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52 Songs About Birds

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate sweet songbirds, soaring eagles, and other birds with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs. Tweet, tweet!

Celebrate sweet songbirds, soaring eagles, and other birds with a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs. Tweet, tweet!

Birds Bearing Gifts

For more than 25 years, I have fed the wild birds a buffet of premium sunflower chips and other bird food, plus suet. They also occasionally receive dried worms, unsalted peanuts, and fresh fruit that I allowed to get too ripe for my own taste. In return, for the past decade, they've been leaving me something more than the usual bird droppings. These are unexpected blessings. Gifts.

Small chunks of broken glass started appearing around our bird feeders, and initially, I was annoyed. I assumed that the colored bits of glass had worked their way up from the soil as long-ago remnants of construction. (Our home was built around 2000.) I'd pick the pieces up and discard them, but more glass would appear around the bird feeders (nowhere else). Eventually, we concluded that our avian friends were bringing us gifts. Corvids—which include jays, crows, magpies, and ravens—are the only birds known to give gifts to humans. I'm betting on my blue jay friends as the gift bears.

If you enjoy birds as much as I do, make a playlist of pop, rock, and country songs to celebrate all the joy, strength, and freedom that they symbolize. We have a long list of songs to start you off.

Reader Poll

1. "Bluebird" by Miranda Lambert

Bluebirds symbolize happiness and joy, and in this sweet 2019 country song, the narrator uses the perky bird to make a statement about her resilience. In the face of growing older, staying relevant in a competitive career field, and dealing with problems in her love life, the woman in this song tries to keep her attitude positive. She keeps a chirpy little bluebird in her heart.

2. "When Doves Cry" by Prince

The top song of 1984, this haunting rock ballad was a worldwide smash hit and was designated by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Additionally, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized "When Doves Cry" as one of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll."

The narrator's lover has ended their relationship, and he's painfully trying process why he's been rejected

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold?
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry.

While doves peacefully represent peace, they express both anguish and hope for a better tomorrow. Prince kept two mourning doves named Majesty and Divinity at his home, Paisley Park. However, when the singer died in 2016, they stopped singing as well.

3. "House Wren" by Owl City

The house wren in this upbeat 2018 electropop tune is living in the moment as he scouts out a place to make his nest. Feeling optimistic, he packs his bags, knowing that it's just a matter of time before he finds suitable new digs in some old lady's porch, an empty gourd, or perhaps a window box. As he sings at the top of his lungs, he celebrates the beautiful day because he's already halfway home.

4. "Bird Set Free" by Sia

Both Adele and Rihanna turned down this self-empowerment anthem penned by Sia, so the Australian singer recorded it herself. In this 2015 pop song, the narrator is escaping from a toxic love relationship. She compares herself to a broken bird with clipped wings. The relationship cruelty that she previously suffered left her feeling maimed, as if she was struggling on the ground and unable to sing.

Now, however, she takes pleasure in having fought back. Realizing she doesn't need to be perfect, she sings for love, for herself, for freedom: "I'll shout it out like a bird set free." Always remember that the messages that we tell ourselves are everything.

5. "Birds" by Imagine Dragons & Coldplay

Just because a relationship is history doesn't mean your feelings for someone have also died. In this 2019 pop track, a man looks back over a failed love affair, lamenting the lost bond between he and his significant other and wishing they were still together. Just as birds fly in divergent directions, he concedes that life can send you and a lover along different paths in life so that ultimately you end up as strangers. Nothing lasts forever, but one day he hopes they will reunite.

6. "Two Sparrows in a Hurricane" by Tanya Tucker"

Couples in long-term life partnerships are two loving birds, fragile and hopeful, sharing a joyful song together. They face all the challenges that the world has to hurl at them: children, jobs, mortgages, personal losses. It can add up.

This tender, hopeful 1992 country song depicts a couple at several junctures in their lives from ages 15 to 83 as they cleave to one another, braving the world's storm:

Like two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
And faith that can move anything
They've heard it's all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they'll never make it
Love says they will.

7. "How Shall a Sparrow Fly" by Ryan Bingham

This somber, stripped-down 2018 song features lonely vocals accompanying a strumming mandolin. It appeared in the Old West motion picture Hostiles. In the movie, an Army captain escorts a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to the man's Montana tribal land. The haunting song appears during a critical scene when the worn and bedraggled travelers stop for the night. Searching and sorrowful, the tune asks a series of rhetorical questions about the welfare of a bird with a broken wing, a symbol of the indigenous people.

8. "A Broken Wing" by Martina McBride

The woman in this achingly beautiful 1997 country tune loves an emotionally abusive man. Her head shakingly painful relationship is probably painful for others around her to watch. However, she stays perhaps because she hopes her partner will change or because he's just sorry enough to make her stay.

As crying becomes a habit for the narrator, her spirit snaps like a bird with a broken wing. Harsh words have harmed her, but the woman eyes freedom and finally escapes her tormenter. While some listeners contend that she has flown off to make a better life for herself, others contend the abused woman has died by suicide. What do you think?

9. "Sparrow" by Emeli Sandé

With the joyful heart of a sparrow and wings that soar, you'll take the world by storm. That's the message in this rousing 2019 ballad, an empowerment anthem offering hope, encouragement, and confidence. Scottish pop musician Emeli Sandé lends her powerhouse vocals to this tune, celebrating the sparrow's courage and strength of purpose. She is accompanied by a gospel choir, thereby making her performance even more pristine. Use the song when you need a real energy boost. It's a high flying beauty.

10. "Bluebird" by Sara Bareilles

When the woman in this 2010 pop ditty is dumped by her lover via letter, she and her ragged bluebird of happiness pack their bags and prepare to fly away. She's been through rejection before and knows what to do. Pretending that she's fine just to hide the hurt, she gathers up the strength to take flight along with her bluebird. As they leave, the dejected lady gives herself permission to let go of the failed romance.

11. "Bird on a Wire" by Aaron Neville

Birds are known for their tendency to perch precariously on electrified telephone wires (which they can do without dying as long as they don't complete a circuit). This is a 1990 cover of a Leonard Cohen song. It uses a bird image to convey the emotional experience of a narrator who lives dangerously. He strives to express his love, often suboptimally, and at great cost. The narrator's attempts to connect come up short and leave him feeling inadequate, apologizing, and promising to do better.

12. "Feed the Birds" by Julie Andrews

Do you enjoy feeding the birds like I do? This tender 1964 children's song appears in Mary Poppins, the classic Walt Disney film. It describes an old woman who earns extra money peddling bags of bird crumbs to tourists on the steps of Saint Paul's Cathedral, encouraging passersby to offer sustenance to the least among us:

Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you.

A tuppence is a British slang term for twopence.

13. "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtadob

At least he can't say he had no warning. The restless young woman in this Grammy Award-winning pop song from 2000 lays bare the truth; she tells her partner that one day she will leave him. Although the woman truly loves him, she also understands that she is a nomad whose heart doesn't have a permanent place to call home. Like a bird, this rambling lady will one day fly away.

14. "The Eagle" by Waylon Jennings

The last solo on the Billboard country chart for 'ole Watasha was this 1991 track that employs the symbol of the strong, powerful eagle—albeit one who has seen better days. Although the narrator is a peaceful man who tries to stick to himself, something or someone has recently provoked him. He therefore casts a warning to anyone foolish enough to underestimate him:

So lay all your doubts aside, when you go to bed tonight
My feathers have been ruffled and I'm ready for a fight
Just because I took awhile to fly don't mean that I don't care
When you feel the shadow crossing, the eagle's in the air.

15. "Rockin' Robin" by Bobby Day

Bobby Day became a one-hit wonder with this 1958 rock 'n roll ditty, his only single to break through the US Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 charts. It's a sweet song about a robin who spends his days in the treetops on Jaybird Street tweet-tweet-tweeting and "hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song." At night, Mr. Robin and his girlfriend the raven join their avian neighbors at the bird bandstand to flap their feathers.

27 Musicians with Bird-Themed Names

MusicianMusicianMusician

A Flock of Seagulls

The Penguins

The Byrds

Paul McCartney & Wings

Birdy

The Partridge Family

Eagles

Counting Crows

The Yardbirds

Sheryl Crow

The O'Jays

The Black Crowes

Drake

The Penguins

Old Crow Medicine Show

Eagle-Eye Cherry

Owl City

Dixie Chicks

Orioles

The Sandpipers

The Flamingos

The Cardinals

Conway Twitty and The Twittybirds

The Falcons

Robyn

Atomic Rooster

The Housemartins

16. "Vultures" by John Mayer

Seriously, who would write a song about a buzzard? Vultures are birds that feed on carrion (and on occasion severely injured and dying animals). John Mayer is comparing music industry executives to these scavengers.

At the time the singer-songwriter released this biting 2005 pop song regarding the dark side of fame, he was a best-selling pop artist with two Grammy Awards under his belt: one for his 2002 song, "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and the other for his 2004 single, "Daughters." He felt emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained by the pressures of fame.

In the song, Mayer describes himself as barely treading water, living down to the wire, and being personally tested by the world. Uncaring music industry executives always want more from him and have hunted him down so that he is cornered prey. Ultimately, in spite of the vultures (or perhaps with their money-grubbing help), Mayer went on to win seven additional Grammy Awards. Success can't be too bad, could it?

17. "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox

After more than a decade performing with the Eurythmics, Annie Lennox tried out her wings as a solo artist in this 1993 pop tune. The song features a little bird who has fallen out of its nest. Labeling herself "just a troubled soul who's weighted, weighted to the ground," the self-pitying narrator surmises that the little bird may be blessed. Then she tries to emulate the bird by giving flight to her own dreams. Lennox became a solo artist in her own right, but her level of success never reached that of Eurythmics.

18. "Mockingbird" by Carly Simon & James Taylor

If you've ever heard birds that wouldn't shut up at night, it was probably mockingbirds. Based on their overactive singing habits, mockingbirds appear in the traditional child's lullaby, "Hush Little Baby." In turn, the lullaby forms the basis for this 1974 pop tune.

Both partners in this song have agreed to buy one another a mockingbird with a sing-or-else guarantee. If the birds don't sing for their beloved, then they will produce gifts of diamond rings. However, the rings as well as other contingencies won't be necessary because mockingbirds are such noisy birds. The song is thereby one that concerns a bunch of empty promises that the singer will never have to fulfill as long as the mockingbird is on point.

19. "Fly Like an Eagle" by The Steve Miller Band

The meaning of this mellow 1976 rock song may be a little opaque at first blush, but the lyrics suggest a desire to rise above the issues that haunt one's current surroundings and seek the wide-open sea of forever. An eagle is bird of pride, strength, and hope, and it seeks to "fly through the revolution" of change, letting its spirit carry it to freedom and hopefully solutions to the earthly problems that haunt us today.

20. "Winter Bird" by Aurora

Maybe it's an existential crisis, maybe it's a mental problem. The narrator in this airy 2016 song by Norwegian electropop singer Aurora uses a variety of nature imagery to reconnect with reality. During wintertime, she lays with frozen tears by the river reminding herself of reasons to live:

All I need is to remember
How it was to feel alive.

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." - William Blake, English Romantic poet

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." - William Blake, English Romantic poet

Even More Songs About Birds

Know a song that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1973

22. Skylark

Linda Ronstadt

1984

23. Snowbird

Anne Murray

1969

24. Free as a Bird

Beatles

1995

25. Time for Me to Fly

REO Speedwagon

1978

26. Golden Lark

Styx

1974

27. Bluebirds over the Mountains

The Beach Boys

1968

28. Fly, Robin, Fly

Silver Convention

1975

29. When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)

Bing Crosby

1956

30. Caged Bird

Alicia Keys

2001

31. Hummingbird Heartbeat

Katy Perry

2010

32. Dodo

Dave Matthews

2003

33. Three Little Birds

Bob Marley and the Wailers

1977

34. Wind Beneath My Wings

Bette Midler

1988

35. Blackbird

Beatles

1968

36. On the Wings of a Nightingale

The Everly Brothers

1984

37. Birdhouse in Your Soul

They Might Be Giants

1990

38. Swan Song

Dua Lipa

2019

39. I Like Birds

Eels

2000

40. Skyline Pigeon

Elton John

1972

41. Wings of a Dove

Hal Ketchum

1996

42. Songbird

Fleetwood Mac

1977

43. Disco Duck

Rick Dees

1976

44. Swan Song

Lana Del Rey

2015

45. The Phoenix

Fall Out Boy

2013

46. Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly

Aaron Tippin

2002

47. White Sparrows

Billy Talent

2009

48. The Bird

George Jones

1987

49. Fly Little Bird

Paul Weller

2005

50. The Bird

Jerry Reed

1982

51. Walkin' to Missouri

Sammy Kaye

1952

52. The Eagle and the Hawk

John Denver

1971

© 2020 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 29, 2020:

bhattuc - Thank you.

bhattuc on July 29, 2020:

Amazing compilation.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 14, 2020:

Bob - A lot of parents still do that, but I won't say who.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 14, 2020:

Dora - That's good of you to leave the nest. They won't need it overly long and when the babies leave then you can trim it. Win/win. This week we've had bright yellow finches in our window birdfeeder and both the cats and I are so excited to watch them feed up close at the window. The birds can't see us due to a "secret" mirror window cling. It's really something.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 14, 2020:

Lisha C - It's lovely that you enjoyed this so much. Have a wonderful week ahead. Take a moment to feed the birds if you can.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 14, 2020:

Nithya - Thanks for sharing your favorite. Have a wonderful week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 14, 2020:

Rajan - I appreciate you! They are lovely little creatures.

Robert Sacchi on July 14, 2020:

Yes, in the '60s our elders liked to promote the myth of the songs of their generation being superior. News Anchor Howard K. Smith attempted to settle the argument with his son by picking out a song from his generation at random. The song he blindly picked was "Under the Bamboo Tree".

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 14, 2020:

The Mary Poppins bird song speak to me. Almost every morning, the birds sing at my window, and in my yard I've had to show compassion by allowing a bird's nest to remain when I would rather trim the branch it's on. In some of your lyrics, we see how bird and human behavior mirror each other.

Lisha C on July 14, 2020:

I would never have thought that there were so many songs about birds—it's something you don't pay attention to until actually listed out in front of you. Even when a popular band like the Eagles was mentioned, I never connected it with the bird. Usually, only their songs came to mind. I enjoyed having this new outlook!

Thanks for sharing the playlist, it was nice to be reminded of some of the songs and also to hear some new ones.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 13, 2020:

Great selection of songs about birds, I enjoyed growing through the list. "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox is my favorite.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 13, 2020:

That is quite a list about bird songs. This list reminds me of our Hindi movies which also have quite a few songs on birds. Thanks for sharing.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Linda - If they could bring me money, wouldn't that be grand? Either way, it's the thought that counts. Blue jays are bully birds but they know who butters their bread! I don't know how they do it without injuring themselves.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 2020:

The information about the birds giving you gifts is lovely, Flourish. I only knew one song in your list, but I enjoyed learning about the others.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Heidi - I may have yelled it myself a time or two (this week). Thanks for the song suggestions. I added "Bird Dog" to the playlist, "Songs About Interlopers and Love Triangles, the nightingale song is on the bird playlist already at #36, and I added the John Denver song (two birds in one!). I appreciate you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Bob - Reading the background on that song was so interesting. I can see boys getting the haircut and people obsessively laughing like Woody. My siblings and I used to do it ourselves when we were kids. It's hard to believe it was one of the biggest hit singles of 1948 and was nominated for an Academy Award. Wow!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Shannon - Thanks for the suggestion. She seems to have a Dolly Parton twang in her voice. I added her song to the playlist, "Songs About Survival and Perseverance in the Face of Challenge" https://spinditty.com/playlists/Survivors-Song-Lis...

You and your family be safe in that Corona hotspot you're in!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Shauna - I'm glad someone answered that question! That one's always bugged me. I like to get people's perspectives.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Devika - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed this and hope you were able to find some new music to enjoy as well. Stay safe and be happy.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Chitrangada - Thank you for visiting. Take good care of yourself.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Linda - That's a cute little song. We feed the hummingbirds too and always thought they weren't coming around (although the nectar was disappearing) but after 2 or 3 seasons I saw one. We have a bald eagle nest near the river but they haven't been seen in about a year. We're hoping we're just not spotting them because you have to walk quite a long way off the beaten path to get a good view of the nest. Take care and be happy and safe.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on July 13, 2020:

Is it okay for me to yell, "Free Bird!"

My adds...

Everly Brothers

* Bird Dog

* On the Wings of a Nightingale (written by Paul McCartney)

John Denver

* The Eagle and the Hawk

And just think, the scientists say modern birds used to be dinosaurs. Hmm. I say give that T. Rex a guitar and see what he can do!

Fun list, as always!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Genna - We also have a window bird feeder that allows the cats to see the birds nose to beak because a chair sits right at the window. The cats chatter away and even paw at them but no one gets hurt.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Pamela - Thanks for your enthusiastic support. Stay safe down there in Florida. My family is in quarantine right now because my daughter just tested positive.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Peggy - It took me a while to realize what they were doing. I had only heard of crows doing it but it was such a frequent occurrence that I looked it up and sure enough. They didn't have to give us gifts, but we do provide the really good food from Wild Birds Unlimited at $40 or more a bag. A little bit of broken glass is nice in return. It's the thought that counts.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Louise - Thank you for your sweet comment. Have a wonderful week ahead.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 13, 2020:

Bill - That's a very sweet memory. I hope you well and happy.

Robert Sacchi on July 13, 2020:

Another great list. There is the Woody Woodpecker song by Kay Kyser, I think made the top of the Billboard charts, it was #15 in 1948.

Shannon Henry from Texas on July 13, 2020:

Hi, Flourish. I recently heard one by Kaylee Hammack that I really like called "Forged in the Fire" that asks when does a phoenix learn how to fly? As usual, an awesome playlist! Keep them coming!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 13, 2020:

Flourish, I think it's so cool that your birds are thanking you with gifts. What an honor! Obviously, they appreciate you feeding them and giving them a welcome place to come home to.

In the Martina McBride song, I don't think the abused woman committed suicide at all. Just the opposite: she set herself free and moved on to fly with her dreams of hope, glory, and song.

Nice collection! I was glad to see you included "Free Bird" in your list. I'll never tire of that song!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 13, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway this is interesting about songs of birds. I like most of the these songs that I remember. You show me your expertise in writing about the different songs and with the names of each. I do not put thought into songs of such names.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 12, 2020:

A beautiful collection of songs about the birds. Your list contains songs almost on the birds, Sparrow, Vultures, Eagles, Mockingbird and others.

Enjoyed going through the list and some of the videos.

Thank you for sharing.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

Thanks. I will listen all day and probably dream about birds all night. The first one I did not care for the last one is awesome. Does that show my age?

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 12, 2020:

I loved your intro about the care and feeding of your beautiful friends. That they are bringing you lovely presents in return is such a gift, and a blessing, along with the music that conveys their "joy, strength, and freedom." Thank you Flourish, for a delightful Sunday morning. :-)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2020:

You have a wonderf list if songs and as per usual I am azed that there are this number songs about birds. This is another good article in your series of musical aticles. Your article is great!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2020:

That is amazing that your birds are bringing you gifts! There must be some kind of a craft idea where you could use those broken bits of glass. We love watching the birds using our birdbath on a daily basis. New baby birds have emerged from our birdhouse recently. Your collection of songs about birds was excellent.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 11, 2020:

Flourish, what a fun list. I love birds and live in a place blessed with a huge population, everything from wee tiny hummingbirds to soaring bald eagles.

I have perhaps one more for your list (although 50 is a nice round number). The year I was born Sammy Kaye and his band released a song "Poor Little Robin Walkin' to Missouri."

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 11, 2020:

I loved reading your song lists about things. You always list so many good songs!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 11, 2020:

I sang my son to sleep every night singing Blackbird by the Beatles....I also sang "White Bird" by It's A Beautiful Day.....anyway, those were the first two I thought of. :) Have a great weekend!