“Songbird” was written and composed in thirty minutes late at night by Christine McVie. The song has that passionate, need-to-get-it-all-out feeling that belongs in such an emotional song. Considering the turmoil that Fleetwood Mac was experiencing, this song offers a message of unity and hope that could draw the band together despite the distance romantic strife had been driven between the members of the band.
The spare piano melody imparts the song with wistful emotion that draws out the straight forward lyrics of sacrifice for love. “To you, I’ll give the world”, sings McVie, sad and hopeful at the same time. The song may seem simple on the first listen, a sweet love song about giving the world to your lover. And yet, the way the simple piano ties into the repeated “wishes” in the song allows us to feel the hurt and yearning behind it all. McVie wishes that all the love that her lover deserves could come from her, but doesn’t need to state in the song that this is not possible. By this point in the song we are feeling every chord, our hearts breaking and healing alongside McVie’s.
“Songbird” follows directly after “Go Your Own Way,” transitioning the energy of the proceeding song into a much more mellow and reserved font of emotion, while maintaining the same message. Both songs promise (much too late) that the singer would give their lover everything, but “Songbird” promises hope where “Go Your Own Way” ends on a much more bitter note. It seems that “Songbird” tempers the turmoil in the album — and in the group — with sweetness and passion.
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