The Beatles: And Your Bird Can Sing (1966)

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The Beatles: And Your Bird Can Sing (1966)

If you are reading this on June 25, 2011, then I'm probably listening to this by a pool in a tropical place where geckos crawl up a white wall and the ceiling fan turns slow. I will have a drink in my hand and my beautiful wife will be by my side.

I hope so.

And yes, I do expect I will be listening to this. 

For me, And Your Bird Can Sing is the most perfect piece of trippy, allusive power pop/rock economy. It is my favourite Beatles' song. (Well, one of about 123, don't ask.)

On this day 60 years ago -- 25/6/51 -- I was born in Edinburgh. At 8am on a Monday, just in time to go to work. (My mother always said I was born to be a worker, it proved to be true.)

The Scottish gypsy tea-leaf reader my mum told me about was wrong on both counts however: She said I would marry late and die young.

I married young and I am very happily still here.

As regular readers will know, From the Vaults is my indulgence . . . but I always like to introduce oddities.

This time however, it's "all about me".

Every time I hear And Your Bird Can Sing I am transported.

I was 15 when I first heard it, and still feel it/that even now. I would like it played it at my impending funeral. (Headstone, if there was one -- there won't be -- would read: "Having achieved the inevitable, he went Elsewhere.")

But this exceptional, if often overlooked Beatles' song is oblique, has a terrific and memorable George Harrison guitar part, Lennon is in wonderfully monotone mode (he dismissed it as a minor piece, he was wrong about a lot of things, that being one) and there are great counter harmonies from McCartney. Ringo is on the money.

And so on.

When I first heard I thought it was five minutes long. Even now I hear at 20 minutes of endlessly transporting guitar extrapolation.

It actually clocks in at just over two minutes. But it contains so much information.

I love it.

Always have.

Always will.

God willing, I am right now celebrating my silent aging in a place away from my usual world  . . . and with my beguiling wife. And I am hearing this.

And also this one.


It is another which I love.

I request your indulgence, but I hear my darling Megan in every line. "My love don't care about time": what a beautiful feeling  . . . and that is so true.

It's also more guitar pop.

I'm not ashamed by that.

I wish you all the good fortune and happiness which I have enjoyed in this short life: rare love; exceptional children; and the warmth of comfort, passion and care in the longest of dark nights.

Right now I am Elsewhere.

These songs and my lucky, lucky life have taken me there . . . even when I'm not there. Wherever that beautiful, endless "there" is.

It is always Elsewhere, and it is always right here ........................................

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Your Comments

The Word Warrior - Jun 25, 2011

I haven't thought about it before but 'Elsewhere' does have a certain spiritual context.
You've still got lots to do so don't go heading off too soon.
You're needed.

mark robinson - Jun 25, 2011

Nice one Graham - cheers to you - I'll raise a glass of Geelong Pinot Noir and toast your birthday.

lachie graham - Jun 26, 2011

beautiful mate - i wish you and your lovely wife megan, much happiness, etcetc! may your site continue way into the future!!
i agree, how to pick a favorite track from the fabs - your track is right up there, from their greatest album!
within you without you/tomorrow never knows - my equal top!!
enjoy the magical island!!!!!!!!

Patrick Smith - Jul 4, 2011

Belated happy birthday Graham. The Beatles have been a soundtrack to a lively part of my life too, since before I first saw them live at the De Montfort Halls in Leicester in about 1964 (they did two shows in a night!). Travelling east from the UK with a little portable 'gramophone', I think I bought Revolver in Athens in 1966 and St Pepper in Bangkok in 67. Trippy Magical Mystery Tour around the same time (competing for play time with Their Satanic Majesties' Requests). Abbey Road was Notting Hill Gate... and so on.
Like many of us my life story is punctuated by watershed songs. Do you ever ponder what you'd like to be played at your funeral (I do - though not morbidly!)?

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