Song of the Day #5,267: ‘Songbird’ – Fleetwood Mac

Last week, Fleetwood Mac’s most prolific member, Christine McVie, passed away at age 79 following a long bout of poor health.

McVie wrote or co-wrote the lion’s share of the band’s songs, including some of their most enduring classics — ‘Say You Love Me,’ ‘Over My Head,’ ‘You Make Loving Fun,’ ‘Everywhere,’ and ‘Don’t Stop,’ to name just a few.

Today’s SOTD, ‘Songbird,’ is perhaps her most poignant and memorable moment with the band. She wrote the track in just 30 minutes and brought her ex-husband, band member John McVie, to tears every night when performing it.

The official recording, which appeared on the classic 1977 album Rumours, is beautifully sparse. McVie performed it solo on piano in an empty Berkeley auditorium, with two mics next to her piano and the rest across the room. Producer Kevin Caillat said he wanted to capture the sound of a singer performing alone after the crowd has left a show.

Such a beautiful moment, and a fitting tribute to one of the great 70s singer-songwriters.

[Verse 1]
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

[Verse 2]
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 the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before

Like never before
Like never before

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,267: ‘Songbird’ – Fleetwood Mac

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    McVie’s passing took me aback as I did not know she had been so ill and assumed she was a bit younger.

    It’s ironic that McVie’s song “Everywhere” was recently used in a Chevrolet commercial, which I made fun of because I don’t think a diverse group of people under 50, let alone their teenage kids in the backseat, would know the song well enough to belt out the lyrics. Then again, given the enduring quality of Fleetwood Mac’s tunes, including and maybe even particularly those penned by McVie, perhaps the ad isn’t such a stretch.

  2. Reb says:

    The “Everywhere” commercial phenomenon is fascinating to me, because I wasn’t even aware of that song until it started saturating the media. Now my wife and I can’t get it out of our heads, which isn’t a problem, because we like it. Having been a longtime Fleetwood Mac fan, though, I can suggest some other earlier McVie tunes that have been pretty much ignored in the many tributes in the media – “Homeward Bound” and “Spare Me a Little of Your Love” from Bare Trees, “Show Me a Smile” from Future Games, the title track and “Come a Little Bit Closer” from Heroes are Hard to Find. In terms of the quality and number of songs Christine wrote, I believe she belongs in the highest level of songwriters of the last 50 years.

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