Sing a Song of Sixpence
[AKA blackbirds in a Pie
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh! wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey,
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!
There are many traditions in the U.S. for bringing in the New Year, like the falling ball drop at Times Square in New York City, or the possum drop in Brasstown, NC; even more mundane events such as fireworks, or even firing rifles into the sky are family traditions.
However, Beebe, Arkansas, hopes that a blackbird drop does not become an annual welcome for a New Year. No one lost their nose as the maiden in the rhyme, or at least it has yet to be reported.
Nor do I think they wish to recreate the nursery rhyme and try to recycle over 5000 red wing blackbirds into pies to start a new trend. Although if tasty, it might increase the city's revenues, since the state's small cities all have suffered financially during the recession.
NAH--I doubt my philantropic nature would contribute to the cause, nor my fo0d addiction be that intrenchable.
It has been widely reported that on New Year's Eve Beebe, Arkansas became an astonishing death field of red winged black-birds, not 24, but various estimates include the number 5000.
This article in the New York Times today summarizes the event which still has a mysterious element as to the cause. Please refer to the link for the full story. It is well written.
Another somewhat humorous story is Apocalypse Now. Recently, there has been a big fish kill near Beebe, too. This little town is near Little Rock, AR. Fish and birds, what next?
The event has been reported in several other media, too. The next day cleanup had persons roaming the town in environmental protection suits with masks, etc., the normal dress for hazardous material disasters. Since the cause is speculated, but still not known or proven, all necessary precautions were taken.
Now various species blackbirds are common in Arkansas in large numbers, and are considered nuisance when the flocks descend on a town en masse. If the birds remain in the same general area for any length of time they can leave knee-deep droppings according to one article.
In the years I've lived here we have had a few invasions of blackbirds. As I remember, fireworks and other loud noises were used to move them on. I would not relish knee deep droppings nor their noise; songbirds they are not.
Do a google search on blackbirds, Beebe AR and there are so many numerous articles it may keep you giggling all day.
This event also reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's Movie, The Birds.