SONG: The Russian Cuckoo Reproduces in the Midnight Sun


“The Russian Cuckoo Reproduces in the Midnight Sun” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Popular Science, 7 May 2018, “Russian cuckoos are taking over Alaska”, as used in the post “Russian cuckoos are taking over Alaska”.

First, yes, I’ll come out and say that this is as much about the cuckoos in Alaska as the botfarms on Twitter, or vice versa. I’ll also say that I regret not working some reference to climate change into the bridge. Maybe the lyrics needed a little warmth.

I’ll also say that I love a drone, and that this song owes about as much to “Tomorrow Never Knows” as it does to either a Camper Van Beethoven faux-Balkan instrumental or the background music in Tetris. Or, lyrically, to “The Cuckoo”.

It was written super quickly. What happened is I figured out a decent drone sound, put a drum beat under it and then proceeded to forget about it until last weekend. Oh. Maybe stick an A minor in there, OK? Right. I wrote the lyrics on the train home today.

I really like the way “Echoing” works as a chorus – maybe with a few more weeks of marination time I could tweak the melody a little there, and maybe do something more interesting with the odd bars at the end of each chorus. They’re there to sort of throw things a little off balance, and to sort of settle things before the next verse – which they do, yes. But maybe some instrument vamping would be fun. Little mandolin flourishes or drum fills. Oh well.

Cuckoos are doppelgangers, and they’re spreading into Alaska, driving out the native American birds. The local flock could see them from their own backyards, but couldn’t really recognize what they were doing.

Strange how that can work, yeah?


All the voices rise in a chorus
All the future opens before us

From now on, the cuckoo’s song
Echoing. Echoing.

All your new friends speaking the same
All repeating, not one to blame

Dusk to dawn, the cuckoo’s song
Echoing. Echoing.

All the nests now empty of eggs
Hungry mouths and crippled legs

Mother’s gone with cuckoo song
Echoing. Echoing.