Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blackbird Fly

Blackbird singin' in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to arrive.

from the Song by Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney wrote this about the civil rights struggle for blacks after reading about race riots in the US. He penned it in his kitchen in Scotland not long after Little Rock, when the federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Arkansas capital's school system. McCartney told Mojo magazine October 2008: "We were totally immersed in the whole saga which was unfolding. So I got the idea of using a blackbird as a symbol for a black person. It wasn't necessarily a black 'bird', but it works that way, as much as then you called girls 'birds'; the Everlys had had Bird Dog, so the word 'bird' was around. 'Take these broken wings' was very much in my mind, but it wasn't exactly an ornithological ditty; it was purposely symbolic."

Only 3 things were recorded: Paul's voice, his acoustic guitar, and a tapping. According to the video The Complete Beatles, the tap was not a foot or metronome - the Master was intentionally scratched. If you listen closely you will notice that is sounds like a scratch on a record. Birds were dubbed in later.

The illustration is a collaged, bleach-stamped,
inked and painted atc.
Available for trade.


  1. Your blackbird atc is absolutely beautiful! And the idea behind it (Paul's lyrics) is great and very important, too. Blackbird is one of my favourite birds: I love to hear it singing in the springtime evenings, and I very much identify myself with an upset blackbird, the noise it makes sounds very familiar... If you would like to trade your blackbird card with one of my available cards, I would be honoured. Take a look at my blog ( and let me know, if you find something that you like. You can e-mail me at EilaAntt(at)

  2. Beautiful Nancy. I love this song and I love blackbirds. We had some nesting in a shrub in our front garden early summer. Bx