♫ Mockingbird ♫

My friend Jerry often sends me ideas for my music posts.  He and I do not generally share the same taste in music, so it’s rare that I use his suggestions here, but a few nights ago he sent me one, saying …

“I know you’re not doing much on the music posts, but here’s one I think that YOU will like. I heard the song the other day and was curious if they did it live. The harmonies are hard to do the way they did it on record, but they sure did pull it off live. Impressive!!”

The song was Mockingbird, the artists are James Taylor, whom I adore, and Carly Simon, and he’s right … they sure did pull it off!

It turns out that Inez and Charlie Foxx initially recorded this in 1963.  According to SongFacts …

  • This is based on a traditional American folk song sometimes known as “Hush Little Baby.” The song is a lullaby, intended to soothe a young child to sleep with promises of expensive gifts. Northern Mockingbirds were often kept as pets in America, which explains the significance of the lyrics.
  • Bo Diddley used the traditional lyrics for his 1955 song “Bo Diddley,” but his song had a completely different arrangement.
  • Inez and Charlie Foxx were brother and sister. In 1974, James Taylor and Carly Simon, who were married at the time, recorded their version, which was also a hit. Country singer Toby Keith recorded it with his teenage daughter Krystal in 2004, and that same year, Eminem made it into a song for his daughter Hailie. Eminem’s song veers from the traditional lyrics as he details his struggles to raise his daughter and threatens to break the bird’s neck if it doesn’t sing.
  • Toby Keith did a duet of this song with his daughter, Krystal, for his 2004 Greatest Hits Volume 2 album.
  • This song is part of a key scene in the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber, where Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels sing it for musical entertainment.

And Jerry later sent me another message saying that “Interesting tidbit about the song, when JT does it nowadays, his daughter, that he had with CS does her part. When CS does it, the son they had together, does his part. Talk about keeping it in the family.”

And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado I present to you James Taylor and Carly Simon!  (My apologies for the funky alignment of the lyrics … it’s late, I’m tired, and I have no idea why it won’t align properly, so I’m going to bed now!)

Mockingbird

James Taylor & Carly Simon

Mock (yeah)
Ing (yeah)
Bird (yeah)
Yeah (yeah)
Mockin’bird, now

Everybody have you heard
He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing
He’s gonna buy me a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring won’t shine
He’s gonna surely break this heart of mine

And that’s why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

Hear me now and understand
He’s gonna find me some peace of mind

And if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna find myself a better way

And if that better way ain’t so
I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow

And that’s why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

Now, everybody have you heard
She’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
Yeah if that mockingbird don’t sing
She’s gonna buy me a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring won’t shine
Yes, it’ll surely break this heart of mine
And there’s a reason why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Listen now and understand
She’s gonna find me some peace of mind
Yeah if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna get myself a better way

I might rise above, I might go below
Ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s the reason why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, now, now. baby

18 thoughts on “♫ Mockingbird ♫

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