“There’s a road I know I must go, even though I tell myself that road is closed
Seabird, seabird fly home”
Two weeks ago, I used this Alessi Brother’s song in a production of SWALLOW by Stef Smith for a scene where all the characters break out of their own heads and dance, uninhibited and free. I knew I wanted to use this song from when I first encountered the script, but I wasn't quite sure why.
A reviewer pointed out that the song was an echo of general bird imagery in the play, and I think that was part of the choice. But there’s more. When it played, faces in the audience lit up; there’s something irresistibly loving and light about this song and it has a groove that makes you shimmy and smile behind the eyes. But I think what I really like about it, and why it really fitted for the play, is its declaration of joy despite, and in light of, all the pain in its lyrics.
After the run, cast and crew got messages asking what ‘the song’ was and since, I've seen it pop up on friends’ Spotify playlists and heard it playing from their rooms. It’s a song to dance to by yourself and one to fall in love to, shedding a part of yourself and letting new people in; we had these two scenes happening alongside each other in SWALLOW. I've played it on repeat at various times in my life, but seeing how much people have wanted it in theirs has confirmed that’s it’s not an ‘ooh, only me’ thing, but really a song for everyone.
So, I say - play Seabird! It’s a song that wants meaning drenched into it, so allow it to be the soundtrack to key scenes in your life. Find new freedoms in it! Play it at your party! Or dance to it in your room. But above all, let it help you “fly home…”
Artwork: Hannah Machover
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