And Your Bird Can Sing - Reviews

Reviewed by Ian MacDonald, in Revolution in the Head:

During the high-pressure final dates for Rubber Soul, The Beatles had been allowed to arrange their sessions more or less as they pleased and had grown accustomed to camping out in Abbey Road for days at a time, evolving songs in the studio and recording them as they went along. AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING took most of two twelve-hour sessions (including a complete remake) and went through many variations before arriving at its finished form in the early hours of April 27th. In what he later dismissed as a throwaway, Lennon elaborates the hipper-than-thou psychedelic omniscience of RAIN, taunting the limitations of the analytical mind which, no matter how educated, can never comprehend creativity [1].

Ending on the raised eyebrow of an unresolved subdominant, the track is memorable mainly for its rolling swing (probably based on The Merseys' contemporary UK hit 'Sorrow') and the intricacy of its guitar parts, including an arpeggiated chromatic passage and a recurring arabesque in parallel thirds played by Harrison and McCartney (or possibly Lennon) [2].

Notes:

  1. The song's working title was 'You Don't Get Me'. Counting the song in at the start of the second day, Lennon mocked the pedantry of popular sheet music: 'Okay boys - quite brisk, moderato, foxtrot'
  2. One of the early versions of this track (Anthology 2) shows the group using a stop chord on the final 'me' of the last chorus. This allows a break from the track's dense texture, momentarily revealing the vocal harmony by itself - an effective device for some reason later dropped.

Posted: 5 dec 2010

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