One of the world’s longest running radio programmes, BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs, celebrated its seventieth anniversary yesterday. The featured “castaway” for this special episode was the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who chose “Pajaro Campana (The Bell Bird)” as one of his eight pieces of music to accompany him on his theoretical exile. Francisco Yglesia’s 2009 recording of this piece was played in the show!
Of course, Pajaro Campana is one one of the most popular Paraguayan folklore songs, and perhaps the signature tune of the Paraguayan Harp. It is inspired by the distinctive call of the Bell Bird, which is native to the Paraguayan Forest. You can hear the call of the Bell Bird for yourself here.
Pajaro Campana, as performed by Los Paraguayos, also featured in David Attenborough’s first nature program Zoo Quest in the 1950s and early 1960s. Francisco joined the band Los Paraguayos some years later.
You can listen to the full show on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs website, and hear what Sir David has to say about the Pajaro Campana. The full recording is available on iTunes, Amazon, and in most online music stores worldwide.