I’ll bet that most of you know the song, “Bye Bye Blackbird.” Legions of people have recorded it, including Joe Cocker and Paul McCartney. Here are the lyrics everyone seems to know:
Pack up all my care and woe,
Here I go,
Bye bye blackbird,
Where somebody waits for me,
Sugar’s sweet, so is she,
No one here can love or understand me,
Oh, what hard luck stories they all hand me,
Make my bed and light the light,
I’ll be home late tonight,
Blackbird bye bye.
I’ve sung it countless times, but I had never really thought about the lyrics until the other night (no idea what brought it on). “Blackbird?” What’s that about?
I found on You Tube the original recording, which was done in 1926, and I learned why the song, as we commonly know it, doesn’t make much sense. The reason is that what we know as the song is really only the chorus. There are two verses, which clear things up a bit. There’s even a bluebird involved.
Have a listen:
My curiosity was satisfied simply by hearing the chorus sandwiched between the two verses, but I see that other folks have analyzed the lyrics and have opined that the song is about a prostitute who is leaving the trade and going home to mom. Damned if I know. I’ll think about that another time.
It’s a great song.