Monday, August 6, 2007

Be Careful of Birds!

I just got back from a trip to Kansas where my family history is rich and the heritage precious. While there I was able to visit the old homesteads, see the houses where my parents were both born (my Dad on the kitchen table, I'm told). Along the way, there were lots of laughs as well as memories shared. I'd like to share one to laugh about with you today.

While doing my many performances of "Abigail Bradshaw" over the years, I incorporated vintage songs into the vignettes. One favorite of the audiences was the 1890s "The Bird on Nellie's Hat" about a bird who knew a little more about Nellie than she might have suspected. In perusing the old family photos, my mother ran across one of my Great Aunt Millie with just such a bird perched on her hat. I am sharing Millie in her splendiferous hat with you as well as the cover of the old sheet music to "The Bird on Nellie's Hat." Here are the infamous words to the first verse and chorus of that delightful old song:

"Ev'ry Saturday, Willie got his pay, Then he'd call for Nell,

Trousers neatly pressed and nice white vest, Buttonhole bouquet as well;

On Nellie's little hat, There was a little bird,

That little bird knew lots of things, It did, upon my word;

And in it's quiet way, It had a lot to say, As the lovers strolled along:

'I'll be your little honey, I will promise that!' said Nellie as she rolled her dreamy eyes.

'It's a shame to take the money!' said the bird on Nellie's hat, 'Last night she said the same to Johnny Wise!'

Then to Nellie Willie whispered as they fondly kissed:

'I'll bet that you were never kissed like that!'

'Well, he don't know Nellie like I do!' said the saucy little bird on Nellie's hat."
**** I have become very curious about just what tales the bird on my Great Aunt Millie's hat could say about her adventures! In fact, it has set me on a quest to discover just a little more about her. I hope to share some of my discoveries in future blogging efforts. Have a great day!