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Bob Holman & Margery Snyder

Listen to the Woodlark’s Song: “Lullula”

By August 27, 2006

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In his 1876 poem “The Woodlark,” Gerard Manley Hopkins captured the song of that elusive little British bird:

“Teevo cheevo cheevio chee:
O where, what can that be?
Weedio-weedio: there again!
So tiny a trickle of song-strain;...”
Now songwriter Sean O’Leary and singer Belinda Evans are using their recording of O’Leary’s musical adaptation of Hopkins’ poem to help save the woodlark, a “red list” endangered species in the UK. We say that’s putting poetry to good use. “The Woodlark” has been released as a CD single (with a couple of bonus tracks), and the proceeds will be used to help support The Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds, “the UK charity working to secure a healthy environment for birds and wildlife, helping to create a better world for us all.” And if you love Hopkins’ poems, you’ll want to look into the double album of song settings “The Woodlark” is drawn from: The Alchemist, Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations.

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