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This song is by McDonald and Giles and appears on the album McDonald and Giles (1970).

The Inventor's Dream (O.U.A.T.)

Long ago in Walthamstow
A man he dreamed a singular scheme
Had no wish to join the fish
But he'd sigh "I'd love to fly"

Sat in bed and scratched his head
So absurd to fly like a bird
Time blew past until at last
Late one night he saw the light

Careful hands drew up the plans
Shapes and things like curious wings
Hieroglyphics most prolific
Numbered charts with all of the parts
Now the work starts

The Workshop

Toiled for days on struts and stays
Umpteen screws and numerous glues
Harness leathers and rainbow feathers
Hinges and joints at relevant points

Wishbone Ascension

'Til in the golden dawnbeam sun
He saw that all the work was done
With face aglow ran up the road
To Wishbone Hill, then pausing still
Cast his eyes on distant skies
And slowly moved his arms

Slowly up, then slowly down
Faster up, then faster down
Faster up, then faster down
'Til at last with a swishing sound
He very gently left the ground
('Til at last with a swishing sound
He very gently left the ground)
'Til at last he left the ground

Birdman Flies!


Wings in the Sunset

Weary from his journey
Birdman circled homewards
Gliding through the sunset
He very gently floated down
Down to the ground

Birdman – The Reflection


Music by:

Ian McDonald.

Lyrics by:

Peter Sinfield.


  • "O.U.A.T." is short for "Once upon a time".
  • Walthamstow was the location of Alliott Verdon Roe's attempts to build and fly his early aeroplanes.

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