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    Song Title »
Songbird
    Authors »
Christine McVie

    Year Written »
1976

    This Performance »
Date Performance 1976-03-03
Running Time 3:20
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars), Richard Dashut (Produced With), Ken Caillat (Produced With), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By)
CommentsRecorded at Zellerbach Auditorium, U.C. Berkeley (incorrectly spelled in CD liner notes as "Zellerback").
Appears On
Rumours (1977)
Fleetwood Mac
25 Years: The Chain (1992)
Fleetwood Mac
The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac (2002)
Fleetwood Mac
Best Selection (0000)
Fleetwood Mac
Lullabies For Little Dreamers: Soft Rock Classics From Your Favorite Stars (1996)
Various Artists
Rumours (Rhino Remastered Edition) (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1978)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Deluxe Anthology (0000)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
The Best Of Fleetwood Mac (1982)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Anthology Of Classics (1989)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Fleetwood Mac: Guitar Anthology Series (1998)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
The New Best Of Fleetwood Mac For Guitar (1998)
Warner Brothers Publications Inc.
Dreams/Songbird (1977)
Fleetwood Mac

    Lyrics »

For you, there'll be no more crying,
For you, the sun will be shining,
And I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right

To you, I'll give the world
to you, I'll never be cold
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you,
It's alright, I know it's right.

And the songbirds are singing,
Like they know the score,
And I love you, I love you, I love you,
Like never before.

And I wish you all the love in the world,
But most of all, I wish it from myself.

And the songbirds keep singing,
Like they know the score,
And I love you, I love you, I love you,
Like never before, like never before.

    Fan Interpretation »

Seldom can any song invoke the pure emotion that Songbird can. The call for lyric interpretations also invoked quite a varied response as to Songbird’s origins and meaning.

Songbird is most often believed to be about the members of the band, and how the turmoil they were going through was affecting her life. There were hard times between all of them, and the "songbirds" she sings about are all the members of the band. The song shows how much these people meant to her and how big a role they played in her life, and the need for the members of the band to get along with each other and keep on singing.

Others believe Songbird to be about lovers and friends in general. She could have been listening to the birds chirping in the morning and she looked down at the man she was with and thought how wonderful it was and wonderful it was going to be -- and as she hears the birds singing they sing the feelings and confirm them--its about love and how great it is. It could also be a song made up of the kind of promises you pledge when lying in the arms of a lover, late in the night. But these promises seem sad, as though coming after a disagreement, with the songbirds as the only witnesses. They are the kind of promises that come thoughtlessly easy in love that is still new and shiny, but take a much deeper and more sacred meaning after the love has been tested in the fire. It's tarnished but in some way, stronger...like never before. It also openly affirms one lover's sense of responsibility for the power they now feel they have over the other's life. When you truly love someone you don't want them to ever feel a moment of pain...especially pain that you have caused, "but most of all I wish it from myself". This song gets it's tinge of sadness from the fact that, despite your best intentions, you never really have that much control over love at all.

Also, there is a bittersweet tone in the line "and the songbirds keep singing, like they know the score." It just makes you realize that even though there is happiness in a relationship, there will be sadness too. And the lovers or friends don't know the "score", such as when the sadness or tough times will come, what the trying and unhappy situations will be, and what toll they will take on the relationship really are.. Maybe she was also remembering some tough times that they have already been through. "For you there’ll be no more crying, for you the sun will be shining" could be her remembering comforting her lover during those times. The song may not relate to one specific relationship, but to ALL relationships.

Most agree it is song of wishes, much like a lullaby that a mother would sing to her young child. She wants the child to have all kinds of opportunities that she never had, or didn't take advantage of. The mother knows the child will grow up someday, but with this lullaby the child will always know how much their mother loves them. Here, the songbirds are like the watchers and the prophets.

It’s also felt that Songbird acts as a counterpoint to the anger of some of the other Rumours songs such as 'Go Your Own Way'. It’s nice and soothing to hear "It's alright, you know it's right," and " I love you like never before". She may have meant it to have that soothing effect, and maybe she knew that there would be tension on the record and that it needed a song like Songbird to be a relief from that tension.

In Christine McVie’s own words, Songbird is "about nobody and everybody…in retrospect, it’s like an anthem…a little prayer of sorts." What words could more aptly describe this incredible song.

(The interpretations to these lyrics were compiled through discussions on the message boards of the Penguin, The Ledge. It is entirely possible that the artists had something completely different in mind.)

    Tabs »
"Songbird" -- Rumours, copyright 1977 by Gentoo Music, Inc. 
As transcribed by Welsh and converted to HTML by Marty Adelson
(Return to the previous discography)


Gentle strum


Chords-

 F               C              Bflat           Gminor          Dminor
[----1----]	[----0----]	[----1----]	[----3----]	[----5----]
[----1----]	[----1----]	[----3----]	[----3----]	[----6----]
[----4----]	[----0----]	[----3----]	[----3----]	[----7----]
[----3----]	[----2----]	[----3----]	[----5----]	[----7----]
[----3----]	[----3----]	[----1----]	[----5----]	[----5----]
[----1----]	[----0----]	[----X----]	[----3----]	[----X----]


Intro-    II:      F      I      C      :II        F       I       %       I

    Bflat                    F             Bmin                 F
For you, there'll be no more crying,/  For you, the sun will be shining,

      Gmin       Bflat        Dmin            Bflat                F     I   %  I   %   I   %   I   
And I feel that when I'm with you,/      It's alright, I know it's right

   Bflat               F         Bmin                F
To you, I'll give the world/  To you, I'll never be cold

         Gmin      Bflat         Dmin           Bflat                  F     I   %  I   %   I   %   I 
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you,/     It's alright, I know it's right

         C             Bflat                         Dmin
And the songbirds are singing,/  Like they know the score,

      Gmin                    C                          F       I    %    I
And I love you, I love you, I love you,/   Like never before.

      Gmin     Bflat    Dmin       Bflat          C                            F    I   %   I
And I wish you all the love in the world,/   But most of all, I wish it from myself.

        C               Bflat                         Dmin                     
And the songbirds keep singing,/   Like they know the score,

      Gmin         C                                    F                 C        I  C (hold) I
And I love you, I love you, I love you,/   Like never before, like never before.

    Other Performances »
Performance #1:
Date Performance 1982-10-22
Running Time 3:21
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals)
CommentsRecorded at the Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles
Appears On
In Concert Mirage Tour '82 (1984)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #2:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 3:15
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Appears On
The Dance (1997)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #3:
Date Performance 1977-08-25
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), John McVie (Bass)
CommentsRecorded at the Aladdin Theatre Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada
Appears On
Sin City (1977)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #4:
Date Performance 1979-11-00
Running Time 3:27
Performers Christine McVie (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), John McVie (Bass)
Comments(Live)
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac Documentary And Live Concert (1980)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #5:
Date Performance 1983-12-16
Running Time 3:08
Performers Christine McVie (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Todd Sharp (Acoustic Guitar)
CommentsRecorded/filmed live at the Country Club in Reseda, California.
Appears On
Christine McVie: The Video Album (1984)
Christine McVie
Performance #6:
Date Performance 1987-12-00
Running Time 3:16
Performers Christine McVie (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Billy Burnette (Guitar), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Rick Vito (Guitar), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Rick Vito (Vocals), Billy Burnette (Vocals), (Is(s)aac) As(s)ante (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Backup Singer), Lori Perry-Nicks/Perry/Nicks (Backup Singer), Elis(e)cia Wright (Backup Singer), Dan Garfield (Additional Keyboards), Dan Garfield (Programming)
CommentsRecorded live at The Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA 12/12/87 & 12/13/87
Appears On
Tango In The Night (1988)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #7:
Date Performance 1998-00-00
Running Time 3:26
Performers Duncan Sheik (Vocals), Duncan Sheik (Producer)
Commentsby Duncan Sheik
Appears On
Legacy: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (1998)
Various Artists
Performance #8:
Date Performance 1997-00-00
Running Time 5:04
Performers Christine McVie (Vocals), Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums)
Appears On
Classic Albums: Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (1998)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #9:
Date Performance 1976-03-03
Running Time 3:20
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Christine McVie (Vocals), Christine McVie (9 Foot Steinway Grand Piano), Lindsey Buckingham (Acoustic Guitar)
CommentsRecorded at Zellerbach Auditorium, U.C. Berkeley (incorrectly spelled in CD liner notes as "Zellerback").
Appears On
Rumours (DVD Audio) (2001)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #10:
Date Performance 1976-00-00
Running Time 3:12
Sound Clip Listen.
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitars), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Percussion)
CommentsRough Mix from Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, California, May 21st, 1976-August 19th, 1976.
Appears On
Rumours (Rhino Remastered Edition) (2004)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #11:
Date Performance 1982-10-22
Running Time 3:21
Performers Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals)
CommentsRecorded at the Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles
Appears On
Westwood One Radio Networks Show: 6/16/84 (1984)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #12:
Date Performance 1997-06-00
Running Time 3:15
Performers Stevie Nicks (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Vocals), Lindsey Buckingham (Guitar), Christine McVie (Keyboards), Christine McVie (Vocals), John McVie (Bass), Mick Fleetwood (Drums), Brett Tuggle (Keyboards), Brett Tuggle (Guitars), Brett Tuggle (Background Vocals), Neale Heywood (Guitar), Neale Heywood (Background Vocals), Lenny Castro (Percussion), Sharon Celani (Background Vocals), Mindy Stein (Background Vocals)
Appears On
Silver Springs/Go Your Own Way/Songbird/Gypsy (1997)
Fleetwood Mac
Temporary One/Silver Springs/Songbird/Gypsy (1997)
Fleetwood Mac
Performance #13:
Date Performance 1978-00-00
Appears On
Fleetwood Mac Songbook (1978)
Dancers Image
Performance #14:
Date Performance 1978-00-00
Running Time 2:57
Performers Rita Coolidge (Vocals)
Appears On
Love Me Again (1978)
Rita Coolidge
Performance #15:
Date Performance 1996-00-00
Performers Eva Cassidy (Vocals), Chris Biondo (Produced By)
CommentsPerformed by Eva Cassidy (Courtesy of Fleetwood Mac music and Blix Street Records)
Appears On
Mr. Music (1998)
Feature Film/TV Episode
Performance #16:
Date Performance 2001-00-00
Running Time 4:22
Performers Deborah/Debbie (Louise) Bonham (Vocals), Pete(r) (James) Bullick (Guitars), Mo Foster (Bass Guitar), Christian Henson (Keyboards)
CommentsDeborah Bonham: 'My friend John Dominic suggested I did a version of this, so I did and this is for him........'
Appears On
The Old Hyde (2001)
Deborah/Debbie (Louise) Bonham

    Comments »

(C) Copyright 1977 Published and controlled by Fleetwood Mac Music (BMI)/Gentoo Music, Inc. (BMI)/Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (BMI) All rights reserved/Copyright Renewed. International Copyright Secured. Used by permission. Administered by Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc. for U.S. and Canada.

    Reviews »
Add your review of Songbird here.

    Last Modified »
2011-09-21

    Discography Credits »
Interpretation prepared by Stewy, Mariah, Leigh, Janet, Lisa Anne, Mary Alice, and Nicole. Tabs prepared by Welsh.