Song of the Day #669: ‘Pretty Bird (Live)’ – Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis performed this version of ‘Pretty Bird,’ from her lovely Acid Tongue album, earlier this year on Elvis Costello’s Showtime show Spectacle.

First, allow me to offer a belated plug for Spectacle, which ended its run after two seasons. Costello proved a fine interviewer of a host of talented artists and the live performances were stellar across the board. Costello’s own backing band, including former Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, sat in on most performances and the mix of him covering his guest’s music and them showcasing their own made for riveting TV.

Lewis, appearing on a particularly strong episode also featuring Jakob Dylan and She & Him, said this song was inspired by an account she read of a young Native American girl being raped on her reservation. Ugly subject matter for a pretty song.

A quick aside: I revisit the old When Harry Met Sally argument whenever I think about Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello… is it possible for a man to just be friends with a woman he finds attractive? Should Diana Krall be jealous or suspicious that Elvis has spent so much time in recent years recording and performing with a hottie like Lewis? I’d like to think their relationship is all about the music, but given the infidelity scorecard of famous men in recent months, you have to wonder.

Pretty bird, pretty bird
Why you so still?
Pretty bird, pretty bird
We’ve been waiting on you

You go west for the black setting sun
You go south to the white spirit world
You go east for those real green eyes
You go north, walk the good red road
Pretty bird

There’s a mirror in heaven
Pretty bird, pretty bird
There’s a window on earth

You go west for the black setting sun
You go south to the white spirit world
You go east for those real green eyes
You go north, walk the good red road
Pretty bird

Some pity me, yeah
Oh, pity me, yeah
Stars pity me
For the blood of the pretty
The blood of the pretty
The blood of the pretty bird

Pretty bird, pretty bird
Who’s starving you still?

You go west for the black setting sun
You go south to the white spirit world
You go east for those real green eyes
You go north, walk the good red road

Pretty bird

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #669: ‘Pretty Bird (Live)’ – Jenny Lewis

  1. Dana says:

    I will miss Spectacle. Great show featuring Costello and great guests.

    And I hope, of course, that Elvis is keeping that pelvis away from Lewis:)

  2. pegclifton says:

    Well, I think Diana Krall is rather hot herself and shouldn’t have to worry about Elvis, but who knows nowadays.

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