The Cuckoo (song)

"The Cuckoo" (Roud 413) is a traditional English folk song, also sung in the United States, Canada, Scotland and Ireland. The song is known by many names, including "The Coo-Coo", "The Coo-Coo Bird", "The Cuckoo Bird", "The Cuckoo Is a Pretty Bird", "The Evening Meeting", "The Unconstant Lover", "Bunclody" and "Going to Georgia".[1] Lyrics usually include the line (or a slight variation): "The cuckoo is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies; she brings us glad tidings, and she tells us no lies."[1][2]

Clarence Ashley playing "The Coo Coo Bird"

According to Thomas Goldsmith of The Raleigh News & Observer, "The Cuckoo" is an interior monologue where the singer "relates his desires to gamble, to win, to regain love's affection."[3]

The song is featured in the E.L. Doctorow book The March. A soldier suffering from a metal spike stuck in his head sings verses from the song.


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