“Songbird” is the sixth song from Fleetwood Mac’s eleventh album “Rumours”, which was released in February 1977 via Warner Bros. records. Written by the late keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, it is one of the four songs on the “Rumours” album that was written solely by her.
The soft rock song came to McVie one evening after the band was finishing up a recording session at the New York recording studio: Sausalito Record Plant. McVie wrote the song in only 30 minutes, and determined not to forget the melody and with nobody around at the time to record the track, McVie stayed awake all night in order to not forget it.
In an interview with musicradar in February 2022, producer Ken Caillat spoke about the first time he heard McVie playing “Songbird”, and his insistence on the recording of the track to be perfect:
“…t was so beautiful and special, so personal – I knew I had to get just the right recording of it. Before Rumours, I had recorded an album with Joni Mitchell at the Berkeley Community Theatre. I thought doing a similar kind of concert recital recording was perfect for Songbird. Christine and the whole band loved the idea…
The Berkley Community Theatre wasn’t available, so we used the Zellerbach Auditorium […] Christine sat on the stage and played a nine-foot Steinway […] I used 15 tracks for the piano – two close mics and the rest were distant mics. For something like ‘Songbird,’ I wanted the room to really speak.”
Besides just McVie singing and playing piano, band member Lindsey Buckingham strummed an acoustic guitar off stage during the recording to keep up the tempo.
“Songbird” is one of McVie’s most successful and loved songs, and she leaves behind a legacy – one that is full of love, talent and soul.
Read the lyrics to “Songbird” here.
*All information accurate at the time of publishing.