I wrote this song in August 2005, having witnessed a sparrow hawk devouring its prey in my garden, through the kitchen window. I think it was eating a young blackbird. I can't be absolutely sure about that, but I took it to be the case for the purposes of the song.
The incident of the sparrow hawk is dealt with descriptively in the middle verse. I start the song, however, with a verse that refers to a wider range of garden violence (a thrush pounding snail on stone, a fly trapped in a spider's web, a worm caught in a sparrow's beak). The verse, by way of contrast, points to the garden as a place of tranquility and this, I feel, is the predominant image of an English country garden.
Bursting into life
Fragrant summer rose
Solitude and peace
In the final verse, I introduce the image of sitting in a deck chair, relaxing in the summer sun, and then go on to contrast this with the aggressive act of the sparrow hawk by referring back to the events I described in the second verse.
The song is written in the key of D major, although in the chorus and also in a short bridge I flirt with a modulation into the dominant A major. The song ends with the chorus and by the last line it has returned, unambiguously, to the home key of D once again.
ISRC = GBGHU0800007
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