Object 2: Blackbird by The Beatles
May 27, 2021
This object is the song Blackbird by the Beatles. Every listener interprets music differently and often the confirmed or intended meanings behind the lyrics are overlooked. In this case, the intended meaning- as confirmed by songwriter Sir Paul McCartney- was to call attention to and honor the resilience of Black women in the 1960s who were fighting for civil rights while carrying the weight of both misogyny and racism. However, most of the classic song’s listeners are unaware of the true meaning.
The song is often featured in school concerts, television programmes, and other events, and the past is frequently forgotten. One might say that the historical context is only a welcoming Easter egg for black women while others may view it as an important detail that should be addressed each time the song is performed.
The song is a product of its time and would not exist without the Little Rock Nine’s efforts to end segregation and advance civil rights for all people. However, the song has not disappeared- it exists in a time where many do not experience segregation and civil rights are further ahead. Some may see the song as something that belongs to Black women as a symbol of their resilience over time due to its history and creation. However, it is unsure if anything—a song or knowledge—can ever really belong to one person or group of people. While it seems to belong to a small group of those who care about something as trivial as the intention behind a song, anyone can gain this knowledge with a simple search.