The number of popular songs that are about birds or related to birds is practically limitless, but some just rise to the top. Here is our Top 10. We tried to include a few that were obvious, but also add a few surprises, as well. One note, bands with bird names that didn’t have actual bird-related songs were left off the list – so tough luck Byrds and Eagles. (But if the Byrds had just changed the name of that one song slightly…) Here’s our list. If you disagree, feel free to fight it out in the comments
10. Fall on Me, REM
This 1986 hit is one of several songs the band put out in the mid-1980s that vaguely reference birds, but we chose it over others (such as “Swan, Swan, Hummingbird” and “King of Birds”) because of its environmental message.
9. I like birds, Eels
This is a late edition to the list (bumping Nelie Furtado into the Honorable Mention category below). We thought we were pretty cool for knowing about this song, then it was used in the movie “The Big Year” and all the bird people were talking about it. Anyway, it’s way cool, and we like this unofficial animated video.
8. Freebird, Lynyrd Skynyrd
If you’re going to stand in the back of the club and encourage the band onstage to play one bird song, this would be the one.
7. Rockin’ Robin, Bobby Day
While this one is certainly no art piece, it does have the distinction of being one of the few songs in this genre that’s actually about a specific bird, and a rockin’ one at that. Most of the others use birds as metaphors for women or freedom or whatever. We’re going with the Bobby Day version here, because upon repeated listenings, the Jackson 5 version gives us a headache.
6. Birdhouse in your Soul, They Might Be Giants
There’s a certain preciousness to everything TMBG does, and this one is no exception. Just goofy enough to be endearing.
5. Surfin’ Bird, Trashmen
Quick – name another song by the Trashmen. Oh well, this surf classic was already destined for this list before Family Guy gave it a huge shove into pop culture a few years back.
4. When Doves Cry, Prince
Now that this song isn’t played on every radio station every five minutes like it was in the 80s, we can now appreciate it for being the pop classic that it is. Sorry we can’t share the actual music video here, but it’s not available on YouTube. This does have the audio, however.
3. Bird on a Wire, Leonard Cohen
Lyrically, this classic from Leonard Cohen is probably the best song here.
2. Three Little Birds, Bob Marley
Another freakishly popular song that’s virtually impossible to keep off the list.
1. Blackbird, The Beatles
We tried and tried to come up with a more creative choice to top this list, but in the end just couldn’t argue with the sheer popularity and durability of this simple yet poignant ditty by the four boys from Liverpool. Here’s a cool video of Paul McCartney tinkering with the song in the studio.
I’m like a bird, Nelly Furtado
Fly like an Eagle, Steve Miller Band
Great speckled bird, Johnny Cash
El Condor Pasa, Daniel Alomía Robles/Simon & Garfunkel
Where Eagles Dare, Iron Maiden
Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons, Pixies
Edge of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks
Worst ever (and we’re not kidding about this)
Disco Duck, Disco’s Revenge