Is what I hear when I hear a bird singing the same as what you hear? What about what someone else heard fifty years ago, or perhaps a hundred? Not specifically the notes, mind you, rather what we interpreted from the song itself? What meaning, if any, did we find in it; what effect did it have upon us or upon something we did as a result?

These are some of the intriguing questions Richard Smyth takes up in his soon-to-be-published A Sweet, Wild Note; What We Hear When the Birds Sing. Examining the influence of birdsong upon literature, music, science, and even more nebulous concepts as national identity (specifically in regard to this book, that of being British), Mr. Smyth promises to take his readers along on a journey through some of the many ways the singing of birds has had – and continues to have – an effect upon our lives.

It’s a journey that I look forward to taking very soon.