History of the song "Blackbird" by the Beatles (1968)
Not many people know, but the famous Beatles composition known as "Blackbird" is a sort of protest to all the racial unrest that was going on in the United States in the late 60s and early 70s....
History of Creation
Paul McCartney wrote the song in his kitchen in Scotland, shortly after the Little Rock racial incident. The musician later recalled:
"I was sitting idle with my acoustic guitar in my hands, and I was thinking about the racial issues, the riots that were going on in the 60's in Alabama - particularly in Little Rock... And I thought it would be really nice if I could write something encouraging for all African Americans! Something that would give them hope... So 'Blackbird' was born..."
Curious fact, but originally "Blackbird" consisted of only three sounds: Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, McCartney's voice and... a mysterious tapping sound. Oh that tapping sound... Some people think it's a metronome. But in the video "The Beatles Anthology" you can see that it's Paul tapping his foot...
The song was later recorded at Abbey Road using sound effects. The guitar accompaniment was inspired by Sebastian Bach's "Suite for Lute in E minor"! This tune is often played on classical guitar, an instrument that Paul McCartney and George Harrison learnt extensively as children. And yes: "Blackbird" is one of the most popular songs that beginner guitarists often try to master. Why? It's simple: it's one of the most famous fingerstyle tunes.
Interesting facts about Blackbird:
The frontman of rock band Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, has repeatedly said he thinks "Blackbird" is Paul McCartney's best song:
"This is a beautiful piece of music, perfect in its composition and execution, lyrics and range of voice! Just learning this song has given me a better understanding for writing my own songs! It is true musical bliss for me..."
"Blackbird Singing" is exactly what Paul McCartney called his book of poems.
The word "bird" has been in Paul McCartney's musical vocabulary since 1958, when the Everly Brothers released the hit song "Bird Dog". McCartney was a big fan of that band, ....
"Blackbird" is among the 12 Beatles songs that McCartney often played at his live shows!