Blackbird

February 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi.

My name is Rachel. I’m a freshman at Colorado State University, and this blog is part of my Online Writing class. Some things to know about me: my favorite things in the world are the smell of laundry, writing letters, making people laugh, playing my music too loud, learning something new, being the only car on the highway, painting, dancing, cute socks, fresh fruit, and being still in nature.

My focus in this blog is on the Beatles and how their music affected (and continues to permeate) American pop culture. Even though it has been 44 years since their fateful debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, the group and their music is still incredibly widespread. Don’t believe me? Check this out. For just one day, I kept track of anything I encountered that had something to do with the Beatles. And in that one day, I heard:

  1. That a new hotel is opening in Liverpool, called A Hard Day’s Night (based on the Beatles song).
  2. The soundtrack of Across The Universe, a movie-musical replete with new covers of Beatles songs, released last year.
  3. The opening scene of the children’s movie Happy Feet, which features a cover of “The End” (off of the Beatles’ Abbey Road).
  4. The Gray Album, a compilation of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ White Album, remixed by Danger Mouse.

Reminder: This is in just one day!

I think the Beatles represent an important blending and connecting of people across ethnic, socio-economic, educational, linguistic, racial, age, and time boundaries. Their music was inspired by the combination of African-American beats, Elvis-style rock and roll, and Brit rock. Thus, their music had a widespread appeal and evolved throughout the 60’s and 70’s as not only a commentary on society, but a reflection of it. And to me, it is incredibly interesting to see my generation embrace Beatles music the same way that our parents did. I believe it is an indication facing similar societal issues, and being able to relate to the songs. Which is definitely something that can allow us to come together…right now…over me. (Sorry – I couldn’t resist).

Now. I chose ‘Blackbird’ as the main motif of this post as well as of the blog in general because the song has a special significance to me. It became something to help me get through the harder times I faced in high school, and became a personal symbol of perseverance. Blackbirds started showing up in my paintings, and my friends and family would give me gifts that in some way featured a blackbird. And now it seems, it has become inexorably tied into my identity as it was the first thing that came to mind when deciding on a name for this blog.

However, I am not the only one who was profoundly affected. I’ll end this post with some youtube videos of people who similarly love this song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liOuzXqF1PY (the original, combined with an artist’s sketch)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7MywK24HdQ (Sarah McLachlan’s version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCT9xnlhldM (Talented kid!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fGh1aTyoOM (A band)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkaToqoVj7k (A choir group)

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1 Comment

  1. Emily Skinner said,

    Hey! I just now stumbled across this one, and I know I will love it; this is right up my alley. I will be back later! 🙂 Love the theme!

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