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Birds in Shakespeare - With Rod Molzahn
Shakespeare's plays abound with birds. A Midsummer Night's Dream names seven birds in one short song. The Ousel-cock so black of hue, with orange tawny bill, The Throstle with his note so true, the Wren with little quill. ... The Finch, the Sparrow and the Lark, the plain song Cuckoo gray, Whose note full many a man doth mark, and dares not answer nay. Learn more about this Chaffinch at RSPB, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. And Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare.
Birds on Shakespeare’s Birthday
Written and narrated by Rod Molzahn
This is BirdNote!
[Elizabethan music selection from Duncomb’s Galliard]
Today we celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday with actor Rod Molzahn.
Shakespeare’s plays abound with birds. A Midsummer Night’s Dream names seven birds in one, short song. Bottom the weaver falls asleep behind a bush while rehearsing a play. Titania, Queen of the fairies, sleeps nearby, under a spell that will cause her to fall in love with the first thing she sees upon waking. The mischievous fairy, Puck, exchanges Bottom’s head for that of a donkey and when Bottom wakes and makes his entrance, his fellow actors run off terrified. Bottom, unaware of his new noggin, tries to keep his courage up with a song:
“I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me; to fright me if they could. But I will not stir
from this place, do what they can. I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
The Ousel-cock so black of hue, with orange tawny bill,
The Throstle with his note so true, the Wren with little quill.
Titania rises, seeing Bottom:
What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
[Bottom sings louder:]
The Finch, the Sparrow and the Lark, the plain song Cuckoo gray,
Whose note full many a man doth mark, and dares not answer nay.” [Song of Eurasian Cuckoo]
Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare, from BirdNote.
Duncomb’s Galliard performed by the Elizabethan Consort from their album: Great Music from the Court of Elizabeth I
Bird sounds from garden in England recorded by Martyn Stewart of naturesound.com
Song of Eurasian Cuckoo 75816 provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY. Recorded by B. Veprintsev.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org April 2012 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# shakespeare-02-2012-04-23 shakespeare-02