Cuckoo Clocks Symbology

Cuckoo Clocks Symbology

The cuckoo has been a symbol of spring and fertility in Europe for at least 800 years. It makes perfect sense that the Black Forest clock makers chose a cuckoo to come out of their clocks. What could be more wonderful than the end of dark winter and the arrival of spring? How clever it was to have a cuckoo pop out of a house and sing about the time of day. Its as if every hour of life should be happy as the arrival of spring and babies.

Cuckoos have continued to be a symbol in our culture. The Cuckoo Song has been sung as a round since the 13th century. In Middle English,the first line of the song is: Summer is Icumen in. The modern version of the song retains that line and then translates the rest of the song into regular English:

And springs the wood anew;The cuckoo has also evolved into a symbol of craziness, but its a happy kind of crazy. This is not surprising since we often talk of spring fever, which means we get a little crazy with joy at the end of winter. An example of this is One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, a famous book written by Ken Kesey in 1962 and awardwinning movie of 1975 starring Jack Nicholson. The movie is about an insane asylum a group of cuckoos is known as an asylum or cooch. The hero of the story is a smalltime crook who pretends to be crazy so he will not have to go to jail. He spends his time in the asylum teaching the inmates how to have fun even in their circumstances.

An interesting thing about cuckoos is that they lay their eggs in other birds nests, thereby leaving their babies to be raised by other parents. This is one reason why the cuckoo is a symbol of fertility. Since they arent busy taking care of babies, the cuckoos have more time for baby making.

Thus, cuckoo clocks bring the bird that symbolizes the joys of spring, prosperity, and fertility into peoples homes. No wonder millions of people love their cuckoo clocks!