CUCKOO, SHE'S A FINE BIRD, THE

Latest update on 26/02/2018

Artist: Kelly Harrell
Author: Margaret Casson
Label: Victor
Year: 1926

With a cuckoo clock in the background. Clawhammer banjo player from Virginia, born in 1889. The song hails from England though. The cuckoo as Europeans know it (cuculus canorus) is not an American bird. The ground cuckoo known in America as the Roadrunner (geococcys californianus) is a notorious song subject (Beep beep) with Bo Diddley, Jonathan Richman and Junior Walker & The All Stars.

Covers:

1929:

Clarence Ashley [as The Cuckoo Bird]

1929:

Hobart Smith [banjo player from Virginia]

1959:

Shirley Collins

1960:

New Lost City Ramblers

1962:

Bob Dylan [on Life At The Gaslight]

1965:

Jim Kweskin

1965:

Peter, Paul & Mary

1965:

Tom Rush

1966:

Long John Baldry

1966:

Kaleidoscope

1966:

Big Brother & The Holding Company [as Coo Coo with bits of Jack O' Diamond (see there)]

1968:

Ella Jenkins [and on The Harry Smith Connection]

1968:

Taj Mahal

1969:

Pentangle

1971:

Anne Briggs [as The Cuckoo]

1971:

Derroll Adams [idem]

1976:

John Calloway [when he was in his seventies as The Cuckoo Bird; also from Virginia]

1991:

Ray Stubbs [as Cuckoo]

1992:

Hans Theessink

1994:

Kristin Hersh [as Cuckoo]

1996:

Townes Van Zandt [as Coo-Coo]

1998:

Tashi Reagan [on The Harry Smith Connection]

1999:

Katy Moffatt

2000:

Roland Van Campenhout & Wannes Van de Velde

2000:

Tarbox Ramblers

2000:

Vera Coomans & Tom Theuns

2000:

Be Good Tanyas [as The Coo Coo Bird]

2001:

Deana Carter [in film Songcatcher]

2001:

Willard Grant Conspiracy [as Cuckoo]

2003:

Martin Simpson [as The Coo Coo Bird]

2003:

Tim Eriksen & Riley Bogus [in film Cold Mountain]

2003:

Richard Thompson [as Sumer Is Icomen In on 1.000 Years Of Popular Music]

2004:

Michael Jerome Browne

2006:

Richard Thomas & Elisa Carthy [as Coo Coo Bird on The Harry Smith Project Revisited]

2014:

Ben Miller Band

2016:

Mary McPartland

2018:

Johnny Dowd

2018:

Shawn Colvin

Originally an English ballad by Margaret Casson, first published in 1790, while it was mentioned since 1250: "Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing Cuccu". Also inspired The Kerry Dance (1878). The (European) cuckoo is subject to at least five different songs: When You Hear Them Cuckoos Hollerin' (Joan Baez), Cuckoo Over You (Huey Smith & The Clowns and Siouxie & The Banshees), Cuckoo Cocoon (Genesis), Serenade To A Cuckoo (Roland Kirk) and Cuckoo Is A Pretty Bird/Fine Bird. Information provided by Ruud Vlek from Amsterdam (r.j.j.vlek@freeler.nl), a real animal liberator, see his overview of all pop songs with animals involved.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

No Facebook No Twitter