I’ve recently realized that I prefer songs that tell a story that I can follow. Brandi Carlisle and Judy Collins come to mind. The listener is able to follow the story and image it unfolding visually as its being told. What is the purpose of a song? Is it to tell a story?
Around 7:00am I heard a familiar song coming from outside of the house. I paused. This is mid-January in northern Colorado. There is snow on the ground and it is 20F outside. There should not be singing. But on it went…
A quick peek at the Google led me to an answer I was not expecting. See, birds tend to sing to attract mates and while I am watching Red-tailed hawks and Bald Eagles pair up all over the Front Range right now, it doesn’t seem that it’s time for Black-capped Chickadees to be wooing their mates this early in the year. And they are not. Instead, chickadees are using song as they travel in flocks during winter to establish territories. I wonder if my yard bird feeders have been claimed and the birds are telling others to stay away.
This all got me thinking about how song is used by people and if it is used to court a potential mate. While there is no recorded evidence that in primitive human song was used to establish territory, it has definitely been a factor in romantic relationships. I recall a conversation with a friend years ago who said something along the lines of, “If she can sing, I’ll give her anything she wants” when referring to the qualities of a good match for him. Who isn’t attracted to a lovely voice that can carry a tune? Song writers express their affection through song intended to be heard by the one they love all the time. Perhaps you have fallen for a performer in a musical after hearing them sing.
Song is made up of a series of sounds and many animals on Earth sing for various reasons. We humans use songs for a variety of reasons many which are tied to our emotions and how we are feeling. Animals may also use or respond to song for similar reasons, If you are interested in learning more about this, click here.