Saturday, 21 August 2010

'Blackbird singing in the dead of night...'

There's a Ceylon that doesn't seem to be named after an estate. Instead, from what I can surmise, they gave it the name of a bird. It's called Ceylon Blackbird, and although it's not the highest quality tea I've ever tried, it's a nice change from the Assams and Darjeelings I normally drink and write about.

But as long as I'm taking about blackbirds, I'll go ahead and mention that this is also a Paul McCartney song that I like. Didn't realise until I looked it up that this was written in 1968 and is the songwriter's reaction to racial tensions in the US at the time.

I'm not normally drawn to Paul's songs, although I do think another one of his songs, For No One, is a masterpiece. But I was talking about Blackbird. Both the tea and the song.

There's something so alluring about the simplicity of this solo acoustic guitar and voice. Even without knowing what the song's background is, it's a beautiful melody and accompaniment. So here I am on a late summer's evening, sipping my Ceylon Blackbird with a bit of cream and listening to Sir Paul.

Can't think of anything more appropriate.


  1. Charming. I don't know the tea but I do know the song. And I approve of the dash of cream. It's all very civilized.

  2. Don't feel bad, the first version I heard was Sarah McLachlan's and I had no idea she hadn't written it.

  3. "All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise"

    Don't you think this could apply to the sensations enjoyed while drinking tea?

  4. I always find the "Blackbird singing..." song to be so...odd. Old-world blackbirds are related to our thrushes (Robins, Wood Thrush, etc.), a family of birds that have a beautiful song.

    New-world blackbirds...are their own family, Icteridae, which also includes a few birds with pretty songs, like meadowlarks and orioles. But the birds being called "blackbirds" are mostly ones whose calls and songs are rawkous and loud, sound like crackling and rusty hinges. The prototypical new world blackbird here on the east coast is the common grackle.

    Personally, I love grackles. But the whole thing makes me highly amused when I listen to European music or poems about "blackbirds".