what’s wrong with the bird on the wire?

How did I get to that?

Who knows?

But it was today’s earworm.

It could be worse. It could be Reading Rainbow.

I don’t think I saw any birds, so it wasn’t a visual cue.

And I don’t remember reading any other Leonard Cohen poems today.

Here’s the song.

And here are the lyrics.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

Like a baby, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”

Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

And here’s what someone (Jarkko Arjatsalo in Finland) says about what the bird on the wire signifies:

Bird on the Wire began in Greece, when Cohen first arrived in Hydra, there were no wires on the island, no telephones and no regular electricity. But soon telephone poles appeared, and then the wires. I would stare out the window at these telephone wires and think, how civilization had caught up with me and I wasn’t going to be able to escape after all. I wasn’t going to be able to live this eleventh-century life that I had thought I had found for myself. So that was the beginning. Then he noticed that the birds came to the wires. The next line referred to the many evenings Cohen and friends climbed the endless stairs up from the port of Hydra, drunk and singing. Often you see: three guys with the arms around each other , stumbling up the stairs and singing these impeccable thirds. He finished the song in a Hollywood motel on Sunset Boulevard in 1969.(2)

2) from the book Various Positions by Ira B. Nadel.

I don’t have a photo of a bird on a wire. I will have to look for one. In the meantime, I have this one I took.

I think I’m getting ready for a sparse winter.

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