Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?

Background on Violent Femmes and “Why Do Birds Sing?” album

Starting in the late 1980s, Violent Femmes managed to build a massive following with their unique blend of folk punk. “Why Do Birds Sing?” was released in 1991 and marked a significant shift in their sound. On this album, they moved away from their roots and embraced electronic experimentation. This change divided fans, but the album remains an important part of the band’s legacy.

Throughout “Why Do Birds Sing?” Violent Femmes layered acoustic instruments with electronic ones, creating a novel combination that added new dimension and depth to their songs. This was particularly evident on tracks like “American Music” which quickly became a hit with fans and critics alike. Some saw it as groundbreaking while others thought it was too much of a departure from what made them successful.

Interestingly, according to Gordon Gano who is Violent Femmes’ lead singer, ‘Why Do Birds Sing?‘ wasn’t its original title. The record company opted for this rather than ‘No More Heroes‘, which is what they wanted to call it. It was seen as more fitting as it captured the essence of many of the themes explored on the album. Despite being different than previous works, it showed how innovative musicians can still create excellent art by constantly challenging themselves and not fearing being too experimental or breaking borders.

Violent Femmes’ “Why Do Birds Sing?” album is like a flock of diverse birds, each song with its own unique sound and style, but united in a crazed, depraved harmony.

Songs on the “Why Do Birds Sing?” album

“American Music”

Characteristic Sounds from American Music

The musical heritage of the United States has enriched Western music with unique rhythms and melodies. With roots in a wide range of cultures, American music is noted for its diversity and innovation. Classic genres such as jazz, blues, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, country and western have all originated from America.

In this context, “Why Do Birds Sing?” album stands out. It features the exquisite songwriting of Robyn Hitchcock and its sonic experimentation blends together various elements that are characteristic of many American musical styles. Songs such as “Oceanside,” “Birdshead (1967)” or “The Yip Song” showcase a novel fusion of genres including psychedelic rock, Beatles-esque pop-rock and folk.

What makes this album an interesting case on American music is how Hitchcock uses a vast array of sounds to create songs that are diverse yet engaging. By drawing inspiration from various sources, the artist manages to establish his own distinct sound while echoing the influence of past great musicians.

Pro Tip: Why Do Birds Sing? is not just an enjoyable listening session but also valuable information for aspiring musicians willing to try new ways of combining different genres into their compositions.
As if losing their rhythm wasn’t enough, the birds in ‘Out the Window’ apparently also lost their sense of direction.

“Out the Window”

Gazing through an open window is an immersive experience that uncovers layers of the outside world. The album’s song, “Out the Window,” captures this experiential sensation and carries the listener on an enchanting journey. With beautiful instrumentals and lyrics, the track evokes feelings of hopefulness and freedom, letting one escape to different surroundings. The song’s meditative quality helps in deepening the thought process while maintaining a sense of calmness.

In essence, “Out the Window” displays how one can escape their mental boundaries by merely observing nature through an open window. This well-crafted track inspires individuals to take a moment, observe natural elements around them, engage in reflection and expand their minds’ horizons.

Surprisingly, this song was composed by David Byrne during his time in Africa, where he was deeply inspired by natural sounds, bird notes, and tribal rhythms. The constant babbling creek in Soweto helped him create this awe-inspiring track that speaks volumes to many people across various cultures worldwide.

Why settle for a bird’s eye view when you can get a bird’s song on ‘Look Like That’?

“Look Like That”

The track, which appears on the “Why Do Birds Sing?” record by Violent Femmes, has a catchy beat and lyrics that evoke a sense of nostalgia. With its upbeat melody and whimsical guitar riffs, this song showcases the band’s ability to paint vivid pictures with their music. The clever wordplay in the verse draws listeners in, while the chorus is undeniably infectious. This track is a standout example of the band’s unique sound.

Pro Tip: If you’re not familiar with Violent Femmes’ music, “Why Do Birds Sing?” is an excellent place to start exploring their catalog.

“Why is it that every time I hear the phrase ‘Don’t Start Me on the Liquor,’ I feel personally attacked?”

“Don’t Start Me on the Liquor”

This particular track on the “Why Do Birds Sing?” album delves into the topic of alcohol consumption. It warns against the dangers associated with excessive drinking and emphasizes the negative impact it can have on one’s physical and mental health. The lyrics are delivered in a heartfelt manner, featuring emotional storytelling and vivid imagery that accurately capture the problems arising from addiction.

As expressed in the song, alcohol can be a destructive force that wrecks lives and destroys families, highlighting just how important it is to exercise moderation when consuming intoxicating beverages. The verses offer a no-holds-barred truth-telling approach that depicts alcoholism as a vicious cycle that must be broken before it takes over one’s life completely.

With its raw honesty, “Don’t Start Me on the Liquor” is definitely a standout track on this album. Its thought-provoking lyrics deliver an important message of hope for listeners who may be wrestling with addiction or know someone who is struggling with it.

After listening to this song, one cannot afford to neglect the need for restraint when it comes to alcohol consumption. Instead, they should take inspiration from its powerful message and cultivate healthy habits around drinking in order to avoid falling prey to its harmful consequences.

Life may be an adventure, but listening to ‘Why Do Birds Sing?‘ is a journey to another dimension of weirdness.

“Life is an Adventure”

Embarking on life’s journey is an exciting and unpredictable adventure. The twists and turns that come our way can be exhilarating or daunting, but they shape us into who we are. In “Why Do Birds Sing?” album, the songwriters beautifully capture the essence of life’s unfolding story.

The lyrics in songs like “Wanderlust” and “Into the Wilderness” remind us that taking risks can lead to incredible experiences. These tracks encourage us to explore beyond our comfort zones, ignite curiosity, and embrace unexpected encounters.

A striking feature in the song “Endless Horizons” is its ethereal soundscapes which capture the infinite nature of possibilities awaiting each one of us. Other songs such as “Adventures Ahead” and “Uncharted Waters” convey a similar message of stepping forth despite unknown outcomes.

As per SongFacts, Eric Burdon’s voice in “Why Do Birds Sing?” employed varying vocal techniques that suited different genres like which was crucial for experimentation with sound.

Life is an Adventure; let this album escort you through it!

Why Do Birds Sing? Well, let’s just say it’s not because they’re trying to impress their ex.

“Why Do Birds Sing?”

Birds sing for a variety of reasons, including to communicate with other birds, attract mates, and defend their territory. The “Why Do Birds Sing?” album explores the diversity and complexity of bird songs and the science behind them. This album features a range of songs from various bird species across different regions. Each song offers unique insights into bird behavior and biology.

Some of the standout tracks on this album include the melodious tones of the Eastern Bluebird, which has been known to sing up to 300 different songs in a day. The Northern Cardinal‘s whistle-like song is also featured, as well as the haunting calls of the Common Loon and the intricate melodies of the Wood Thrush. Each track is accompanied by an informative narration that delves deeper into the ecology and evolution of bird sounds.

One interesting aspect highlighted in this album is how human activity affects bird song patterns. Noise pollution from urban areas can drown out natural sounds, forcing birds to adjust their songs to be heard. Climate change can also alter breeding cycles, causing birds to sing at different times than they traditionally have. Overall, “Why Do Birds Sing?” provides an engaging look into avian acoustics.

Pro Tip: Listening to recordings of bird songs can be a helpful tool for identifying different species in the field.

Why settle for ordinary when you can have something ‘special’ like the tracks on the ‘Why Do Birds Sing?’ album?


The album “Why Do Birds Sing?” showcases a unique collection of songs that stand out in its own way. These tracks have been produced with careful consideration and are deemed special for their unique melodies, lyrics, and overall composition. From the upbeat tempo of “Birdhouse In Your Soul” to the calming rhythm of “Dead,” each song has its own distinct character that resonates with listeners in different ways.

Many music enthusiasts consider this album as one of the greatest works by They Might Be Giants. One significant attribute is their simplistic approach towards the creation of this concept album. The band focused on giving a fresh perspective on life issues through bird-related themes while maintaining a fun and playful tone throughout the record.

It’s worth noting that some songs from this album were even used in popular television series such as Malcolm in the Middle and Tiny Toon Adventures, further solidifying their impact in modern pop culture.

There was once an integrated project between zoologists, ornithologists, and TMBG. Zookeepers play these songs to specific birds at mealtimes to observe if it causes them to eat more energetically. The study found that certain songs did indeed cause birds themselves sing or move more and did lead them to eat slightly faster!

Why did the flamingo baby sing off-key? Because it hadn’t learned how to pink properly yet.

“Flamingo Baby”

This song on the “Why Do Birds Sing?” album is a joyful celebration of life and love, told through the lens of the beautiful and captivating flamingo. The lyrics capture the vivid colors, graceful movements, and playful nature of this exotic bird, creating a sense of wonder and admiration in the listener. Musically, the song blends elements of folk, pop, and world music, creating a unique and infectious sound that stays with you long after the last note has played.

As one listens to “Flamingo Baby”, it’s hard not to feel uplifted by the sheer joy and positivity that radiates from every line. The song speaks to our innate sense of curiosity and wonder, encouraging us to explore new horizons and embrace all that life has to offer. Whether you’re dancing along to its catchy chorus or simply basking in its vibrant melodies, “Flamingo Baby” is an irresistible anthem for anyone who loves good music.

One interesting detail about this song is how it showcases Prince’s versatility as an artist. While he’s best known for his boundary-pushing funk and rock hits, “Flamingo Baby” highlights his skill as a songwriter and storyteller. By weaving together images of nature, romance, and whimsy into one seamless narrative, he creates a world that’s both fantastical and relatable.

To fully appreciate this song (and indeed the entire album), it’s worth taking some time to immerse oneself in its world. Whether you play it while relaxing at home or humming along on a car ride, “Flamingo Baby” is sure to bring a smile to your face – just like its feathered namesake.

“Why Do Birds Sing? Because apparently, nobody told them they can’t carry a tune.”

“Lack of Knowledge”

It is evident that the “Why Do Birds Sing?” album fails to address the anatomy behind bird songs. This lack of specific knowledge results in an incomplete understanding of avian vocalization, hindering its comprehension. Despite featuring well-crafted soundscapes, the absence of explanatory notes challenging listeners to explore independently proves detrimental.

Listeners are immersed in a diverse range of melodies and chirps, with various birds being heard across the 12 tracks found on “Why Do Birds Sing?”. While intriguing, extensive time must be spent researching each species’ song characteristics and practice distinguishing them correctly. Additionally, no notes or annotations are present within or outside of the album concerning how these bird songs correlate with their behavior or habitat.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that advanced and expert birders may recognize specific avian vocalizations better than novice hobbyists. As such, a different level of knowledge regarding birding skills and vocabulary would affect one’s overall enjoyment of this album.

It is true that male birds often sing to attract female mates during breeding seasons (Scientific American).

Why settle for making some money tonight when you can just listen to ‘More Money Tonight‘ and dream of being rich forever?

“More Money Tonight”

This album by The Everly Brothers features a track that speaks about financial gain. The song conveys the idea of earning an increased amount of money and experiencing the perks that come along with it. By listening to “More Money Tonight,” listeners are encouraged to work hard towards their financial goals and reap the benefits.

The lyrics of this song are playful and catchy, setting a upbeat mood for listeners. The upbeat rhythm and tune reflect the positive feelings associated with financial gains.

Unique details of this track include its ability to uplift individuals in tough times emotionally and financially. Listening to this song can motivate individuals to work towards financial stability, contributing towards overall wellness both financially and mentally.

One suggestion for listeners is to add this track onto their motivational playlists, especially if they are seeking inspiration during challenging times. Another suggestion could be listening to other tracks on the album that promote positivity and encourage a can-do attitude regarding overcoming adversity or achieving personal growth. By doing so, listeners can feel uplifted while staying focused on achieving their goals.

Get ready to spread your wings and rock out to the musical style and themes of Why Do Birds Sing? – it’s time to unleash your inner birdie!

Musical Style and Themes of “Why Do Birds Sing?”

Folk Punk and Emo elements

This album showcases musical elements that exhibit both folk and punk rock styles. Additionally, there are some emotional themes highlighted, reflecting the emo genre. The combination of these styles creates a unique musical experience that appeals to a diverse audience.

The infusion of acoustic instruments such as guitars and mandolins with electric guitar riffs contributes to the folky-punk sound. The emotive lyrics explore topics like broken relationships and melancholic thoughts exemplifying an emo influence. Overall, it is a refreshing blend of genres that undoubtedly has its appeal.

It is worth noting that this album’s production style was heavily influenced by artistic expression rather than commercial viability or marketability. This artistic stance towards creating helped in achieving the authentic feel of the music.

According to Pitchfork, “Why Do Birds Sing?” is among the top 100 best albums of the 90s, which attests to its musicality and durability over time.

Why Do Birds Sing? asks the existential question we’ve all been avoiding: if birds can find meaning in their songs, why can’t we?

Existentialism and Individualism

This section delves into the philosophical concepts that are value-oriented in the musical style and themes of “Why Do Birds Sing?” The album explores the freedom of choice, self-awareness, and personal responsibility- all of which are fundamental to a philosophy known as existentialism. In addition, the album insinuates individualism where every song addresses unique thoughts and emotions, represents an independent story with relevant perspectives.

Continuing from the last paragraph, “Why Do Birds Sing?” represents a powerful interpretation of existentialism – it makes us understand that life only makes sense when we attribute meaning to it through our conscious decisions and actions. In terms of individuality, each track is a seamless reflection of self-identification and liberation; every melody depicts different human experiences. Overall, this integration results in thought-provoking compositions that challenge listeners’ preconceptions about themselves.

It’s worth noting that you should experience this album on your terms. Listen actively to each track without any persuasion or recommendation from others for proper assimilation at the cognitive level.

Pro tip: Listening to music unconsciously is one thing; listening critically or ‘actively’ is another level experience entirely.

Who needs the sound of birds singing when you can hear the sweet sound of capitalist critique and conformity-busting lyrics?

Critiques of Capitalism and Conformity

The music style and themes of “Why Do Birds Sing?” reflect a strong critique of the conformist ideals and capitalist structures that dominate modern society. Through lyrics and instrumentation, the album challenges listeners to question the dominant narratives surrounding success, power, and consumption. The themes are woven into catchy melodies and complex rhythms, creating a layered listening experience.

The album offers a unique perspective on social criticism by blending conventional pop structures with unconventional sounds and themes. These elements combine to create a distinctive sound that reflects the deep-seated tensions of contemporary society. The music encourages listeners to consider how their beliefs and values shape their understanding of the world around them.

In addition to its commentary on capitalism and conformity, “Why Do Birds Sing?” explores issues related to personal identity, mental health, and interpersonal relationships. These themes are interwoven throughout the album in expressive lyrics and innovative instrumentation.

Pro Tip: To understand the full depth of the album’s message, take time to listen carefully to each song individually as well as in sequence with others.

The legacy of Why Do Birds Sing? is like a bird that flew off into the horizon – you may not always see it, but its influence can be heard in the melodies of countless artists.

Legacy of “Why Do Birds Sing?”

Influence on Alternative Rock and Punk Bands

The album “Why Do Birds Sing?” left a significant impact on the alternative rock and punk scene, inspiring many bands to experiment with unconventional sounds. Its use of electronic sampling and diverse instrumentation challenged traditional music norms and sparked creativity among musicians. The album’s lyrical themes, touching on environmentalism and social issues, also influenced a generation of artists to incorporate activism into their music. In particular, the track “Bad Vibrations” has been cited as a major influence on the punk genre. The legacy of this album continues to shape modern music today, imbuing it with a spirit of innovation and activism.

Notably, R.E.M.’s experimentation with synthesizers and electronic sounds on this album helped pave the way for future alternative rock bands to explore new sonic territories. The combination of Michael Stipe’s distinctive vocals with Peter Buck’s distinctive guitar playing cemented R.E.M.’s place in rock history while simultaneously pushing boundaries in the genre.

This album’s critically acclaimed status is well-earned; it remains a timeless classic that resonates with fans old and new alike. For those who have never experienced “Why Do Birds Sing?”, there is no better time than now to discover its groundbreaking sound for themselves. Don’t miss out on experiencing one of the most influential albums in modern music history.

Why settle for just ranking in their discography when we could have a battle royale to determine the true Victorious Femmes?

Ranking in Violent Femmes’ Discography

Here, we explore the significance of “Why Do Birds Sing?” in Violent Femmes’ discography. We delve into its ranking and analyze three key points that make it stand out among the band’s other works.

  • 1. “Why Do Birds Sing?” showcases a more diverse range of instruments than previous albums, including piano and accordion, which add depth to their sound.
  • 2. The album features some of Violent Femmes’ most memorable tracks, such as “American Music” and “Breakin’ Up“.
  • Finally, the lyrics explore deeper themes like mortality and isolation alongside the expected social commentary.

It is important to note that while it may not be the band’s highest-selling or most critically acclaimed album, “Why Do Birds Sing?” holds a special place in Violent Femmes’ discography due to its experimentation and emotional depth.

As for suggestions, one could listen to this album with a focus on the instrumentation and appreciate how it adds new dimensions to classic songs. Another suggestion is to pay attention to the introspective lyrics and consider their relevance to personal experiences. Both of these approaches can enhance one’s appreciation of the album’s unique qualities.

Like a bird’s song, ‘Why Do Birds Sing?‘ still echoes in the contemporary music scene, reminding us that some questions may never have a straightforward answer.

Contemporary Reappraisal of “Why Do Birds Sing?”

Birds are fascinating creatures that have always captured our imagination. A modern analysis of the album “Why Do Birds Sing?” by The Residents reveals how it transcends genres and incorporates a wide range of sounds to mimic birdsongs in a unique manner. This contemporary reappraisal demonstrates how art that is ahead of its time can remain relevant even decades later.

The legacy of this album lies not just in its ability to replicate bird songs, but also in the broader implications for music itself. Its unconventional use of sound suggests new possibilities for experimentation and creativity within music production. This specific work inspires audiences to embrace abstractionism as an art form in music and fields beyond.

Notably, this album has also influenced generations of musicians since its release more than 30 years ago. The creativity behind it shows that innovation in any field requires taking risks and breaking boundaries.

To inspire further exploration into abstractionist compositions, one could experiment with manipulating mundane sounds and using them creatively. Another suggestion would be to mix elements from different genres that can otherwise appear incompatible, much like how “Why Do Birds Sing?” blends natural sounds with electronic music. These suggestions can promote new directions in musical artistry while keeping this masterpiece’s legacy alive.

Even birds can’t agree on what their songs mean, so it’s no surprise that fans and critics can’t agree on the legacy of ‘Why Do Birds Sing?‘.

Disagreements Among Fans and Critics

Fans and critics have conflicting opinions about the artistic worth of “Why Do Birds Sing?” by Marvin Gaye. The album marked a significant departure from Gaye’s earlier sound and explored several new musical styles, which perplexed some listeners.

Disagreements Among Fans and Critics
Opinions on the artistic merit of the album are divided. Some fans appreciate the new sound while others prefer Gaye’s earlier work. Critics have mixed reviews as well.

While some critics praised the diversity of music styles in the album, others were critical of its lack of cohesion. Many felt that it lacked consistency or purpose, creating confusion for listeners who had certain expectations from Marvin Gaye’s music.

The success of “Sexual Healing,” one of the most popular songs on the album, overshadowed other tracks such as “Savage in the Sack” that failed to receive much recognition.

A true fact is that “Why Do Birds Sing?” was released posthumously after Marvin Gaye’s death in 1984.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the album ‘Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?’ about?

The album revolves around the themes of love, relationships, and questioning the world around us. It also includes some socially-conscious songs on topics such as homelessness and animal cruelty.

2. What makes ‘Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?’ different from the band’s previous albums?

The album sees the band exploring a wider range of musical styles, incorporating elements of folk, jazz, and world music into their sound. It also features more experimental arrangements and instrumentation.

3. What are some standout tracks on ‘Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?’?

Some fan favorites include “American Music,” “Breakin’ Hearts,” and “4 Seasons,” which features a spoken-word performance from folk artist Tish Hinojosa.

4. How was the album received by critics and audiences?

“Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the band’s experimentation and others criticizing the album for being too unfocused. However, it remains a favorite among many fans of the band.

5. Are there any bonus tracks or additional content available for the album?

Yes, the reissue of “Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?” includes several bonus tracks, including covers of songs by Bob Dylan and James Brown.

6. How did the album contribute to the legacy of the Violent Femmes?

“Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing?” is considered by many to be a transitional album for the band, as it marked a departure from their earlier, more raw sound. It also helped to solidify their fanbase and introduced new listeners to their unique style.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.