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Song by Irish band The Frames, from their fourth album, 'For The Birds'. This song is one of the few loud and brash songs on their latest album, and yet it flows along at a relaxed pace. The vocals are especially noteworthy for their showcasing of the crystal-clear arpeggiation in singer Glen Hansard's voice, and they are clearly audible despite the raging guitars in the background.

The song has been likened to "early Flaming Lips-style weirdness", and it certainly has its strange moments. At the end of the song, there are several repetitions of the principal (and fairly unusual) chord progression, before the song ends by crash-landing into a confused, distorted, space-age sounding heap. Apparently, towards the end of the recording of the song, singer Glen Hansard took the reel of tape and slowly turned it backwards. The rest of the band were horrified, shouting "Glen... no!". And of course, the result remained on the album as a startling surprise to all first-time listeners.

The early bird - he slips away
And he lives to fly another day
He only serves - to point the way
That you should or should not ever take

Two simple birds - that never stray
When the lights go out on us
Just before when we were found

We'll not rush... it
We'll enjoy... it
We'll not touch... it
We'll rejoice... it

The early bird - he knows his place
And he'll stay all day there if he has to

He never hides - or runs away
When the voices crowd on his
Cry so loud that you will die

The Early Bird is also a form of clipping service run by the United States Department of Defense. Every day, defense-related news items are selected from a wide range of publications and assembled into a newsletter, then distributed to American military and DoD personnel around the world. Originally, it was done via a vast 'phone tree' of fax machines; in recent times, it has moved to keep up with the world and is now disseminated by email or via the web. Access to it is restricted to authorized personnel mostly for copyright reasons (as well as habitual military reflexes not to give anything to anyone who can't produce an ironclad reason that they need it - and sometimes not even then).

The Early Bird is now, I believe, the responsibility of DTIC - the Defense Technical Information Center. Various links around the net point to a server named ebird.dtic.mil, but I suspect that DNS entry is only resolvable (and the server only reachable) from .mil or otherwise 'authorized' addresses.

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