03 February 2012

Black History Sound Bites: Nibble 3

This morning I found myself listening to Michael McDonald, chiefly through the Doobie Brothers. To get back to talking about poetry for a minute, MM has a voice that's, in my mind anyway, pure poetry ... it absolutely crushes me. Unfortunately, I can't (yet) validate making him a BHSB--but trying to figure out how to make that work pulled my mind in the direction of another "nontraditional" sound bite that I think works. So here we go ...

Blackbird (1968)

"I wanted my freedom ... like everybody else did."~D Bryant
"Blackbird" is a song any Beatles fan is familiar with ... it's a song that probably most non-Beatles-fans are familiar with. Beyond the original recording by the Beatles in the summer of 1968 (it was released on The White Album in November of that year), the song has been recorded by everyone from Sarah McLachlan to Bobby McFerrin.

The story behind the song crosses water to fly from the heart of Scotland to the depths of the American South in response to the Civil Rights Movement. In an interview with Dallas, Texas's KCRW Radio, Paul McCartney stated that the song was inspired by "the black people's struggle in the southern states."He would go on to state at another time that "bird" is slang for "girl," making the title "Blackbird" symbolic of the image of a "Black woman" "waiting for [her] moment to arise" in the face of racial prejudice in America.

Enjoy the Beatle's simple yet powerful recording:
And just for good measure, here's Bobby McFerrin's version, which ... well, just listen, you'll see:



  1. Liked both versions but Bobby McFerrin's creative interpretation just blew me away (pun intended)!

  2. He's really a wonder, isn't he?! I never cease to be amazed!


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