The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63739   Message #1038647
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
20-Oct-03 - 07:23 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Subject: RE: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
There are crows in the part of Texas where I live, but the predominant bird from that family is the grackle, which has a local reputation for being smart and messy. And this time of year they roost in downtown in great swarms that leave the town at about 6:30 every evening and fly out to the neighborhoods where they roost in your trees if you don't rout them. Scarecrows wouldn't work, but noisemakers are very effective. Can't say that I've heard any local songs about them.

But to the subject at hand. I have poked through several of my father's books, and find that there may well be songs (and stories) that use these kinds of counting phrases or curses against birds, but it isn't likely to turn up in the index unless the entire song is on this subject (like you suggest is the case with the Blue-tailed Fly). Good luck searching for more songs that include bits (a silly verse or chorus) that fit your search--I suspect it is going to take simply sitting down and reading through extensive sections of books to find references to the negative attitudes or actions about birds. Out of curiosity I pulled a couple of books out and scanned them. Found myself sitting and reading B.A. Botkin's A Treasury of Southern Folklore (North Carolina Edition). Nothing germane to your query in my brief reading, only the realizaton that it is easy to get sidetracked during the search.