For many Australians, magpies are a regular feature of daily life. Most of the time they’re bustling around urban and rural environments, often noisily. We now know that they can remember our faces, so it pays to be a regular when swooping season starts and magpies warn off strangers. No doubt they go unnoticed by some, but for those of us who are quite fond of them, it’s beyond time for them to be honoured in a song. The Beatles had a song about a blackbird, of course, and Eagle & the Wolf recently released the glorious ‘Currawong’ – but it’s only now that magpies are having their musical moment, thanks to Aurelle Brunjes, a singer-songwriter from Dimbulah, Queensland/Kuku-Yalanji country.
Produced by Michael Muchow, ‘Magpie’ is Brunjes’s debut single – although she’s been writing songs for about five years and performing in bands for ten. It was written when Brunjes was home for an extended time and looked out her window.
‘The house would be so quiet, but outside there were 50 magpies and it was as if they didn’t know I was there, but were everywhere I looked,’ she says.
The song is affectionate and whimsical, honouring the slightly darker side to the magpie’s reputation as well its relationship with humans, as Brunjes offers her tribute in a voice that is definitely more melodic than a magpie’s, but no less charming