top of page
  • mattbonnan

"Dinosaur Songs" - the debut single from Once Upon Deep Time

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Hear or download the first single from Once Upon Deep Time: "Dinosaur Songs"is now available on all major streaming platforms and for download.

See the music video now on my YouTube channel!

Meaning of the song

Birds are living dinosaurs. They are not simply related to dinosaurs -- they are, in the literal sense, dinosaurs. We know this from hundreds of feathered dinosaur fossils and from unique anatomy features, such as the wishbone, that appear nowhere else except in birds and the fossil reptiles we call dinosaurs. So, birds are the dinosaurs that survived the mass extinction 66 million years ago.

We inhabit a world populated with living, flying, singing, and talking dinosaurs! Apart from humans, birds are the only other animals that have actually spoken to us. I wrote "Dinosaur Songs" to reflect the fact that as we go through our day to day lives, we seem immune to this magic and unaware of the living past that surrounds us. The song is a reminder that if we just take a moment to listen outside our window, we will hear echoes from the past: there are dinosaur songs in the air!


© 2022 Matthew Bonnan, all rights reserved.

Inspired by all feathered dinosaurs then and now, Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her work with Alex the grey parrot, and the short story "The Great Silence" by Ted Chiang.

You hear but you don’t listen

You hear but you don’t perceive

A message profound was spoken

But not by a human being

One night in the Age of Reptiles

Though we can’t say just when

Feathered dinosaurs began to sing

And everything changed then

So, listen outside your window

There are dinosaur songs in the air

A message echoes from the past

Can you hear us? Are you there?

We go through our days hearing

That which we don’t comprehend

Feathered dinosaurs serenade us

The Age of Reptiles never came to an end

Oh, how can we take this for granted?

When dinosaurs on the wing

Visit us daily, singing their songs

Yet we all look down at our screens

So, listen outside your window

There are dinosaur songs in the air

A message echoes from the past

Can you hear us? Are you there?

Can you hear us? Are you there?

No monkey has ever uttered a word

No dog has ever told us their name

No cat has ever stated their opinion

No other mammal has ever said a thing

But feathered dinosaurs have spoken

Yet we haven’t heard the call

One said, “You be good. I love you”

Will the words ever reach us at all?

Now listen outside your window

There are dinosaur songs in the air

It’s not too late to realize

All the magic that is there

All the past that is near

You can hear us … in the air

Learn More / External Links

Find out more about the evidence that shows birds are the living, feathered dinosaurs among us:

Visit the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Resources for Educators and Students for more information and helpful links:

Visit the Alex Foundation, established by Dr. Irene Pepperberg and named after Alex the grey parrot, which supports research into parrot cognition and the responsible ownership of these birds: Alex's last words were, "You be good. I love you."

Ted Chiang's short story, "The Great Silence," was another source of inspiration for this song - the story asks what if, while we're distracted looking for intelligent life out in space, we are ignoring the intelligent life (parrots) trying to communicate with us right here on earth?


Matthew F. Bonnan, Ph.D.

Paleontologist | Professor | Author | Science Communicator | Singer/Songwriter

bottom of page