Canary

from by The Other Also

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lyrics

a canary in a birdcage made a voyage from Taiwan
on a ship across the ocean to the California sun
where it dazzled in the window hanging in the baby’s room
years of sunlight from the one side scorched its lego-yellow plume of Chinese thread
Chinese fabric and thread

boy was clearing out his closet leaving home for university
threw the bird into the wash it lost an eye in that machine
bathing in the company of checkered cleaning rags
the tiny foreign characters printed on the tag had all transformed
into a tattered surrender flag

down in South Carolina he found a one-eyed girl
skipping rocks across the water asking “where is your bird?”
“where is your bird, boy? i ain’t your bird”

he was exiting the harbor knuckles dragging on the ground
when a three leg alligator crept ashore without a sound
baring teeth like deadly weapons
staring down the one-eyed girl
screaming “kill this misfit animal, i’ll save you from your world of endless doubt!”
so he lifted his knuckles from the ground

sweeping down from the heavens there was a yellow bird
softly landing on his shoulder asking “where is your girl?”
“where is your girl, boy? i’m someone’s bird”

credits

from Fires, track released August 16, 2011
pedal steel guitar - raymond richards
organ - james williams
drums & percussion - michael hopkins
vocals & acoustic guitar - george lewis iii
additional vocals and all other instruments - jake gideon

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The Other Also Portland, Oregon

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