then it's time to learn!

[7] Ok, so I saw this little bird at our parking lot looking at a tire for a long time without moving. I was worried. Is he hurt? Why doesn't he move? Soon the cat will eat him. But finally he did move and flew away. I thought: " Hmm...that must have been a Philosopher Bird."

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


metalfoot's picture

Loved the 80s style synth, and the Beach Boys styled harmonies. Quirky, unique and just a great song!

Mari Flowerbalm's picture

I love these lyrics, and not just because I was a Philosophy major once... "Thinking in Greek" got me. I love the idea of kids hearing the word Philosophy in this more classic context instead of the usual colloquial expression. Kids in the USA have not a clue what it means.

wimx52's picture

Nice fun song with really catchy melody and lyrics. Love it!!!

atitlan's picture

Starting at the end - I love those Beach Boys harmonies. Also really enjoyed the bouncy 80s synth and fun lyrics.

Fun tune, has a good feel, simple lyrics and a catchy tune with some neat synth parts. The ending part is the best! Good stuff.

Fuzzy's picture

So catchy!
That last quarter with the Beach Boys harmonies is wonderful!
Hilarious lyrics, although you might be overthinking the whole thing; it's about a bird, after all.
Then again, since it's a philosopher bird, maybe you didn't put enough thought in to it.

kahlo2013's picture

I like the thinking in Greek like a lot. A quirky good kind of geeky lyric with a great hook made absolutely delighthrful with the fun uptempo music and your vocals. Love it!

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Love the liner notes ... I never put any thought into syllables, etc. Perhaps I should! Happy music completely alien to your anti-Klaus gothy stuff ... the harmonies are great, as is the retro synth. Enjoyed!

Kristi's picture

Oh, so catchy and fun! I particularly like the sound and light-heartedness of "tweed-di-ly dee!". Interesting idea to associate philosophy with a bird. Cool vocals at the end there too. So creative as usual!

omg yess, this is so catchy & quirky. excellent job! Smile

headfirstonly's picture

Hooray for footnotes!

This is *really* poppy and ridiculously catchy - that "fly away" is a great hook and the breakdown is hilarious (it reminds me of some of Zappa's kitschier work in the 80s.) Plus, it's a cavalcade of gorgeous synth tones. I'm saving this one for future enjoyment.

Ferry Colyer's picture

You're on a roll! Yeah, getting Beach Boys vibes too (who wouldn't at the end of the song?). The whole vibe is catchy as can be and that change at 1:40 just very cool.

tcelliott's picture

I thought, briefly, of poaching the footnote idea, but it's completely a waste of time in my own works, I find. I love that bit toward the end. A great dynamic change. This is a fun song, no argument.

Pam Grisham's picture

Klaus, you are super creative! What a fun, upbeat song. I like the change in the music toward the end - it's cool. My favorite line is "shutting his beak, thinking in Greek." Another great song, Klaus!

cindyrella's picture

Oh how I love this and it so you! My toes are happy and my face is smiling. Love your stuff!

barbara's picture

Your footnotes are the bomb! Made me so happy, I ate them like dessert before even having the meal of the song! You are a funny man, Klaus!
Okay, now I've heard it and I'm completely sold on this as a favorite. The children's music aspect is well-aimed and not dumbed down, with music that is so positive and engaging. I love the way you leave instrumental lines between lines that are sung. And that Beach Boys finish was like unexpected frosting on the cake. This is a great song!!

wobbie wobbit's picture

yay great fun, love the little synth breaks and the break before the beach boys bit is great, as is the beach boys bit itself, great sounds and catchy fun. nice one Smile

Jerry Pettit's picture

Ah, yes indeed! GREAT job on the Beach Boy vocals, Klaus! VERY nice. Your title and lyrics, for some reason, reminded me of Jerzy Kosinski's "The Painted Bird"--a book I read decades ago. Not sure why--they really have nothing in common. Thanks for the kind words on "Go Go, Little Tesla". As I remarked on that one, I've got "too much going on", whereas you've kept your musical arrangement nice and simple--and the vocals at the end aren't competing with your arrangement. Great job!

johnstaples's picture

Lovely, fun song Mr. Klaus! Love those synths and the whole retro vibe! Clever hook and lyrics that are easy to sing along with! Nice work!

Ontologically, one can't truly think of thinking about things except in Attic Greek; at least this is true of humans. I'm actually not sure what the literature on philosopher birds says on this point. Let's assume arguendo, however, that it is correct. It would follow a fortiori that one does and does not eat the same chicken dinner leftovers twice. Such a bird would have to be a philosopher, and probably a stoic, if I know anything about birds or philosophy. And I do, I know with absolute certainty that the bird that flew away was demonstrating Derridean presence through absence. Also, this is a thoroughly brilliant tune, and I wish my kids were little again so I could play it to them.

nancyrost's picture

I love the concept. Favorite line: "resting his wings/thinking of things" - but I have many favorite lines. And the music is just brimming with sonic goodies. Love the synths and Beach Boy-type harmonies.