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Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)

15 Mar 03 - 06:15 PM (#910941)
Subject: Lyr Add: MY SONGBIRD (Jesse Winchester)
From: Ebbie

Last night I heard this song for the first time. It's beautiful, intriguing and mystifying. What is Winchester actually saying?

My Songbird
(Jesse Winchester)

Songbird in a golden cage
She'd prefer the blue
How I crave the liquor of her song
Poor bird who has done no harm
What harm could she do
She shall be my prisoner her life long
My songbird wants her freedom
Now don't you think I know
But I can't find it in myself
To let my songbird go
I just can't let her go

O lord, when your jeweler's eye
Peers into my soul
O lord, I am overcome with shame
Take me lord and purify
Heal me with a word
Lord, I beg a gift I dare not claim

My songbird wants her freedom
Now don't you think I know
But I can't find it in myself
To let my songbird go
I just can't let her go


15 Mar 03 - 07:42 PM (#910969)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: GUEST,mrbisok@aol.com

I've been onto this song for years. It is stunning.
Try to find his song "Should my eyes go blind." -- a love song that'll put you through the floor. I'll type lyrics if you beg.


15 Mar 03 - 10:46 PM (#911056)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Deda

OK, I'm begging. I've also known this song for years, and I've always loved it, particularly "Oh Lord when your jeweller's eye / peers into my soul."

My own interpretation of this song is that a controlling, dominating guy knows that he ought to let his woman (who clearly wants out) go, but he can't bring himself to. Any other ideas?


15 Mar 03 - 11:17 PM (#911069)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: GUEST,mrbisok@aol.com

It's 11:20pm. Too tired to continue. Will pick this up tomorrow, Sunday, sometime after 4pm.


16 Mar 03 - 02:29 AM (#911105)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Mudlark

And in case you need any urging, I'll add my begging to the rest. The song you mention, mrbisok, is not one I've come across, and I like Winchester's songs a lot, and have been captivated by Songbird ever since hearing Emmy Lou Harris sing it in the 70's. It's such a beautiful song that tho I don't do it nearly as well as Emmy Lou it still sounds good to me. I'd appreciate knowing where I could find melody, as well as lyrics, for Should My Eyes Go Blind, since I've never heard the song.

And my take has always been the same as yours, Deda...


16 Mar 03 - 01:19 PM (#911316)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: winniemih

I'm begging too, mrbsiok, and have never heard of the song you mention "Should my Eyes Go Blind ". I'm intrigued.
   As for My Songbird, it's one of my favorite Winchester tunes ( and there are many ). I would agree in part with Deda about the interpretation of the song, but for me it also contains a personal warning; those who would selfishly try to hoard anything of beauty and/or try to deprive other beings of their freedom will ultimately have to answer for this crime. I like to sing this tune as the second song in a medley; the first is My Singing Bird ( an Irish tune) which describes someone luring a bird from its nest and capturing it because of the beauty of its song ( just the situation that Jesse is speaking of ). First tune's in the key of C, and ends on a G chord,which segues nicely into My Songbird in the key of G.
    I really appreciate these discussions, its great to hear all the comments.


16 Mar 03 - 01:22 PM (#911320)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: winniemih

By the way I forgot to mention another tune called Songbird by Christine McVie ( think Fleetwood Mac) as sung by Eva Cassidy. Stunning! Does anyone have lyrics?


16 Mar 03 - 04:25 PM (#911426)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Mudlark

Songbird, by C. McVie

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 theworld,
But most of all, I wish it from myself.

And the songbirds keep singing,
Etc.


16 Mar 03 - 05:19 PM (#911462)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Ebbie

What's 'this gift I dare not claim'? And I love the 'jeweller's eye' imagery.


16 Mar 03 - 06:31 PM (#911511)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Stewie

Maybe the song referred to several times above as 'Should My Eyes Go Blind' is actually 'If My Eyes Were Blind'. If so, it is a song by David Olney from his 'Deeper Well' album [Philo CD PH 1117]. A transcription may be found HERE

From listening to the song, the third line should begin 'Within my mind', not 'In my mind'.

The song is copyright Warner Bros Music, BMI.

--Stewie.


17 Mar 03 - 11:46 AM (#911994)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: winniemih

Thanks for the lyrics, Mudlark.


06 Dec 03 - 02:55 PM (#1066835)
Subject: RE: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: Ebbie

refresh


23 Jun 11 - 08:03 PM (#3175484)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jesse Winchester's Songbird
From: GUEST,JackMack

Does anyone have the chords to "Bless Your Foolish Heart?


27 Jun 11 - 02:23 PM (#3177274)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: Jim Dixon

JackMack: If you want to discuss or request a different song than the one this thread is about, it's best to start a new thread. Also, if you already have the lyrics, it might help to post them, since I don't think they've been posted at Mudcat before.


15 Apr 12 - 01:52 PM (#3338714)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: GUEST,Kit

I love this beautiful song also, in particular the version off the Live from Mountain Stage (1970) album. I think the song has something to do with a crisis in faith as to whether creative insides can be let out––as if the creative part wants to sing and soar but is held close to the heart. Because ... what? It might get lost, not return, if given expression. The gift he "dare not claim" but would be a feeling of grace (a gift we can't claim), which feeling would allow a release and opening outward. (This is kind of highfalutin' and absolutely not spun from any religious angle, but that's how the song strikes me.)


16 Oct 16 - 09:28 PM (#3815079)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: Cherns

Ebbie: >>What's 'this gift I dare not claim'?<<

It always seemed to me that the singer realizes that, having denied the songbird freedom, he/she has no moral right to claim purification and healing, but begs them anyway, hoping for grace and a gift. (So I mostly agree with GUEST.Kit (not sure about the creativity part, though)).


16 Oct 16 - 11:16 PM (#3815083)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: Ebbie

You know, I still love the song, if I don't question its message. Problem is that it reminds me a lot of people like Casto who kidnapped and hoarded those women for more than 10 years. Yuk.


25 Jan 20 - 01:56 AM (#4030058)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: Dave'sWife

CHerns - I taught the call out for forgiveness part of this song to my husband who is petrified of leading a prayer for before a meal or at the end of a house study.    It's almost a perfect prayer if you leave out the songbird in the cage part.

O lord, when your jeweler's eye
Peers into my soul
O lord, I am overcome with shame
Take me lord and purify
Heal me with a word
Lord, I beg a gift I dare not claim (the gift being forgiveness of all sin)

It's a very Catholic sounding prayer. His article on wikipedia mentions no religious affiliation but having been born in Lousianna, is it proper to presume he was born into Catholicism or at least heavily exposed to the theology.


25 Jan 20 - 05:35 AM (#4030083)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songbird (Jesse Winchester)
From: Acorn4

It's a great song which we originally heard the Emmylou Harris version of and decided to do it ourselves.

On one occasion one of our club regulars burst into tears when we had finished.

We thought she had been moved by our rendition of the song but it turned out her budgie had escaped that day!