The Birds

Album: Build a Rocket Boys! (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • This prog-rock influenced track sticks up for an old man in a nursing home, chided for reminiscing on a failed love affair. Said frontman Guy Garvey to The Sun: "It bugs me that old people are patronized. And the lyrics to that song see the old man recounting the end of this affair while being patronized. 'Oh here we go again.' I liked the idea about the last encounter of a love affair, where the bitterness has gone and the birds are the only things that witnessed it in the line. 'The birds are the keepers of our secrets.' It's quite a dark song."
  • Garvey expanded on the song in an interview with The Observer: "My favourite songs pick on things I've not heard written about before," he said. "In that song the character, who I guess is me as an old man, is looking back on that love affair. The middle eight became the voices of his carers, quite doomy voices saying: 'What we going to do with you, come on inside, looking back is for the birds.' Patronising him almost: 'Come on, always the same with you', the way that old people are spoken to generally. I suppose I'm saying it's wrong to patronise old people and assume they haven't felt everything that you've felt and remember it very clearly."

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