“And Your Bird Can Sing” is a Beatles’ song from their 1966 album, “Revolver”.
Publisher: Northern Songs
Release Date: 5th August, 1966 (UK) 20th June, 1966 (US: Yesterday and Today album)
Recorded: 20th, 26th April, 1966
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Power pop, psychedelic pop
Track Duration: 2:01
Record Label: Parlophone
Producer: George Martin
John Lennon: lead vocal, rhythm guitar, handclaps
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, bass, lead guitar, handclaps
George Harrison: harmony vocal, lead guitar, handclaps
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine, handclaps
And Your Bird Can Sing
Written primarily by John Lennon, but with credit going to the Lennon-McCartney partnership, “And Your Bird Can Sing” once had the working title of, “You Don’t Get Me”. Paul McCartney says he wrote about 20% of the song while John Lennon wrote 80%.
“And Your Bird Can Sing was John’s song. I suspect that I helped with the verses because the songs were nearly always written without second and third verses. I seem to remember working on that middle eight with him but it’s John’s song, 80-20 to John.”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Lennon says that it was just another one of his “throwaways”.
“Another of my throwaways … fancy paper around an empty box”
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Although Lennon was dismissive about the song, many people still adore it for what it is. For example, English academic Toby Litt once said it was “the birth of all power pop, from Big Star through Cheap Trick to Fountains of Wayne”. Despite Lennon’s negativity, “And Your Bird Can Sing” has a beautifully extended dual-guitar melody played by Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
Also, Lennon never revealed the meaning behind the song lyrics. But, some believe it is referring to the rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones which was prevalent at the time. The “bird” could also be a reference to Marianne Faithfull who Mick Jagger would often boast about being his girlfriend.
The Beatles recorded 2 takes of this song on 20 April 1966 in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 2.30pm-2.30am session. Take 2 is what we hear on their 1996 “Anthology 2” album, complete with McCartney and Lennon laughing together uncontrollably. Their giggle starts as soon as they start recording and continues throughout the song.
On the 26th of April, in the same studio, during the 2.30pm-2.45am session, they attempted a re-make of the song. The band recorded takes 3-13 and take 10 became the master rhythm track. However, what we hear on their “Revolver” album is mostly take 10 with the ending being that of take 6. The song is track 2 on side 2 of the album after the opener, “Good Day Sunshine” and before “For No One”
In the 1960s there was also a cartoon series featuring The Beatles and in the third series, “And Your Bird Can Sing” became the theme tune. There have also been many groups covering the song too, including British band, The Jam.