The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (19): The Bach in Blackbird


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  • For American readers: If this reminds you of the American Robin (Turdus turdus migratorius), it’s because it is closely related. This is the Common or Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), a member of the true thrush family. It’s called “Blackbird” because of its color, not because it is a member of the group of birds we in the US know as “blackbirds” (grackles, etc.) (no, starlings are not blackbirds).

    The Common Blackbird is a superb songster, like most thrushes. And yes, it does often sing “in the dead of night.” I remember when on a choral tour in Leipzig, after having had the unforgettable experience of singing Bach motets at the Thomaskirche, I lay awake for a long time in the night listening to a blackbird singing in the hotel courtyard.

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