18.9.15

Bird In Hand


Nearly twenty years ago my friend Gwen had told me that Lee Perry's mystical majestical "Bird In Hand" from "The Return Of Super Ape" was in fact a cover version of a Bollywood tune. Gwen even owned the original recording.

For a long time I'd held onto this information and not really been able to do anything about it. However today at work my pal Richard was playing "Bird In Hand" and it prompted me to ask Google. Of course nowadays you can even see the section of the film on YouTube. Remarkably the comments thread contains no allusions to its use by Lee Perry, so be sure to let 'em know Woebot sent you.

The song is "Milte Hi Ankhen" is sung by Talat Mahmood and Shamshad Begum and it comes from the film "Babul"(1950), which means "Father's House". Hearing it is a fabulously disjointing experience - not least because the assumed mysticism is in fact a kind of schmaltz. How the song wound up in Jamaica and was transcribed into a phonetic Urdu by Sam Carter in Kingston is a whole other kind of mystery.