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A Turtle Dove’s Lament

A Turtle Dove’s Lament

I was a Lapwing
I was a Corncrake
I was a Turtle Dove
Between the wars

I fledged a family
In times of prodigality
Feasting on Fumitory
Between the wars

I flew south and I got shot at
I perched with the partridge in the pear tree
But they invented DDT and ignored my rarity
We struggled to survive, true loves
The choice was yours

I kept migrating and I kept hoping
That the countryside would lend a helping hand
But theirs is a land drenched with chemicals
Poisons like Glyphosate they refuse to ban

Theirs is a land of industrial intensity
Mine is a hedgerow and a meadow in flower
Theirs the fields all bleak and empty
And mine are the weeds we knew
Between the wars

Call up the children
Bring me the scientists
Rebuild me a habitat from nest to grave
And I’ll purr my consent
To any government
That offers wildlife a living wage

Go find the farmers who’ll never spray again
Grow up the weeds from the days gone by
Sweet conservation
Hope of this nation
Desert us not, we are
Almost extinct

Lyrics – Chris Packham
Music/Original Lyrics – Billy Bragg