Bye, Bye, Blackbird

Melody - Ray Henderson, 1926, Seq. by Don Ferguson

Mort Dixon, 1926

Blackbird blackbird singing the blues all day
Right outside of my door
Blackbird blackbird who do you sit and say
There's no sunshine in store
All thru the winter you hung around
Now I begin to feel homeward bound
Blackbird blackbird gotta be on my way
Where there's sunshine galore.
Pack up all my care and woe,
Here I go singing low
Bye bye blackbird
Where somebody waits for me,
Sugar's sweet so is she
Bye bye blackbird
No one here can love and understand me
Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me
Make my bed and light the light,
I'll arrive late tonight
Blackbird bye bye.
2. Bluebird bluebird calling me far away
I've been longing for you
Bluebird bluebird what do I hear you say
Skies are turning to blue
I'm like a flower that's fading here
Where ev'ry hour is one long tear
Bluebird bluebird this is my lucky day
Now my dreams will come true.

Here is the story as it was related to me by Mae Arnotte.

It was about twenty-five years ago in a neighborhood diner called "Charlie's" on Columbus Ave in Boston that I met Ms. Arnotte. She was seated next to me as I was sharing some musical story lines with a friend. Somehow or other Bye Bye Blackbirds came up and I couldn't fit a story line to this song. Mae Arnotte was a lady of some "note" in the Boston area and performed in many of the local jazz clubs. She told me that as a young girl in her 20's, among "o song was originally performed as a slow blues number, a lament. According to Mae, the song was Bye Bye BlackbirdS, plural, and directed at the "group." The "lady" was going home to her Mother (Where somebody waits for me, sugar's sweet, so is SHE). No one here can love or understand me, oh the hardluck stories they all hand me, (the Johns). "I'll be home late tonight" indicates that she lived a short distance from Chicago.

Mae also told me that there was more to the story and that if I dug around I might be able to come up with it. It was something of a challenge to me, by her, and she indicated that she would tell me the "rest of the story" if I proved that I had done my homework. I called all over and couldn't find out any more than she had related to me and most people I talked to never heard any of the story anyhow. I was never able to reconnect with her, she passed away, and if there are any more ideas out there I would like to hear them.

There is no way I can verify this "story." I called the holders of the copyright and since the writers are now deceased, they found it interesting but couldn't say either way if it was true or not.

If anyone can shed some light on this, please e-mail me and I will forward the message.

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