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Author Topic: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing  (Read 3227 times)

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nimrod

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Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« on: June 10, 2013, 08:56:19 AM »

You tell me that you've got everything you want
And your bird can sing
But you don't get me, you don't get me

You say you've seen seven wonders and your bird is green
But you can't see me, you can't see me

When your prized possessions start to wear you down
Look in my direction, I'll be round, I'll be round

When your bird is broken will it bring you down
You may be awoken, I'll be round, I'll be round

You tell me that you've heard every sound there is
And your bird can swing
But you can't hear me, you can't hear me



While most American Beatles enthusiasts became familiar with “And Your Bird Can Sing” from its inclusion on the multi-million selling album “Yesterday…And Today,” younger fans undoubtedly got to know it from its prominent use on The Beatles Cartoon series.  The song was used as the theme of the TV series during its 1967 season which featured animated shots of the group interspersed with actual 1967 still photos of the individual group members.

Although this young audience couldn’t make heads or tails of the lyrics, neither could fans of any age.  It was, instead, the irresistible musical interplay of the guitar work and the harmonic vocal texture that became its attractive focal point.  As the book “The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Beatles” suggests, “The track may have been fancy paper ‘round an empty box, but the package sounded so good that no-one cared.”

The best way to decipher some substance to “And Your Bird Can Sing,” I feel, is to examine where John’s head was at during the time the song was written.  On March 4th, 1966, a journalist friend of the Lennon’s, Maureen Cleave, conducted an interview with the Beatle which was first published in the “London Evening Standard.”  While John’s comment in this article about the Beatles being “more popular than Jesus” is what caught the most attention, his views on materialism was quite telling, the substance of which appears to rear its head into the song in question.

“Famous and loaded as I am,” John relates in this interview, “I still have to meet soft people.  It often comes into my mind that I’m not really rich.  There are really rich people but I don’t know where they are.”  The article also mentions many of John’s “prized possessions” that he has displayed in his Weybridge home, such as a suit of armor named “Sidney,” a room full of model racing cars that he’d lost interest in, a swimming pool, a Rolls Royce (with a television, folding bed, refrigerator and telephone installed inside), a huge alter crucifix, and a gorilla suit (“That’s the only suit that fits me”).  Maureen Cleave states in the article:  “One feels that his possessions – to which he adds daily – have got the upper hand.”

With this in mind, the lyrical content of “And Your Bird Can Sing” surprisingly becomes a little clearer.  Disguised as a love song, John addresses the well-to-do female in question with the statement “You tell me that you’ve got everything you want…”  And then, in a sarcastic or hyperbolic “all this and heaven too” tone, he continues “…and your bird can sing” as if to infer that there is nothing on this earth that she couldn’t acquire for herself.  His point is then made clear by stating “you don’t get me,” ‘getting’ referring to understanding.  In fact, the real life 1966 John Lennon was someone that most people didn’t “get.”  Maureen Cleave herself describes him in the above article as “unpredictable, indolent, disorganized, childish, vague, charming, and quick-witted.”

The second verse continues this same line of reasoning but this time focusing on what the girl had seen instead of gotten.  She had “seen seven wonders,” no doubt referring to the seven wonders of the world, then extravagantly and sarcastically continuing the statement with “…and your bird is green,” which probably is no more significant than the color green being something that also can be seen.  The thought is then appropriately concluded with “you can’t see me,” suggesting his being unattainable for her.

Putting things in a nutshell, the first bridge has John instructing her to look in his “direction” whenever her “prized possessions” begin to ‘weigh her down.’  “I’ll be ‘round,” he assures as a hopeful suitor would.  Then, in a perceived fit of silliness (or drug influence, or both), the second bridge goes way off the beaten path by referring to her bird being “broken” and then being “awoken,” which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything.  Unpredictable indeed.

The last verse continues the pattern of the first two but this time in the category of hearing.  The woman has “heard every sound there is” but she can’t “hear” John.  Curiously, the current hyperbolic reference to the bird shows that it “can swing,” possibly a reference to dancing to music.  Or maybe just another case of silliness.  Maybe these lyrics are the reason why John and Paul fell into a fit of laughter during the recording of the first recorded version of the song.

One thing we can note with certainty is that the title phrase “and your bird can sing” actually only appears once in the song, which is in the first verse.  Soon there will come a time when Beatles songs won’t have the title in the lyrics at all, such as “Yer Blues,” “Old Brown Shoe” and “For You Blue.”


PERSONEL:

John Lennon - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1965 Epiphone 230TD Casino), tambourine, handclaps
Paul McCartney - Bass Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 4001S), Lead Guitar (1962 Epiphone 230TD Casino) Harmony Vocals, handclaps
George Harrison –  Lead Guitar (1965 Epiphone 230TD Casino), Harmony Vocals, handclaps
Ringo Starr –  Drums (1964 Ludwig Super Classic Black Oyster Pearl), handclaps 

Written and compiled by Dave Rybaczewski
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 12:26:10 AM »

Always liked it. Great John rocker. Everybody was in top form for that song.

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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 12:40:54 AM »

I'm one of those who first heard And Your Bird Can Sing on the Yesterday…And Today LP.  A year later, it was the theme for the Saturday morning Beatles cartoon TV show, then in its third (and final) season (1967-8)...


Beatles Cartoon Opening



Yes, I used to watch those cartoons every Saturday morning for the three years I was in high school.  I was not to be disturbed!  :)

So of course I like this song.  When I studied guitar a few years later, I realized why this song sounded so good and why I liked it so much.  There was some superb dual guitar harmony played by George and Paul on this song.  Rob Taylor, in his Beatles To A Tee instructional video series, shows how this was done...


The Beatles - And Your Bird Can Sing (Beatles To A Tee)



Beautiful, huh?

I even like the early version, with the laughs...

And Your Bird Can Sing // Anthology 2 // Disc 1 // Track 19 (Stereo)



 :)



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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 02:25:19 AM »

Love those duelling guitars Baz :)

I wonder how they came up with that fantastic Riff ?

sounds like they'd been on the whacky Bakky on the anthology :D
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 02:41:00 AM »

Love those duelling guitars Baz :)

I wonder how they came up with that fantastic Riff ?

That's the genius of John, Paul and George right there, Kev.



sounds like they'd been on the whacky Bakky on the anthology :D

I'd say so!   ;D
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 02:58:04 AM »

The Beatles - And Your Bird Can Sing - 2009 Remaster [Stereo]



The Beatles- 09- And Your Bird Can Sing (2009 Mono Remaster)



The Beatles - "And Your Bird Can Sing" (Early Mono Mix   Yesterday...And Today)




I love this song!
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 11:47:53 AM »

AYBCS and Dear Prudence I think are my favorite Beatle tunes. Thanks for the guitar demo and the remasters. Awsome song!
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 01:11:22 PM »


Yep. One of the best.

Somewhere (probably in these forums) I read that the lyrics were aimed at Cynthia, being just before their breakup.

Great guitars, vocals, etc.

 :)

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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 10:57:58 PM »

Good Vids Baz ;)

great bass line from Paul !!
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 11:15:23 PM »

great bass line from Paul !!


And your bird can sing - The Beatles (isolated bass track) (vocals)
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 12:23:18 AM »

Just Paul's bass...

The Beatles - And Your Bird Can Sing - Bass Only




Magnificent!!
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 04:05:33 AM »

I have never paid much attention to this song... this thread may change that!
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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 09:19:40 AM »

Baz the champion youtube wizard :D

good stuff pal !!
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 04:00:14 AM »

I have never paid much attention to this song... this thread may change that!

I hope it does, KE.  After all, you tell me that you've heard every sound there is, but you really haven't heard this.   ;)
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 04:05:09 AM »

That's Paul's Rickenbacker 4001S, Kev...





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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 04:17:30 AM »

Baz the champion youtube wizard :D

good stuff pal !!
Yay!!!! It took me a while to realize who Baz is ... hehehe!
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2013, 04:37:19 AM »

Yay!!!! It took me a while to realize who Baz is ... hehehe!

Or Bazza.    ;D
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2013, 04:59:09 AM »

From 1967...


Beatles Cartoon - And Your Bird Can Sing



At last we know the true meaning of this song.  It's about the rare and wily Green Double-breasted Tropical Worsted.    ;)
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2013, 09:31:52 AM »

I recall reading once that John was inspired by Frank Sinatra a little, with the bird reference.

Around this time, Frankie's favourite word was 'bird'. He would greet people with 'how's your bird?'

Meaning, 'how are you going?'   And he would use the word bird just in all his sentences, it was the phrase of the day.

Not sure where I read that. Might be more info in wiki.
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Re: Song Of The week - And Your Bird Can Sing
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2013, 05:04:02 PM »

I recall reading once that John was inspired by Frank Sinatra a little, with the bird reference.

Around this time, Frankie's favourite word was 'bird'. He would greet people with 'how's your bird?'

Meaning, 'how are you going?'   And he would use the word bird just in all his sentences, it was the phrase of the day.

Not sure where I read that. Might be more info in wiki.


stevie, I found this article...


Talk Like Frank Sinatra
by Brett and Kate McKay





Old Blue Eyes. The Chairman of the Board. Frank Sinatra was the epitome of American male coolness. When he walked into any room, his confident swagger created an electric charge. Women wanted to be with him and men wanted to be him.
Part of Sinatra’s manly and cool presence came from the way he talked. See, Frank had a way of livening up every part of life, even the English language. He peppered casual conversations with phrases and words that to the uninitiated sounded like a bunch of gibberish. Yet it left people intrigued, and wanting to be part of the seemingly exclusive fraternity that used this secret lingo. It not only created a magnetic attraction, but simply sounded damn cool.
Below is a dictionary of the secret man language of Frank Sinatra. Throw a few of these words into your conversations among friends. You’ll probably get a few raised eyebrows but like Frank, you’ll add spark to even the most mundane interactions.

Bag — As in “my bag,” a person’s particular interest.
Barn burner — A very stylish, classy woman.
Beard — A male friend who acts as a ‘cover,’ usually for extramarital affairs.
Beetle — A girl who dresses in flashy clothes.
Big-leaguer — A resourceful man who can handle any situation.
Bird — A euphemism sometimes used in reference to the pelvic section.
Bombsvllle — Any kind of failure in life.
Broad — Affectionate term for a girl or woman with sex appeal.
Bum – A person who is despised, most frequently linked to people in the media.
Bunter – A man who fails in almost everything he does, the opposite of gasser.
Charley – A general term for anyone whose name has been forgotten. See also Sam.
Chick – A young and invariably pretty girl.
Clam-bake – A party or get-together.
Clyde – A word used to cover a multitude of personal observations: viz “I don’t like her clyde” means “I don’t like her voice,” etc.
Cool – A term of admiration for a person or place. An alternative word meaning the same thing is crazy.
Creep – A man who is disliked for any reason whatsoever.
Crumb – Someone for whom it is impossible to show respect.
Dame – A generally derogatory term for a probably unattractive woman. The word dog is also sometimes substituted.
Dig – A term of appreciation for a person or thing, as in “I dig her,”
Dying – As in “I’m dying” which means “I’m slightly upset.”
End – A word to signify that someone or something is the very best.
Endsville – A term to express total failure, and similar to bombsville. See ville.
Fink – A man who cannot be relied upon, whose loyalties are suspect.
First base – The start of something, usually applied in terms of failure when someone has failed to reach it.
Fracture – As in “That fractures me,” meaning “That’s an amusing joke.”
Gas – A great situation as in “The day was a gas.”
Gasoline – A term for alcohol, more specifically, Frank’s favourite drink, Jack Daniel’s Bourbon Whisky.
Gasser – A man or woman highly admired, considered to be the best or “The End!”
Gofer – Someone who does menialjobs or runs errands, as in “go for drinks,” etc.
Good night all – A term of invective to change the subject of conversation.
Groove – As in “in the groove,” a term of admiration or approval.
Harvey – A man or woman who acts in a stupid or naive fashion; sometimes shortened to a “Harve.”
Hacked – A word used to describe someone who is angry, as in “He’s hacked off.”
Hello! –A cry of surprise to no one in particular when a beautiful woman is seen.
Hunker – A jack-of-all-trades rather like the gofer.
Jokes – A term used to describe an actor’s lines in a film script.
Let’s lose Charley – A term used among intimates who want to get rid of a bore in their company.
Locked-up – As in “All locked-up,” a term for a forthcoming date or engagement, private or public.
Loser – Anyone who has made a mess of their life, drinks too much, makes enemies, etc.
Mish-mash – Similar to loser but refers specifically to a woman who is mixed up.
Mouse – Usually a small, very feminine girl who invites being cuddled.
Nowhere – A term of failure, usually applied to a person, viz “He’s nowhere.”
Odds – Used in connection with important decisions, as in “The odds aren’t right,” meaning not to go somewhere, accept anything or buy something.
Original loser – A man or woman without talent; sometimes more fully expressed as “He (she) is the original Major Bowes Amateur Hour loser.”
Platinum – Having a big heart, generous. “You’re platinum, girl privatecat!”
Player – Term for a man who is a gambler by nature, who makes friends easily, and never gives up trying.
Punks – Any undesirable, in particular mobsters, gangsters or criminals.
Quin – Derisive term for any girl or woman who is an easy pick-up.
Rain – As in “I think it’s going to rain” indicating that it is time to leave a dull gathering or party.
Ring-a-ding – A term of approval for a beautiful girl, viz “What a ring-a-ding broad!”
Sam – Used in the same way as Charley for a person whose name has been forgotten, most often applied to females.
Scam – To cheat at gambling, as in “Hey, what’s the scam?”
Scramsville – To run off.
Sharp – A person who dresses well and with style.
Smashed – A word used to describe someone who is drunk. On occasions it has been replaced with “p*ssed.”
Square – A person of limited character, not unlike a harvey.
Swing – v. To hang out and drink, smoke, sing, generally get real loose.
Tomato – As in “a ripe tomato” a woman ready for seduction or even marriage.
Twirl – A girl who loves dancing. An alternative word with the same meaning is a “Twist.”
Ville – A suffix used to indicate changes in any given situation. See endsville, etc.
Wow-ee wow wow- An expression of glee, joyful anticipation and a euphemism for lubricious fun.
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