Dead birds falling from the sky: This mix is for you

Picture it: one minute you're soaring through the skies with your fly, feathered friends, and then the next minute you're all stone dead and plummeting down to Earth like oversized, tar-coated hailstones. Why? It almost doesn't even matter why. No explanation - rational or irrational - is any match for the power of personal imagination, the myriad justifications one can conjure up for something a happening this bizarre. You could do that, and a lot of people likely did, but Gimme Noise went in another direction: we brainstormed songs about birds. We thought a bit about how "birds" is hip-hop parlance for packaged drugs in large quantities, and how "birds" is rock'n'roll parlance for giggly, loose women.

Then we said, "fuck it."

"If a flock of birds could somehow collectively share an iPod, what songs would it be funny to imagine them blaring just prior to the moment of truth?"

M.I.A., "Bird Flu"

So obviously "Bird Flu" is the official anthem of this weird-ass kerfluffle - not necessarily because of the song's content, but because the title references an unrealized pandemic from a couple years back. Then again, "Bird Flu" sounds a lot like flocks of birds meeting their maker: thrashing and squawking and divebombing and entering their death throes. (Or a brainwashed freak wearing a chicken suit while being subjected to electro-shock therapy.) Now for a show of hands: does anybody really, seriously like this song in non-academic sense, as something more than a noisome percussive exercise or intellectual endurance test?

Bobby Day, "Rockin' Robin"

Now, now, cruel parental units: it's just not nice to whistle "Rockin' Robin" ever-so-innocently as CNN's never-ending coverage of this unexplainable avian tragedy plays over and over again on your humongous wall-sized flat-screen television set and your young, impressionable children cower in fear behind their Nintendo DSs.

Ween, "Little Birdy"

Somewhere, right now, a tenderhearted little kid is finding these dead, maggot-ridden birds just everywhere and cradling them in his skinny arms and murmuring worriedly - and it isn't coming across anywhere near as twisted as this curdled, chromosome-deprived song does. You sick bastards, you! Did you really think I was going to make fun of poor tearful emo toddlers here?

Tom Petty, "Free Fallin'"

This is almost like shooting fish in a barrel. I kind of wish dead, rigor mortis-seized birds would shoot into the bandshell during an outdoor Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers gig. You know, until today, I didn't even realize this song had a line about vampires; in case you weren't aware of it, vampires are kind of a big deal commercially these days, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that ol' bottle-blonde Cryptkeeper Petty was way ahead of his time.

Sporty Thieves, "No Pigeons"

This pointed, what-now? response to TLC single "No Scrubs" still packs plenty of discursive, urban-pop pow, even if it isn't quite as explosive as whatever caused thousands of bird corpses to rain from the sky Arkansas a few days back.

Oh, and just in case you were worried that this freak-of-nature shit was the end of the world, a sign of the apocalypse?

Kirk Cameron says "relax."

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