SAIL THE SUMMER SKY (an Ode to Prairie Birds) - Song Page
© words & music by Annie Wilson
from CD Clean Curve of Hill Against Sky

Album Notes:  This is an ode to six of my favorite tallgrass prairie birds:  the Prairie Chicken, Upland Sandpiper (Plover), Meadowlark, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, and Red-tailed Hawk.  The eccentricities of each species make them delightful companions to those who spend time out on the tallgrass prairie.

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The portly Prairie Chicken
does his dance across the lek 
His orange cheeks and feathered fans
will show those hens who’s best 
He booms across the prairie,
a feathered Flint Hills king 
Then flaps his wings to glide away
into the prairie breeze 

The pretty Upland Plover
stands on the fence post tall 
& lifts her wings & starts to sing
her sweet high lonesome song 
From the southern hemisphere she flies
from beaches white with sand 
To raise her family in these hills
of bluestem prairie land 

      She’ll fly   -   -   -   -   - 
      And sail the summer sky             

Our melodic Western Meadowlark
he nests down in the grass 
And hunts for insects in the Earth
then flies away so fast 
The color of the sunshine
with a black tie on his chest 
He sings his morning meadow song
to wake us from our rest 

The gangly Great Blue Heron
steps her stilt walk cross the creek 
Unhooks her S-shaped neck to catch
the minnows in her beak 
Then spreads her six-foot wings to glide
down through that tunnel green 
To her nest among the many in
the sycamore rookery          


The daring little Killdeer
lays her eggs right on the ground 
Their speckles camouflage so well
they seldom will be found 
If you come too near she’ll do her best
to lure you away 
She’ll drag her wing and cry out loud
to keep her babies safe 

Oh the mighty Red-tailed Hawk
he skims across the sky 
And his hawk eyes scan the prairie
beneath him as he flies 
He’ll rise up with the current
on the warm wind take a ride 
To float above the ridge tops
and sail the summer sky