Monthly Archives: July 2013

If You Knew Wood Pigeon Like I Know Wood Pigeon

The garden’s full of rowdy wood pigeons at the moment. They’re fat and noisy, like the frightening people who come out of the Stone House nightclub at 2am.
Sometimes they (the pigeons) go –

COO COOOOOO COO
COO COOOOOO COO
COO COOOOOO COO

But their favourite yobbish wood pigeon tune goes –

COO COOOOOO COOOOOO COO COO
COO COOOOOO COOOOOO COO COO

This morning (as I lay awake, cursing them and contemplating bombing the RSPB with a gargantuan bird dropping, the like of which Sandy in Bedfordshire has never seen) I suddenly realised they were singing an actual song. An Eddie Cantor song from the 1920s

IF YOU KNEW SUSIE LIKE I KNOW SUSIE
IF YOU KNEW SUSIE LIKE I KNOW SUSIE

And, in my delirious, hypnopompic state, I wondered ….. could it be that a wood pigeon once heard it, impersonated it and passed it on? Or could it be that the composer Joseph Meyer heard a wood pigeon and imitated it in his ditty?

Well, I felt thwarted when I realised he was from California where they don’t have wood pigeons at all.

But then I did a bit of research and realised he was sent to Paris as a teenager to learn the violin. And yes – they have wood pigeons there, such as Hope the Parisian wood pigeon

This surely constitutes incontrovertible proof that the original composer was actually a French wood pigeon, probably called Pierre, totally oblivious to his copyright status, and to Susie the floozy who wasn’t very choosy.