In this season of thankfulness, I would like to take a moment to declare my gratitude for the existence of Jon Rooney/Virgin of the Birds. Since his first appearance way back on Volume 5, he’s been one of the most consistent musical contributors to this endeavor – and for the past couple years he’s been pretty much the only consistent written contributor to this here blog, apart from yours truly. (Oh, and he designed the poster for the BoW 42 show too – is there anything he can’t do?)
On the music side, I’m pretty sure Jon/Virgin of the Birds has answered the call for every themed volume since Volume 8 (instrumentals). (I could be wrong, but who has time for research?) He was part of both Harry Candy volumes, he shared some foul language on Volume 13, busted out a one minute single for Volume 18, brilliantly interpreted “Fatal Flower Garden” for our Harry Smith tribute, shared songs of love and protest last year . . . and on and on. Long story short: Jon Rooney is both gifted and game, which are my favorite attributes in a musician. His “The Meaning of Life” raises more questions than it answers, as seems appropriate, but it’s another fine entry in the VotB oeuvre. There’s no chorus per se: the closest thing is the C part, with the repeated line “it’s the same as jazz, it’s the same as the symphony,” but as catchy as it is, it never comes back. Not unlike Christopher Kelley’s track (and again, not unlike life), this song does one thing and then another and then another and then it ends. May all our lives be as rewarding and full of nuance and unexpected pleasures as this tune, and may we all aspire to be as good, giving, and game* as Jon Rooney.