She was just a bright young thing

Not yet fully grown

But she caught my eye across the room

She cleverly made herself known


So I took her home with me

And introduced her to her new friends

It was tense at first

But soon they were happy as larks


Oh Eloise, you are such a tease

Please please me Eloise!


At first I offered my hand

Hoping she wouldn’t panic and fly

She seemed okay with my touch

And she let me stroke her by and by


I was hoping for more from this child of mine

I longed for her weight on my hand

And before too long she perched herself there

As if I had a magic wand


Eloise, you didn’t freeze

You were perfectly happy to please!


Soon you were hopping aboard

As I whisked you through the air

You liked to jump on and off

Obviously enjoying the game


I wanted to set you free

To let you spread your wings

It took awhile to coax you out

But eventually we had our flings


Eloise, girl of my dreams

So soft and sleek with your feathery gleams!


Together we dance and sing

You have no fear of my giant self

You like to nibble at my fingers

We love across the gulf


Eloise, oh Eloise

Every day you please

And every day I please you too

It’s the perfect union of beauty and beast


Eloise, my little yellow bird

Eloise, Eloise…



7 replies
  1. jgkess@cfl.rr.com
    jgkess@cfl.rr.com says:

    The trend of the lyrics is a little off on that one. Perhaps intended., in which case a little risky. As for guitar preferences, I’ve played electric before, way back in the eighties–garage band punk. The chicks seemed to dig it, if not most of the dudes.

  2. Colin McGinn
    Colin McGinn says:

    For the record I did actually train one of my parakeets (budgies) to do all these things, simply by coaxing. It is noteworthy that the other three were completely resistant to such training, which shows what a difference in brain and behavior can exist within a single species. When I mentioned writing a song about this to my music teacher she suggested I make it ambiguous between human and avian.

  3. paul reinicke
    paul reinicke says:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing the story behind the song. Incidentally, several years ago, a thought struck me like a thunderbolt: “What if I could find a book that can do for my songwriting, what Ludek Pachman’s ‘The Middle Game in Chess’ did for my chess game?” (It improved my game immensely — thought I stopped playing in tournaments soon after.) Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found such a book. But one book I can recommend — though it’s a bit dated — is Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorn’s “If They Ask You, You Can Write a Song.” You might gain the most from the chapters that were inaccessible to me. The ones dealing with chord progressions and that kind of thing.

    • Colin McGinn
      Colin McGinn says:

      I regard Eloise as a kind of genius among birds of her species. I find with songs that the important thing is an initial concept encapsulated in a phrase, so it’s all in the title; the rest is mechanics. But like creativity in general it is something of a mystery.

  4. paul reinicke
    paul reinicke says:

    Thanks. That’s great advice. Ironically, the only song I wrote that someone set to music was one of the ones I wrote without having a title in mind. The story behind your song later brought to mind a 2008 review of a book (“Alex & Me”) about an African grey. Reading about one of the things this very smart bird did made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Similarly, I had that same sensation upon watching a video years ago in which a dolphin repositioned itself into a standing position, only to then quickly swim off. Scientists were recording dolphins and playing back their sounds. It’s like this dolphin was saying “Okay, you can imitate me, but guess what, I can imitate you.” Incidentally — and don’t share this with your feathered friends — the last song I wrote (which was a few years ago) just happened to be titled “I Wish I Were a Cat.”

    • Colin McGinn
      Colin McGinn says:

      We have a tendency to underestimate animals, mainly because they don’t speak (or don’t speak like us). I often try to imagine being a cat for a few minutes–I have two. They seem so serene.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.