From the recording Highs and Lows

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Words and Music: Mark David Manders


Words and Music: Mark David Manders

I saw a suicidal pigeon standing in the street
Playing chicken with the traffic each time the light turned green
So I hollered out to him, “Hey man, what you trying to prove?”
He said, “Nuthin”
So I sat down on the curb and opened up my sack
I offered him a bun off of my Big Mac
After all, they do come with three
He said, “No thanks, man, I’m allergic to sesame seeds.”
Well I knew I was gonna have to act fast
If I wanted to save that bird or make that conversation last
The writing was on the wall, soon rush hour would begin
And that would spell disaster for my little feathered friend
So I joined him
That’s right, I walked out in the middle of the street
And sat down next to that pigeon on the warm concrete
A fairly dangerous move, but I didn’t care
I was on a mission to save a brother in despair
I said, “So you’ve had a rough life I guess.”
He said, “What do you think? I’m a pigeon, dumb ass!”
He said, “My life is cursed, I don’t even have a nest”
“And everywhere I go I leave behind a mess.”
Then he told me his story
“Do you know what it’s like to be a pigeon?” he asked.
“Well, I never really thought about it, but I guess it’s pretty bad.”
He said, “We’re at the bottom of the food chain as far as bird’s go.”
“And I’ve forgotten more about ugly than you’ll probably ever know.”
“People don’t take us serious, and I don’t know the reason.”
“I mean, when’s the last time you heard, ‘Hey man, it’s opening day of
pigeon season’?”
“And you never see a pigeon on a stamp or a dollar bill.”
“Or on a flag or with an olive branch or some symbol of good will.”
I said, “Yeah, you’ve got a point.”
He said, “When I was younger I fell in love with this chick.”
“She was graceful, easy to look at, and had a wingspan that wouldn’t quit.”
“When I first met her I tried to pawn myself off as a dove.”
“But eventually Mother Nature robbed me of my first true love.”
“You see, I started putting on weight, then my feathers changed colors.”
“And almost overnight I developed this fowl smelling odor.”
“I knew it was only a matter of time before she lost interest.”
“So I bade farewell to my fair-weathered princess”
He said, “As you can see, a pigeon’s life is no walk in the park.”
“And you never feel at home, no matter where you are.”
I said, “Yeah, I know the feeling, it’s hard to fit in.”
He said, “So what do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m a musician.”
He said, “Man, I thought I had it bad.”
Then I began to tell him my story and how I understood
About being looked down on by everyone in the neighborhood
But I no sooner started talking when that little bird flew away
Well, I’ve lost the attention of bigger crowds so I really can’t complain
But I’d like to think in some small way I played a hand
In helping that pigeon get back on his feet again
Sometimes all it takes is a sympathetic ear
And sometimes it just takes a story that you’re willing to share
And you know, I learned a lesson from that bird and I think he’d agree
That there’s always someone out there who’s got it worse off than me
And when life’s got me down and I feel like quitting
I can’t help but remembering the story of the suicidal pigeon
So spread your wings and fly
Don’t be afraid to try
Pick yourself up when you fall
Throw out everything you know
And make it up as you go
There’s a little imagination in us all