Soothing songs in the key of... poultry?
January 4, 2020 7:24 PM   Subscribe

This question is absurd, but eh! We have 200 new-ish laying-hen chicks. I don’t particularly like chickens, but I *do* like that they seem to be into it when I sing to them soothingly. Got any new-to-me lullabies/art/quiet songs? Bonus points for songs ABOUT CHICKENS? (Subject matter for the lulz).

Suggestions don’t have to be *about chickens,* but that would tickle me pink.

I hang with/sing to them mainly just before bedtime. So we gotta be chill.

They seem to like romantic art songs. Mostly in French. Seem to freak out more with Italian and Spanish, maybe because of all the diphthongs and trills? The German art songs I know are too intense and dynamic for bedtime. English seems to be... fine, but not as calming as the French.

Most Jazz causes a chicken shitstorm. Certain Gershwin songs (like “Embraceable You”) seem to go down well. Pop-y ballads are met with suspicion, which I don’t want at bedtime, but I’ve had minor success with chiller Billy Joel.

This question is stupid and hilarious, I know! But I do really like taking a beer out to the brooder and observing the weirdos, and enjoy them while they’re still wee.

Basically, help me bond with the tiny, dumb, adorable dinosaurs!

Links in YouTube form most appreciated.

posted by functionequalsform to Pets & Animals (38 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I Love You a Bushel and Peck (cows and chickens are going to the dickens).
posted by brookeb at 7:40 PM on January 4, 2020 [7 favorites]

French song: Sympathique by Pink Martini
posted by hydra77 at 7:52 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin?
It's chill.

Insert your own laying-related jokes here.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mississippi John Hurt: Chicken
posted by doctord at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ich wollt ich wär ein Huhn (I wish I were a chicken). Upbeat but maybe gentle enough. And fun to sing.
posted by The Toad at 7:56 PM on January 4, 2020

Psycho Chicken.

In the Mood.
posted by Melismata at 7:59 PM on January 4, 2020

Not about chickens but check out "Devi Prayer". It's soothing, beautiful, meditative music.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 8:05 PM on January 4, 2020

Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens. It’s jazzy, but maybe you can slow it down if you’re singing it.
posted by FencingGal at 8:06 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

oh please PLEASE sing them "Chicken Attack":

and maybe also "New Bibi Hendl" (lyrics are in the description):

posted by wintersweet at 8:30 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

("Chicken Attack" is actually a pretty chill song, melody-wise. Also, have a random, pretty French sea chanty that they might enjoy--no chickens involved. "Le Capitaine de Saint-Melo": )
posted by wintersweet at 8:33 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins is not only soothing but also incredibly on the nose.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:36 PM on January 4, 2020 [14 favorites]

You have to play them Lay Lady Lay
posted by Trivia Newton John at 8:38 PM on January 4, 2020 [20 favorites]

Um. Alouette?
posted by Night_owl at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

I do not know if this counts as mellow or not in chicken, but I feel it's appropriate because in my mind all the instruments are played by barnyard poultry -- Sandra Boynton's Bolero Completely Unraveled.
posted by Mchelly at 8:58 PM on January 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Alle meine Entchen!
posted by hollisimo at 9:00 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I feel like Philadelphia Chickens would be good for this.
posted by shadygrove at 9:28 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

New Scientist, tells you what sort of music to play to various types of farmyard animal to keep them happy. With Chickens , it has been established that Pink Floyd's Final Cut Album made them "shiver with pleasure".
(The story comes from a mis-citation by Steven Johnson in "Mind Wide Open" about the work of neurologist Jaak Panksepp - but hell - you've got to give it a try! )
posted by rongorongo at 12:48 AM on January 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

John Anderson has an overlooked 80s classic called “Chicken Truck” that cracks me up like an egg. It’s about being stuck for miles behind a stinking poultry transporter.

Of course you could always just play Albert Lee on rotation, as he’s the finest living master of what country guitarist call “chicken picking” for obvious reason.
posted by spitbull at 4:03 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love this question so much. Please follow-up with video. :-)

Anything from the Dixie Chicks!

Or, the song from Little Feat that inspired their name.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:36 AM on January 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm here with my morning coffee, cat in my lap, and THIS ask!!!

I had laying hens years ago, and was telling my partner stories during a road trip yesterday. As several above have asked, I BEG you, please post some pics/vids of your chickie lullabies! My own heart is singing right now!

And yes, I have suggestions: pretty much anything of the slower songs by Van Morrison, but especially So quiet in here. You are my Sunshine. Soft kitty adapts nicely: Soft chicky, warm chicky, little ball of fluff...

I love you all so very much!
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:58 AM on January 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Nourrir les p'tits oiseaux, Mary Poppins
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:07 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Beth Orton's Worms.

"Chickens don't fly but they've got the wings. No matter how hard they try they bump into things. They're all running around like their heads' on the ground, they got a wishbone where their backbone should have grown."
posted by ChuraChura at 6:23 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh! And, more energetically: My brother stole a chicken from the Fort Wayne Zoo by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:25 AM on January 5, 2020

French art songs for your hens? Wouldn't the obvious choice be.. wait for it.. Poule-enc? (sorry)
posted by in278s at 7:00 AM on January 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

Have you considered ad-hoc composition in the moment? I think they would appreciate your artisanal home-tailored efforts, and you can customise the tune and lyrics just for them!

Hey hey, chickens!
We're going to go to sleep now.
So glad you are all still here,
No foxes and no minks.

Hey hey chickens!
I'd really like some eggs tomorrow
So please just dream your dreamy dreams
I'll see you in the morn.

(etc etc)
posted by Meatbomb at 7:49 AM on January 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

Not really soothing, but fun: Pick a Little, Talk a Little.
posted by elphaba at 8:33 AM on January 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have a slightly evil side that really wants to see you adapt baby shark for these particular littles. Baby chick, doo doo doo doo doo doo, baby chick doo doo doo doo doo doo... etc. Mama chick... daddy chick. Just replace shark with chick. And maybe the last "lets go hunt" with "lets lay eggs". You could slow the whole thing down to be more lullaby-ish. Do this and you'll never ever be able to get it out your head. I'm sorry.
posted by cgg at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I will be reviewing your submissions soon! Any marked as best answer will be learned and sung to the dinosaurs, with chicken-video-tax paid in full.
posted by functionequalsform at 9:33 AM on January 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

I feel that your chickens might like Patsy Cline.
posted by bunderful at 10:58 AM on January 5, 2020

Oh, there's also the œuvre of The Chickeneers! My favorite is their cover of Ho Hey.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:08 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Songs: Ohia - The Old Black Hen: A brooding (heh?) but tuneful "bad luck lullaby".
posted by mean square error at 11:16 AM on January 5, 2020

Can't blame your chickens for not liking jazz, I'd be traumatized too.
posted by yeahlikethat at 11:24 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Advance chicken tax with their current favorite song. :)
posted by functionequalsform at 1:31 PM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

ooh, how about Malvina Reynolds “Little Red Hen”? and for more activist chicken tunes “Arabella” by Formidable Vegetable....
posted by pipstar at 5:32 PM on January 5, 2020

Dode Prickett is a chicken farmer. Here's a song he wrote. (click to where the waveform gets tall for the actual song)
posted by bink at 5:42 PM on January 5, 2020

It's in Italian but Love's Fowl deserves a mention. On youtube (just audio, sadly).

There's also the Indigo Girls song, Chicken Man.

And of course, In the Mood.

Bonus: Chickens in Love popped up while I was searching for other links.
posted by bunderful at 5:53 PM on January 5, 2020

She’s Got a Chicken to Ride (to the tune of She’s Got a Ticket to Ride).

Chicken Song from Orange is the New Black.
posted by Violet Hour at 12:17 PM on January 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Soothing Saint-Saens?
posted by Coaticass at 6:10 PM on January 11, 2020

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