In my experience, it is not often you get a crow for Christmas. Indeed, until last month, I don’t think I had been given a crow on any festive occasion. Naturally, I was duly awestruck when, on Christmas Day just past, I unwrapped from its packaging a splendid crow. I named it Tippi (of course) and, rather belatedly, here is a snap:
I am hoping that in future Tippi will be making corvine contributions to Hooting Yard. However, given that it is a mute, plastic crow, these may be few and far between.
Mr Key is off gallivanting in foreign parts, so there will be no postages here for a week or so. You may wish to fill the Hooting Yard-shaped hole in your noggin by traipsing through the archives, or perhaps by just gazing into the middle distance with a look of longing and desolation ravaging your countenance. Either way, I shall be back before you can say
Hezezezezezezezezezezezezezezeze cowar ho dze hoi
Higaigaigaigaigaigaigaigaigaigai, guaiagai coricor dzio dzio pi
which, according to the German naturalist Bechstein, is an accurate transcription of the song of the nightingale.
This was commended to my attention (by R.). Now it is commended to your attention (by me).
Oh, and elsewhere Douglas Murray notes the new thought-crime of “nun-dismissal”.
Keen-eyed reader Poppy Nisbet brought to my attention this Victorian trade card. I would be extremely grateful to anybody who could give me a complete and intellectually rigorous explanation of what in the name of heaven is going on in this picture.
Last spotted in Poland pondering the absence of bananas, my brother has moved on to Ireland where, in the tenebrous Wicklow gloom, he snapped these swans:
You lot do not visit Hooting Yard for news of the latest doings in the world of pop culture, but this, I think, is worth noting:
The ballads are seldom the high point of a huge pop show, but in [Miley] Cyrus’s case, a degree of interest is added by the fact that she sings one of them while being pursued around the stage, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, by a giant fluorescent orange fluffy bird.
Alexis Petridis in The Guardian.
Keen Hooting Yardist Ruthie Bosch drew to my attention the Stith Thompson Motif Index of Folk Literature, or more precisely the index to that Index. That was a week ago, and I am still trying to reorient my brain to take account of its existence. The world has changed for me, irrevocably. To give some idea of what I am babbling on about, you lot should listen, immediately, with lugholes alert, to today’s episode of Hooting Yard On The Air, in which I took the opportunity to read (most of) the Stith Thompson Index index for Bird.
A pair of blue-footed boobies, from Paradise Of Birds:
Following last week’s postage of Unit’s smash hit 201 Birds, I thought it would be a good idea to post the original Hooting Yard On The Air episode in which I list 601 birds (together with a few film directors, etcetera). Listen and learn.
♪♪♪♪ 601 Birds ♪♪♪♪
We last heard from the inexplicably obscure band Unit with their splendid instrumental entitled Little Severin, The Mystic Badger. Whoever they are, they have now excelled themselves and created what, in a sensible world, would be a chart-topping hit. 201 Birds marries a recording of Mr Key spouting the names of birds from an old Hooting Yard On The Air show with the actual sounds of birds. It is a most remarkable work, and I recommend you listen to it, over and over again, every day, until the cows come home.
♪♪♪♪ UNIT & Frank Key – 201 Birds ♪♪♪♪
Many thanks to Marina Organ for alerting me to this photo.