"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Paris Playlist #13 - Blackbird

'Blackbird' perched in Jardin des Tuileries

"All your life you were waiting to be free."
- Blackbird, the Beatles (The White Album, 1968)

I'm sure that you've noticed that I've used this Blackbird photo in several of my recent posts. One drizzly overcast glorious May day in Paris, Mr. Gorgeous, Coco and I were strolling 'our' gardens when I saw this tiny Blackbird perched upon an incongruously placed wood post in the middle of one of the magnificant flower-beds. The rich colors, vibrant blooms, and adorable tiny bird made this a no-brainer moment to 'shoot.' But yesterday, while I was prepping my last Postcards from Paris post (for Pour l'Amour), I finally realized why this subject, this photo so strongly speaks to me - my dad.

My dad was a 1st generation Greek-American, a child of the 50s/teenager of the 60s, and he absolutely loved the Beatles. When I was 6 or 7 my dad introduced me to the Beatles with the song 'Blackbird.' He told me that, whenever he listened to it, it reminded him of his two Black daughters and his hopes and dreams for us. Cherished childhood memories asserts themselves in the most...interesting ways, oui? But I never understood what he meant until tonight, when I did a little research for this post...

"I was in Scotland playing on my guitar,
and I remembered this whole idea of
"you were only waiting for this moment to arise"
was all about, you know,
the black people's struggle in the southern states,
and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird."

'Blackbird' is a song from the 1968 album The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) and was written by Sir Paul McCartney. He was inspired to write this song while in Scotland, as a reaction to the escalating racial tension/civil rights movement, in America, in the spring of 1968. That spring culminated with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

[Sir McCartney explained] that 'bird' is British slang for girl,
making 'Blackbird' a synonym for 'Black girl.' "

Now I understand why my dad played this song so much, when I was a girl. It beautifully says, in all of the ways that he could not, the place and time he came from, the future he wanted and somehow knew was coming, and his wish(es), hope(s), and dream(s) for his Black daughters.

"...Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All of your life you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
into the light of the dark black night"

Thus, for my lucky #13 Paris Playlist, I offer this gorgeous, soaring rendition of Sir McCartney's 'Blackbird' by South African singer - Timothy Moloi [Google it and download it for free].   

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Thank you Daddy. This Blackbird is not just going fly, she's going to soar!

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