Sunday, March 5, 2017

Guess Who – "These Eyes" (1969)

These eyes
Are crying

From a 2013 article in the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper:

Scientists have observed extraordinary displays of emotion from elephants. When one tame animal called Abu died at a safari outfit in Botswana, his keepers brought the other elephants to say “goodbye.” 

One female, Cathy, was seen crying from both eyes, tears streaming down her face.

Raj before his release
Other British newspapers have reported that tears ran down the face of Raju, an abused elephant who was kept in shackles for 50 years, when rescuers freed him from his chains, and that a newborn elephant wept for five hours after his mother rejected him.

Do elephants cry real tears?  

Charles Darwin thought so.  The famous scientist’s 1899 book, Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, stated that the Indian elephant wept when it was distressed or felt despair.  

Is this baby elephant crying
because his mother rejected him?
There is no doubt that elephants and many other mammals produce tears – which help wash away irritants and protect the eye from bacterial infections.  It is also accepted that many species utter crying noises when distressed.  

Many scientists believe that only humans shed tears because they are sad.  

But Marc Bekoff, a University of Colorado professor who is an expert in animal cognition, has written that “solid scientific research supports the view that elephants and other nonhuman animals weep as part of an emotional response.”

Bekoff cites peer-reviewed journal articles reporting on laughing rats and dogs and empathic chickens and mice in support of his view that human exceptionalism is a myth, and that “speciesism” is no different from racism and sexism.

One of Professor Bekoff's books
Click here to read an article by Bekoff that decries speciesism.

Check back in a couple of days to read about another crying-related topic – lachrymatory bottles, or tear vials.

*     *     *     *     *

How many songs are there about tears?  (How many grains of sand are there at the beach?)

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, the Four Seasons, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, and dozens – maybe hundreds – of others have recorded songs about crying.

The Guess Who
The Guess Who formed in Winnipeg in the early sixties and had a number of hits in Canada before breaking through on the U.S. charts with “These Eyes” – one of my favorite crying songs – which made it all the way to #6 on the Billboard “Hot 100” in early 1969.

(When my kids were young and this song came on the radio, I'd say “Guess Who is singing this song.”  They would ask, “Who?,” and I would answer, “Guess Who!”  And they would ask . . . well, you get the idea.)

Here’s “These Eyes”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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