Tweety A Connoisseur of Rock-And-Roll By Cherokee Billie
I will never forget the first time my little sky blue Parakeet, Tweety, heard the song, "Stairway To Heaven." The year was 1974 when Led Zeppelin first released; "Stairway To Heaven", I was a young married, 23 years old, and usually had the stereo on loud every morning in our rented house after my husband went to work.
Tweety’s cage was right next to one of the stereo speakers in the living room, as Tweety enjoyed music so much. I had Tweety since 1967 so she knew rock-and-roll really well living with me. Tweety would lose control bopping up and down while chirping loudly whenever I put on music by Jimi Hendrix. Tweety would chirp softly to the Beatles. Tweety was a true connoisseur of music.
Tweety’s cage stood about 3 feet from the base with a large wood branch extending from the bottom to the top of the cage. There was several little branches shooting out from the main branch and Tweety would perch on the different branches depending on what she wanted to see or hear at that moment. Her favorite jutting branch was toward the top of her cage where Tweety would stand poised like a ballerina about to engage in her own choreograph, which she often did bobbing and weaving to the music.
This particular morning Tweety was on her favorite branch enjoying the music from the radio. The song "Stairway To Heaven" came on the radio for the first time. The song starts very softly with Robert Plant singing in a very beautiful tone. I noticed Tweety was stretched as far as her little body could stretch to get her ear, as close to the speaker as possible. I watched mesmerized at how still and quiet Tweety was during the first part of the song. Normally she would be chirping along with the music. But not today - not during this song.
Suddenly Robert Plant burst out with the verse, "As we wind on down the road," accompanied by a barrage of heavy metal music; going from the soft melodious sound to harsh rock-and-roll. The contrast was startling to poor little Tweety. She fell instantaneously onto the floor of her cage. She looked stunned for a moment but started climbing back up the wood branch by her beak and feet to her favorite perch to finish listening to the song. Tweety listened in complete silence until the song concluded. If Tweety could have been a music critic she would have said, "That was the best song I have ever heard."
After this episode whenever Tweety heard Robert Plant singing she would fall silent and study every tone of his voice. Tweety never did this with any other musician or song only with Robert Plant.
She continued to chirp and dance wildly for Jimi Hendrix and rock to the Beatles. Until the last day of her life she was a dedicated classic rock fan.
To this day when I hear, "Stairway to Heaven" I always picture the rapt attention of Tweety’s little face and I smile.