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Numberless Needs

by Virgin of the Birds

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Virgin of the Birds returns after 2016’s Secret Kids LP (Song, By Toad / Abandoned Love) with Numberless Needs, an EP of songs marked by late-night lyricism and shimmering electric guitars. Opener “I Fought A Turk” features lead vocals from Scottish songwriter Faith Eliott while “Wisconsin Polka” is a cover of song by Seattle stalwarts the Foghorns, a group that shares both an ethos and membership with the current Virgin of the Birds lineup. “Every Rival” captures that lineup at their most mercurial and ferocious while containing the admonishment “I find you hurtful and conceptually inconsistent.” “In 1970, Across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo Broke the Black Panther Party” and “Peter Stone Brown” both reference, in part, singer-songwriter Jon Rooney’s hometown.


released November 16, 2018

Virgin of the Birds is Jon Rooney, Colin J Nelson, Ken Nottingham and Paul Baudry

Lead vocals and electric guitar on "I Fought A Turk" by Faith Eliott

All songs by Jon Rooney, published by Pilgrim Fear Music (ASCAP)
except for "Wisconsin Polka," which was written by Bart Cameron of the Foghorns. Liberties were taken with the lyrics and arrangement, sorry Bart. You should definitely track down the original version from the 2017 album ".​.​.​on a Dog's Ass Sometime"

Produced by Colin J Nelson
Recorded and mixed by Colin J Nelson at Her Car, Seattle, WA USA
Mastered by Carl Saff, Saff Mastering
Illustration and design by Jon Rooney

Thanks to all of our friends in Seattle and Edinburgh. You are all angels.


all rights reserved



Virgin of the Birds San Francisco, California

Named after a poor English translation of a Salvador Dali painting, Virgin of the Birds treads a line between intimate, lo fi folk and the occasional grandeur of early art rock.

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Track Name: I Fought A Turk
I rowed in the galley
and I fought a Turk
we were chained to the sea
we were forced to work

It was a different time
In a different land
I fought a Turk
With my one good hand

Save your hissing
For someone who's free
I had to fight the Turk
And he had to fight me

I read the Leopard
I painted Blue Hell
I'm half the man I used to be
I can tell, you can tell

You know that you are august
You know that you won't die
You were promised fame and fortune
If you try, you try, you try

So this is Art in America?
This is what we've got?
jewels that we inherited
and style that we bought?

I tried to love the kingdom
Like I love the land
I will try to love the Turk
Like I love the man

Oh God
you will not despise
you will not despise

I sang women in three cities
I showered them with words
I spoon fed Aphrodite
The virgin of the birds
Track Name: In 1970, Across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo Broke the Black Panther Party
In 1970, across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo broke the Black Panther party
He raided their bases and stripped them down naked on the streets before all of their neighbors
"Imagine the Panthers with their pants down" he said
He wanted control, and they wanted him dead
And President Nixon called Rizzo a model police chief

In 1985, I stood in my school uniform and watched West Philadelphia burn
From a bomb that was dropped by the mayor and the cops
the people inside were at war, they were warned
By then, white flight had shuttled nearly all of the Irish out of West Philadelphia
To the row homes and twins in the town where I lived filled with Irish, some Polish, Italians

In 1844, in Lower Manhattan, Protestants threatened the Irish
Who came to America, broken and starving from suffering under the English
But Bishop John Hughes stood up and he warned
touch one Catholic Church and New York will all burn
A century later, an Irishman sat in the White House

In 417, Augustine of Hippo corrected Pelagian errors
On original sin, which we all are born in, and grace and free will that's within us
T.S. Eliot told us, "Ours is in the trying, the rest is none of our business"
And the warnings and burnings are only a part of our nature
Track Name: Peter Stone Brown
It stung like these newer sins
I think the glass is evil now
What wine, what wine
Could wake this antique imagination?

Ideas that were hanging around
Like Peter Stone Brown

And you have known the eyes, in time
Maybe you’ll remember me
We were married in our prime
And you ascended artfully

Mama, put your guns in the ground
For Peter Stone Brown

I flew, my foes beneath me
I was raised to know
Not everyone around me means me well
There’s a heaven up above and there is hell
Not everyone around me means me well
There is heaven up above and there is hell

You know what you mean to me
The temptation of St. Anthony
Chimeras fly above our heads
While the Queen of Sheba showers me

Take your place, prepare to sound
For Peter Stone Brown

We awoke and we were found
Like Peter Stone Brown
Track Name: Every Rival
You scorned me secular
And said I was a savage
These kinds of errors are killing your image at the salon
Where consistency stands tall
They’re not heretical at all, at all, at all

So “savage” I took well
But “secular” I could tell
You tried to hurt me
By decrying I was modern
You tried to paint me in a corner
And claim the Great Codes of Art
Were essentially apart from
Any visions that make this life worth living

I find you hurtful and conceptually inconsistent
I find you hurtful and conceptually inconsistent

Every rival, every sigh
Every name you know me by
Will dissolve into the sea
As we are severing from thee
You were hazy you were white
You were moving in the light
Blazing sacred and offset
You were a novitiate

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