The Paul McCartney Project

Bye Bye Blackbird

Written by Ray HendersonMort Dixon

Album This song officially appears on the Kisses On the Bottom Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2012

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Bye, Bye, Blackbird” is a song published in 1926 by the American composer Ray Henderson and lyricist Mort Dixon. It is considered a popular standard and was first recorded by Gene Austin in 1926.

It was the #16 song of 1926 according to Pop Culture Madness. In 1982, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) posthumously awarded John Coltrane a Grammy Award of “Best Jazz Solo Performance” for the work on his album, Bye Bye Blackbird. Recordings of the song often include only the chorus; the verses are far less known.

The song was also copied by Charlie and His Orchestra, German Karl Schwedler, of The Templin Band during World War II as part of Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda campaign. But the lyrics were changed to reflect the German political rhetoric of the time and intended to demoralize the Allied forces. The tune(s) were sung in English and aimed at United States and British troops, as well as British citizens. It was not permitted in Nazi Germany to play the song and melody because the Nazi leadership forbade “degenerate” styles of music such as jazz.[citation needed]

Segregationists opposed to the American Civil Rights Movement, notably at the Selma to Montgomery marches, played the song over loudspeakers as a taunt.

Paul McCartney recorded the song for his 2012 album Kisses on the Bottom. McCartney said that “A lot of these songs, like ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, were ones that I’d sung along with” at family gatherings.

There is much speculation about the meaning of the song. At least two commentators (using the same source) attribute the song to a prostitute’s leaving the business and going home to her mother. As such, it is the opposite of “House of the Rising Sun,” where the prostitute returns to the business.[10] The reason for the song’s apparent ambiguity is that the opening verse and the verses about the bluebird are rarely sung.

“Bye, Bye, Blackbird” has been recorded by many artists, including:

Last updated on February 22, 2014


Blackbird, blackbird singing the blues all day
Right outside my door
Blackbird, blackbird gotta be on my way
To where the sun shines once more

Pack up all my care and woe
Here I go singing low
Bye, bye blackbird

Where somebody waits for me
Sugar's sweet, so is she
Bye, bye blackbird

No one here can love or understand me
Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me

Now make my bed and light the light
I'll arrive late tonight
Blackbird, bye, bye

~ SOLO ~

No one here can love or understand me
Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me

Make my bed and light the light
‘Cause I'll be home late tonight
Blackbird, oh blackbird ooh
Bye, bye

Officially appears on

Kisses On the Bottom

Official album • Released in 2012

4:26 • Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Tommy LiPuma:
Diana Krall:
Piano, Rhythm arrangement
Karriem Riggins:
Robert Hurst:
John Pizzarelli:
London Symphony Orchestra:
Alan Broadbent:
Orchestra arrangement, Orchestra conductor
Roman Simovic:

Avatar Studios, New York - London Symphony Orchestra recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London

Kisses On The Bottom - Complete Kisses

Official album • Released in 2012

4:26 • Studio version


Kisses on the bottom - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

4:26 • Studio version

Live performances

“Bye Bye Blackbird” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Bye Bye Blackbird” has been played

Live From Capitol Studios

Feb 09, 2012 • USA • Los Angeles • Capitol Records Building


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Keith R 1 years ago

The best version I know of "Bye Bye Blackbird" is in "Liza With a Z" (available on You Tube)

The PaulMcCartney Project 1 years ago

Thanks Keith - will listen to it !