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The Backstory for Blackbird

There seems to be some debate on the inspiration for Paul McCartney’s iconic song Blackbird, but I think it’s better to let him speak for himself.

Here is McCartney’s full quote as it appeared in Many Years from Now, by Barry Miles:

I had in mind a black woman, rather than a bird. Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: “Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith; there is hope.”

As is often the case with my things, a veiling took place, so rather than saying, “Black woman living in Little Rock” and be very specific, she became a bird, became symbolic, so you could apply it to your particular problem.’

Many Years from Now, by Barry Miles

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