Blackbird

There are many kinds of blackbirds. These common passerines are found just about everywhere. In the USA, you’ll find red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus – pictured here) and Brewer’s blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus.) You may even be lucky enough to see a tricolored blackbird Agelaius tricolor.) In Europe the likely species is common blackbird (Turdus merula,) a species of thrush.

Why all this fuss about blackbirds?

Because no other bird has a song written about them by the Beatles! Paul McCartney has given differing, contradictory statements regarding both his inspiration for the song and its meaning. In one of these scenarios, he has said he was inspired by hearing the call of a blackbird one morning when the Beatles were studying Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India.

The original recording of the song “Blackbird” was made at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London. The track includes recordings of a male common blackbird.

How successful was the song? Try this experiment.

Go to Google and type “blackbird.” What comes up? The famous song by the Beatles. Now try any other common species – say “blue jay.” The All About Birds guide hits the top spot.

Birds are just as much a part of our artistic lives as they are the natural sciences. The next time you hear “Blackbird” on the radio, or on your streaming playlist, remember that.

Blackbird
The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Songwriters: John Lennon,Paul McCartney
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

If you’d like to hear the song “Blackbird,” you can find it on YouTube here…

Misc

Scott Bourne View All →

Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.

Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.

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