Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bluebird - Symbol of Happiness

Bluebirds, a favorite songbird, will the topic for Second Saturday at Hagerman NWR, with Refuge Manager Kathy Whaley, speaker.  Since Kathy will be educating us about Bluebird traits and behavior, today’s post will focus on some Bluebird trivia.

Bluebird on Harris Creek Trail by Bert Garcia
This Navajo song, referring to the Mountain Bluebird (a spirit animal connected with the rising sun) is sung at dawn:
Bluebird said to me,
"Get up, my grandchild.
It is dawn," it said to me.

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.

An early 20th century Nobel–prize winning play forchildren  is a fairy tale in which children are sent on a world journey to search for the Bluebird of Happiness, only to discover it close to home. 

The song, “Bluebird of Happiness”, was composed in 1934 by Sandor Harmati, for his friend, opera singer Jan Peerce, with words by Edward Heyman and additional lyrics by Harry Parr-Davies.  Here’s a link to a performance of the song by Peerce. 

"The White Cliffs of Dover" is another popular song  with a Bluebird symbol of cheer, written by Johnny Mercer with lyrics by Nat Burton;  the World War II song represented the feelings of the Allies about protecting Britain from the planned German invasion.  The song, popularized by Vera Lynn, starts :
There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover,

Then we find “Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder” in the lyrics to “Zip a Dee Doo Dah” from Disney’s Song of the South.  

A 1940 fantasy film starring Shirley Temple was The Blue Bird – “The blue bird of the title was paid $50 a day, and flew away from a Los Angeles aviary soon after the movie was finished.

For a 1976 film produced jointly by American and Russian film companies, The Blue Bird, “No bluebirds could be readily found, so several thousand pigeons were hand-dyed blue for the climactic scenes.”  Neither of the two films brought any happiness to audiences or producers; they were both “bombs”.

If you ever rode on a school bus you were probably riding on a Blue Bird bus.  

The “Original Bluebird of Happiness” is a registered trademark for the familiar blue glass bird, originally created by Leo Ward at Terra Studios in Arkansas and sold in gift shops across the nation and around the world. 

The Eastern Bluebird has been designated as the state bird for both New York and Missouri; the Mountain Bluebird is the state bird for Idaho and Nevada.

Here is an online Bluebird Trivia Quiz you can take, perhaps before AND after the presentation Saturday!

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