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White Bird by It's a Beautiful Day

Album: It's A Beautiful DayReleased: 1969
  • This song never cracked Billboard's Hot 100, but it was popular with FM disc jockeys who gave it most of its airplay. The song was written by David LaFlamme and his wife Linda, who were members of It's A Beautiful Day. (thanks, Rob - Hutchinson, KS)
  • David and Linda wrote the song in Seattle, where they were living. Said David: "The song describes the picture Linda and I saw as we looked out this little window in this attic. We had a little Wurlitzer portable piano sitting right in the well of this window, and I'd sit and work on songs. When you hear lines like, 'the leaves blow across the long black road to the darkened sky and its rage,' it's describing what I was seeing out the window. Where the 'white bird' thing came from: We were like caged birds in that attic. We had no money, no transportation, the weather was miserable. We were just barely getting by on a very small food allowance provided to us. It was quite an experience, but it was very creative in a way." (thanks, Garry - Anchorage, AK)
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Comments: 10

Sorry to bust the illusion, guys, but the "white bird" in the song is China white heroin: top grade, pure, straight-from-Afghanistan heroin. It's a beautiful song, but it's not about billowing clouds and dreamy glazes out of windows. Back in the day, they were famous for their chemical recreation. And they not only didn't try to hide it, but they bragged about it a little. I saw the band perform in Kansas City's Freedom Palace a thousand years ago and chatted with them in the bathroom while we were all taking a pee. Gifted musicians, they wore their drug use on their sleeve back in 1968, 1969. And we all loved them all the more for it. Too bad they didn't do more stuff.Carl - Los Angeles, Ca
The song is used to great effect in the 1999 movie A Walk On The Moon starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber, Anna Paquin.Tom Twardowski - Mission Viejo, Ca
I have to agree with Linny - this is a hauntingly beautiful song - I first heard it on the '80s TV series "Knight Rider" - first in an episode called "White Bird," and then in the final season episode "The Scent of Roses". Beautiful!!Robert - Urbandale, Ia
One reported reason for its popularity among DJ's is its length; when the DJ had to put on the records and the carts, it gave him or her sufficient time to take a bathroom break and be back before they had to switch to the next piece.Bart - New Milford, Nj
I first heard it when I was in Viet Nam,it was so peacful and soothing to listen to. I bought the reel to reel tape at the px and still got it today,although I got the cd album"its a beautiful day. I listen to it and go back 39 years like it was yesterday.Jim - Union, Il
Pattie Santos, the lead singer for It's A Beautiful Day, died December 14, 1989 in an automobile accident on Hwy. 128 in Mendocino County, CaliforniaJohn - San Francisco, Ca
One of my favorites from that era.Reed - New Ulm, Mn
The song was way too long for AM radio play, so it never cracked the Top 40 slots. Of course, AM didn't play in stereo, which would have taken away from the song considerably.

FM radio was in it's infancy, but severely restricted in range. At the turn of the decade (1960's/1970's) most cities only had one FM station, which played classical music to "audiophiles" who had stereo equipment. But that was changing fast, by the early 1970's there were a number of FM radio stations playing rock music, even though their range (in distance) was severly limited. Those FM stations didn't have the advertising revenue of the top-40 stations, but this also gave the disc jockeys a lot of independence, especially those playing late at night. Where I grew up, in a mid-size city in the south, there was only one such station, and teenagers would drive from around the city to get within range of it to listen for the night. That station introduced me to a lot of groups which didn't hit the top-40's until quite a few years later, including Its a Beautiful Day and The Allman Bros. Band.

I fell in love with this song (White Bird) in the Early 1970's while listening to it on the FM radio while I fell asleep at night as a teenager.
Rick - Seattle, Wa
This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs of all time. The vocals, the instrumentation, and the words are just perfect.Linny - Harrisburg, Pa
?White Bird? was the biggest hit from the group?s first album, It?s A Beautiful Day, released in 1969. The album cover became famous. It depicted a bonneted girl in a long dress standing on a hill top and gazing into the blue sky with white clouds all around.Garry - Anchorage, Ak