“Blackbird singing in the dead of night…” So goes the opening phrase of The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” — a particularly lovely track sung by Paul McCartney on The Beatles LP (a.k.a. The White Album circa 1968). And while the song was purportedly inspired by McCartney hearing the sound of an actual blackbird while traveling in Rishikesh, India (among other things), the bird that we hear included in the mix almost accidentally ended up being the wrong type. Learn more about which bird almost snuck into this unforgettable recording via Scott Freiman’s video below. Then be sure to check out Deconstructing The Beatles videos for more fascinating insights on the Fab Four.
Photo Credit: The Beatles’ Paul McCartney circa 1968/1969 by David Redfern/Redferns courtesy of Getty Images
PS. Hear what Beatlesologist Scott Freiman has to say on “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Penny Lane.”
My understanding is that Blackbird was originally black girl singing inspired by the American black human rights movement that Paul took note of.
Yeah I totally thought this was about authenticity interm of racial identity when I clicked on it.
“Bird” is English slang for “girl” so I always reckoned this song was about black people finding their voice with the Black Rights struggle in the US especially witth the line “all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise”.