LYRICS & CHORDS (words & music by Lennon/McCartney)
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, (G Am7 G/B) Take these broken wings and learn to fly. (C A7 D7 D#dim Em Eb+) All your life, (G/D A7/C# C Cm) You were only waiting for this moment to arise. (G/B A7 D7 G)
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, (G Am7 G/B) Take these sunken eyes and learn to see. (C A7 D7 D#dim Em Eb+) All your life, (G/D A7/C# C Cm) You were only waiting for this moment to be free. (G/B A7 D7 G)
Blackbird fly (F Em Dm C Bb C) Blackbird fly (F Em Dm C Bb A7) Into the light of a dark, black night. (D7 G)
(C G/B A7, D7 G)
NOTE: The chords are an approximation as McCartney's guitar part is minimalistic and some of the chords are suggested rather than played in full. My version here is fairly close to the original but taken at a slightly slower tempo.
Recorded in 2008 in my home studio using Adobe Audition.
Vocals and guitar recorded live using a crossed stereo pair of Behringer C2 mics. Some additional vocals added later for double-tracking effect.
"Blackbird" is a Beatles song from the double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). Blackbird was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon-McCartney.
McCartney explained on PBS's Great Performances (Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road), aired in 2006, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by J.S. Bach's Bourrée in E minor, a well known lute piece, often played on the classical guitar. As children, he and George Harrison tried to learn Bourrée as a "show off" piece. The Bourrée is distinguished by melody and bass notes played simultaneously on the upper and lower strings. McCartney adapted a segment of the Bourrée (reharmonized into the original's relative major key of G) as the opening of "Blackbird," and carried the musical idea throughout the song.
"I had been doing poetry readings. I had been doing some in the last year or so because I've got a poetry book out called Blackbird Singing, and when I would read "Blackbird", I would always try and think of some explanation to tell the people, 'cause there's not a lot you can do except just read the poem, you know, you read 10 poems that takes about 10 minutes, almost. It's like, you've got to, just, do a bit more than that. So, I was doing explanations, and I actually just remembered why I'd written "Blackbird", you know, that I'd been, I was in Scotland playing on my guitar, and I remembered this whole idea of "you were only waiting for this moment to arise" was about, you know, the black people's struggle in the southern states, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It's not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken, you know, it's a bit more symbolic." - Paul McCartney, Interview with KCRW's Chris Douridas, May 25, 2002 episode of New Ground (17:50 - 19:00)
The first night his future wife Linda Eastman stayed at his home, McCartney played "Blackbird" for the fans camped outside his house.
The song was recorded on 11 June 1968 in EMI Studios, with George Martin as the producer and Geoff Emerick as the audio engineer. It is a solo performance with McCartney playing a Martin D28 acoustic guitar. The track includes recordings of a blackbird singing in the background.
The instrumentation is tapping, guitar, vocal and birdsong overdub. The tapping is a metronome which was deliberately included in the final mix. The mono version contains bird sounds different from the stereo recording, and was originally issued on a mono incarnation of The Beatles (it has since been issued worldwide as part of The Beatles in Mono CD box set). ________________________ LIST OF COVER VERSIONS OF BLACKBIRD
Agua De Annique Chris Barber Judy Collins Andrea Corr Crosby, Stills & Nash Dave Matthews Band John Denver Neil Diamond José Feliciano Foo Fighters Grateful Dead Dave Grohl Herbie Hancock Ramsey Lewis Marillion Jesse McCartney Bobby McFerrin Sarah McLachlan Jaco Pastorius Bernadette Peters Phish Billy Preston Corinne Bailey Rae S Club 7 Arturo Sandoval Elliott Smith Carly Smithson U2 Sarah Vaughan The Waterboys Evan Rachel Wood Neil Young