Sounds Like... is our monthly series of songs and music representing a different theme. Midsummer’s day (longest day, shortest night) and the shortest day (December 21st, but oddly we don’t call it mid-winter’s day) are the opposites of our year, every year.

But what about the two dates half way between? 21st March and 21st September each year are the spring and Vernal Equinox days when there is 12 hours of day and 12 hours of darkness – and this is the mind-bending part – all over the planet. For a full explanation of this earth-tilting phenomenon, read this:

For those of us here in Yorkshire (and most of the UK, for that matter) these don’t feel like ‘half way’ days at all, as we are just starting to see new beginnings. The daffodils are out, there’s a lamb or two to be seen in any fields we happen to pass, we can go out into the garden or for a walk after tea and it’s still light.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had some spectacularly clear and sunny days – the ones where you can see a long way with great clarity. We understand they’re better than usual because of reduced air pollution from traffic. Jimmy Cliff explains it better than us:

Robert Schumann
wrote a Spring Symphony, among (of course) many other things. Schumann dedicated himself to music in his 20s, after studying the law – so even in the 19th century, artists had the dilemma of choosing a reliable way of earning a living or taking a risk by dedicating themselves to their arts. That was one of his new beginnings; he hoped to be a concert pianist, but a hand injury made this impossible, so he took to composing. He was also affected by mental illness (bipolar disorder) for all of his life. Schumann’s life was – like many of our own – marked by cycles of disappointment and renewal.

Something else that comes with spring is birdsong, and among our favourites in the office is the Blackbird. Blackbirds can be quite loud and have a habit of sitting at the top of a tree so the sound carries further. They’re also clever musicians, with loads of variety in their song:

We've also featured this song so many times before, but it is obviously relevant in so many ways. We think it can be a hopeful song too...