Song Lyric Sunday – 12 September 2021 – Starlings

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week the prompt is to find a song that may include, or reference, one of the following: Devoted, Faithful, Honorable, Loyal, True.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

For my SLS on 22 August I offered Elbow’s “One Day Like This“. A comment from Geoff Le Pard reminded me of another Elbow song, Starlings, which is my choice for today.

Incidentally, Geoff’s new book, “The Art of Spirit Capture” is released on 17th October. Details can be found here.

Any song that seeks to oust the Prime Minister (albeit it was Gordon Brown at the time the song was written), and all who luncheon with him, and can use lyrics such as “So yes I guess I’m asking you To back a horse that’s good for glue And nothing else” has got to be a winner for me!

One of the best tracks from “A Seldom Seen Kid“, this song deals with unrequited love and how it makes one feel – from “stubborn, selfish and too old” to the magnificently written :

The violets explode inside me
when I meet your eyes
Then I’m spinning and I’m diving
Like a cloud of starlings

He sees this girl as the perfect woman, and only has eyes for her, even though throughout the song he tries his very, very best to hide and deflect his feelings :

“You are the only thing in any room you’re ever in”

Such a beautifully simple yet powerful line.

The girl clearly isn’t interested in him though, not in any way, so the “love” is completely and utterly unrequited. Even though he’s completely true to her, and even though he feels he needs her so much :

“But find a man that’s truer than,
Find a man that needs you more than, I”

A superb Elbow track.

The first video is the original release version and shows magnificent pictures of starling murmurations. The music mirrors the movement, but beware (especially if you are wearing earphones) as the exploding forms of birds is told by the brass section and at 1:15, and later – you may jump!

The second video is a live performance which shows admirably how much the singers and musicians enjoy performing this song and also shows some of the private asides that occur between the artists during their daily work.



How dare the Premier ignore my invitations?
He’ll have to go
So, too, the bunch he luncheons with
It’s second on my list of things to do

At the top is stopping by
Your place of work and acting like
I haven’t dreamed of you and I
And marriage in an orange grove
You are the only thing in any room you’re ever in
I’m stubborn, selfish and too old

I sat you down and told you how
The truest love that’s ever found
Is for oneself
You pulled apart my theory
With a weary and disinterested sigh

So yes I guess I’m asking you
To back a horse that’s good for glue
And nothing else
But find a man that’s truer than
Find a man that needs you more than I

Sit with me a while
And let me listen to you talk about
Your dreams and your obsessions
I’ll be quiet and confessional

The violets explode inside me
When I meet your eyes
Then I’m spinning and I’m diving
Like a cloud of starlings

Darling is this love?

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Guy Edward John Garvey / Craig Lee Potter / Richard Barry Jupp / Mark Potter / Peter James Turner

Starlings lyrics © Salvation Music Ltd

24 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – 12 September 2021 – Starlings

  1. Nice music Peter. When I grew up in Milwaukee, there were a lot of starlings and I thought I could tell you this story. I saw a flock of starlings protect a new hatchling that was pushed out of its nest, before it was able to fly. This baby bird was no longer a ‘nestling’ as it had feathers, instead of just pink skin. It had graduated to the state of being a ‘fledgling’, a juvenile bird that was old enough to be out of the nest, but it lacked flying skills. My dog a miniature poodle named Dior after the French designer Christian Dior, was barking at this tiny helpless bird as it hopped around our yard and suddenly all the birds in the neighborhood swooped down from the trees and they surrounded the baby bird making a protective circle around it. This was a scary sight and I grabbed my dog and put him inside to keep him away from the angry birds. My dad said that we should not try to put the bird back in its nest as the mother bird would smell our scent and stop caring for the bird. The fledgling hopped under a bush and the mother came down and started feeding it. We left it alone and eventually it learned how to find its own food on the ground and after a few more days of maturing, I guess it just flew away.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely song for today! And the crescendo at 1:15 was quite a treat. I was glad for the warning though. Instead of jumping I went with it 🙂 Thanks for expanding my musical horizons.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another good choice, Peter. Yes, wonderful lyrics…that’s quite a line “you are the only thing…etc”! And I love starlings. Ours seem to have gone elsewhere for the summer, but I hope they will be back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too perfect timing. We just had a visit from several hundred starlings on our front yard. My daughter alerted me with a text with photo. They are greedy little suckers. Here they are invasive, having been “introduced” years back.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a magnificent song! I’ve never heard it before. Thank you for introducing it to me, Peter!
    Listening to it brought tears to my eyes.
    I will be bookmarking these videos on YouTube so I can watch and listen again.
    Both of them are wonderful…watching the starlings AND then the singers! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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