Lyrics - Don't Feed the Birds
I spent many years waking up to the Radio 4 Today programme. One morning, bleary eyed, I heard a news item about a cull which was being carried out on pigeons around Sellafield, previously known as Windscale. Scores of the birds were making their nests in disused parts of the power plant. Culled birds were tested and found to be high in radioactive contaminants. People living in the Sellafield area were told not to encourage the birds to come into their gardens by putting out food for them, as their droppings could pose a health risk. It was reported that in one garden up to seventy birds had been seen at one time. On a separate occasion, I'd heard a news item about pigeons learning to travel on the London Underground. The slightly flippant treatment of a serious subject can be blamed on the fact thatI'd just had my first encounter with Stanley Accrington at Bradford's Topic Folk Club the night before.

Don't Feed the Birds

Don't feed the birds at Sellafield
'cause they've not been nesting
all in the green trees -
no, they've made their homes
in the old power station
and the Geiger counters
are alerting the nation.
Don't feed the birds at Sellafield
'cause they've not been nesting
all in the green trees.

News reporters got wind of the story,
the scale of the problem demanding to know.
The bosses tell of nuclear glory
while others tell of nuclear woe.
Hey managers where are these places
where pigeons are billing and cooing?
Oh just buildings disused since the fifties,
when we didn't know what we were doing.

Don't feed the birds...

Now the managers say there's no problem
if people will only just leave them be.
If you coax them to come to your garden
you really are out of your tree.
Two lonely ladies who live there
have welcomed the birds to their garden.
The problem's not really them feeding,
but it's what those birds leave when departing.

Don't feed the birds...

Yes, what they deposit shines brightly
and at night time it eerily glows.
Thousands of birds leaving thousands of turds -
All those becquerels won't decompose.
Don't feed the birds.
Don't feed the birds.

Now you folk south of Cumbria
don't be complacent
'cause pigeons are clever
now these days, let's face it.
The birds at the centre
of this botheration
have been seen boarding trains
at Sellafield station,
and it's been reported
by those in the know
that the interchange, Bradford,
is where those trains go.

So don't feed the birds
in centenary square,
'cause you might tread on pieces
of Sellafield there.

©2003 Rahel Guzelian