Tag Archives: sing

Birds Who Sing Together, Stay Together: Monogamy Lessons From The Fairy-Wrens

duet fairy wrenBirds of a feather flock together? Perhaps. Birds who fight off suitors stay together? On occasion. But, according to a recent study, birds who sing together are the most likely to remain monogamous. Or at least that is the case for the red-backed-fairy-wren.

The red-backed-fairy-wren has been called a “highly promiscuous species with high rates of extra-pair paternity.” Or, in other words, they “sleep around.” But a recent study conducted by biologist Daniel Baldassarre, an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Miami‘s Department of Biology, revealed that some pairs are far more successful than others at remaining monogamous.

How do the successful pairs remain monogamous? Surprisingly, it wasn’t the ones that spent their time fighting off other suitors. Wrens that displayed physical aggression toward an intruder had no statistical success at keeping their “marriage” pure. But pairs who sang a duet with their mate had a surprisingly high rate of monogamy. Singing! Who knew?

Now, let me admit: this is the animal kingdom. And all of this might be, quite literally, “for the birds.” But I can’t help but wonder if there is an application for the humans as well.

You see, the Bible tells us that “marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). So, perhaps…just perhaps, many marriages could benefit from the “bird brains.” Basically: worry about others less, and sing together more.

A duet is defined as “two people performing together.” Most often, duets are musical, but a duet is also a beautiful description of a properly working marriage. A marriage is a song being sung by a husband and wife – together. Their song tells the story of their commitment to each other. Those who seek to please God will pray together, love together, and submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

When the duet is strong, the marriage will be too. So…as the song says:

Sing and you’ll be happy today, Press along to the goal,…https://youtu.be/ou9YaGhqwM8 (give it a listen; the song is a blessing)…

If I Had a Hammer


seegerLast week in China, Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to 4 years in prison for “disturbing the peace.” His crime was “organizing a grass-roots New Citizens Movement, which sought to give voice to public discontent over official corruption and social injustice” (NY TIMES, 1-26-14). In his closing statement at trial, on January 22, 2014, Zhiyong spoke of the core values of the movement: “freedom, justice and love.”

It is hard to believe, but it wasn’t that long ago that our own country struggled to find the line between freedom of speech and public disorder /disintegration of societal rules. For many baby-boomers, one figure stands out as a spokesman for the same ideals of which Zhiyong spoke. Sometimes in the shadows, other times at the forefront, and quite often writing or singing the soundtrack, Pete Seeger invited audiences to sing along to the theme of Justice, Love, and Freedom.

By now, you have probably heard of the passing of Pete Seeger at age 94. He will be remembered for songs such as, “We Shall Overcome,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” But Seeger’s, “If I Had A Hammer” probably encapsulates his message the best.

The closing verses promise to hammer, ring, and sing Justice, Freedom, and Love between my brothers and my sisters and all over this land.

Justice, Freedom, and Love are desirable qualities. But they did not originate with Seeger. Songs like Seeger’s, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” come straight from the pages of scripture. So do the very concepts of Justice, Freedom, and Love. We would not know justice, freedom, or love if not for God’s great wisdom, grace, and mercy.

The prophet Amos said, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; …Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate” (Amos 5:14-15)! May we continue to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God (Micah 6:8). May we continue to pray that the justice, freedom, and love of God will continue to make progress in China, in America, and in the hearts of all people everywhere.