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"And Your Bird Can Sing"

Categories: Beatles songs

John Lennon (with a parrot on his shoulder) and Paul McCartney
And your bird can... glare. artnet)
John Lennon may have dismissed "And Your Bird Can Sing" as 'another of my throwaways', but many another band (then and now) would have killed/would kill to come up with a filler like this. True, there's little substance to the lyric — the kind of stream-of-consciousness gobbledegook he'd used in his books — but the sheer enthusiasm and energy of the music and vocals more than compensate. As if any apology for a dose of Lennonian wordplay was required, in any case!

George and Paul's combined guitars fly with all the aerodynamic agility of the eponymous emerald fowl, despite Ringo's best efforts to cage 'em. Could it, I wonder, have been yet another sighting of that rarest of exotic breeds, the Aeolian Cadence? Superb basslines from Paul also: one of those band performances that only this particular band could ever pull off.

Of course, a singin', swingin' green bird could equally well have meant a jade-eyed sixties chick: a species with which Mr Lennon had undoubtedly had far more experience. "Prized possessions", y'might say... There's a rumour that the title line was originally a jibe at Mick Jagger, who'd recently hooked up with Marianne Faithfull. With that gleefully taunting y'don't get me, y'can't see me refrain, it kinda turns into a tripped-out update of Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me".

The soaring harmonies — seven thousand wonders — take it even higher:

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 m-e-e-e-e-e-e!


Oh yes we can!

They certainly had some fun gettin' this little (green) number together, too: especially judging by the Anthology 2version; a hybrid of George's Rickenjected guitar lead with an early vocal run-through, Paul rendered virtually incapable of singing by an attack of the giggles — quite definitely 'flying'. The good time feeling very obviously filtered through to the final take. George Martin recalled their studio sessions, in general, to be "very joyful times".

This was certainly one of them.
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