Our Backyard Circus, T’is of Thee

With Apologies to all the Special Uncle Jay’s in the World

O the robin comes early, the robin comes early--
The robin comes early, full of glee.
The robin comes early, to cheer up the churly,
The robin comes early, just for you, just for me!

The robin comes early, his timing so surely--
The robin comes early in the spring.
The robin comes early, for the genteel and the burly--
The robin comes early just to sing--just to sing!

I think he is staying.  Let’s hear what he’s saying!
His song is distinctive–chiree chiree!
He seems to be saying, with tail now swaying--
He seems to be saying,  “Look at me!  Look at me!”

And bluebirds are dating.  There’s no more belating.
The bluebirds are dating.  My! Oh my!
There’s no more waiting!  No more prating!
Blue birds are mating!  Wonder why!  Wonder why!

Soon their young will be chirping–some even slurping!
For food they are chirping!  Hear them cry!  Hear them cry!

By their house on the fence post a big bird just landed.
He’s so blue, but he’s not their kind of bird.
Instead he’s a new bird.  He’s not a very true bird.
They say that his name is Uncle Jay–Uncle Jay.

But look who is coming and see the dive-bombing,
As Jay ducks his head in disarray.
Again the dive-bombing and Jay is succumbing.
Hurray!  He’s succumbing!  He won’t stay!  He won’t stay!

Away he is flying!  Bye-bye and bye-byeing!
He’ll wait for a more convenient day.
Away he is flying!  Bye-bye and bye-byeing!        
He’ll wait for a more convenient day–convenient day.

Now there’s Mr. Squirrel.  He makes my head twirl.
We’re in for more trouble of the same.
But now look what’s coming!  More bluebird dive-bombing
As one-after-one, take their aim–take their aim.

Like Jay, he is nervous–he did not come to serve us.
Like Jay, Mr. Squirrel will face the same.
He wants no dive-bombing.  He too is succumbing.
He now wishes he never came–never came!

Now robins are pretty in the country or the city.
We’re glad when bluebirds have their say.
But when it comes to beauty, we feel it is our duty
To tell of another come today–come today.

Of rose-breasted grosbeak in fairness I now speak.
His rose-breast is fairer I dare say.
Aware of his beauty, he sees as his duty
To sit atop the feeder to display–to display.

Our backyard circus, no ordinary circus,
Is far better than watching T.V.
Though we have no monkeys, and no striped donkeys,
Our circus is special–don’t you see–don’t you see?

For robins are pretty.  We like their little ditty.
When they sing “Look at me!,” we look at Thee!”
Bluebirds are cheery, and likewise Mr. Veery
And even Uncle Blue Jay’s melee.
Put it altogether in fair or foul weather–
Our circus runs day after day.
We never get bored with our backyard circus.
What more can anyone say?  
But when robins come early and squirrels are surly,
And birds chant their chorus, “Look at me!,”
We’ll go on saying with grosbeaks displaying,
Our backyard circus--“T’is of Thee-- t’is of Thee!”  

Our backyard circus, that extraordinary circus,
Our special land of liberty,
With robins and bluebirds, surly jays and squirrels,
and rose-breasted grosbeaks, “t’is of Thee.”

David C. Brand