Of All the Birds

from by Conspiratio

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about

This song appears in Thomas Ravencroft's Deuteromelia in 1609.

We interpret it as a friendly discussion in a tavern, beginning and ending as it does with a claim as to the fairest bird, and veering off to discuss who is drinking to whom, and why their nose is so red.

lyrics

Of all the birds that ever I see
The Owl is the fairest in her degree
For all the day long she sits in a tree
And when the night comes, away flies she.

To whit
To who
To whom drinks thou?
Sir knave, to thee!
This song is well sung I make you a vow
And he is a knave that drinketh now (x2)

Nose, nose, jolly red nose
And who gave thee thy jolly red nose?
Cinnamon and ginger
Nutmeg and cloves
And that gave thee thy jolly red nose (x2)

Of all the birds that ever I see
The Owl is the fairest in her degree
For all the day long she sits in a tree
And when the night comes, away flies she.

credits

from Wassail!, released December 16, 2016
Music & lyrics: Thomas Ravenscroft
Singers: Carol Monahan, Marie Cooley, Ezra Homison

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Conspiratio Seattle, Washington

"Conspiratio" is the latin word for harmony. It literally means "breathing together". It also means conspiracy. We conspire solely to amuse ourselves and others with very old songs, mostly about drinking!

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