Album: Mockingbird (1963)
Charted: 33 7
Play Video


  • This is based on a traditional American folk song sometimes known as "Hush Little Baby." The song is a lullaby, intended to soothe a young child to sleep with promises of expensive gifts. Northern Mockingbirds were often kept as pets in America, which explains the significance of the lyrics.
  • Bo Diddley used the traditional lyrics for his 1955 song "Bo Diddley," but his song had a completely different arrangement.
  • Inez and Charlie Foxx were brother and sister. In 1974, James Taylor and Carly Simon, who were married at the time, recorded their version, which was also a hit. Country singer Toby Keith recorded it with his teenage daughter Krystal in 2004, and that same year, Eminem made it into a song for his daughter Hailie. Eminem's song veers from the traditional lyrics as he details his struggles to raise his daughter and threatens to break the bird's neck if it doesn't sing.
  • Toby Keith did a duet of this song with his daughter, Krystal, for his 2004 Greatest Hits Volume 2 album.
  • This song is part of a key scene in the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber, where Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels sing it for musical entertainment.

Comments: 3

  • Slotko from SerbiaThese lyrics are from Carly Simon and James Taylor and bear little resemblance to what Inez Foxx sang.

    NOBODY sings this song as well as Inez Foxx, although Aretha Franklin comes close to it.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 10th 1965, Aretha Franklin performed "Mockingbird" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    Two years later on December 17th, 1967 her covered version of the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 17th 1967, Aretha Franklin's covered version of "Mockingbird" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #94; the following week it remained at #94 and that also was its final week on the Top 100...
    It reached #57 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
    The Queen of Soul, born Aretha Louise Franklin, will celebrate her 73rd birthday in three months on March 25th {2015}.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song Spoofs

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien Songs

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots

Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple PilotsSongwriter Interviews

Stone Temple Pilots bass player Robert DeLeo names the songs that have most connected with fans and tells the stories behind tracks from their Tiny Music album.

American Hits With Foreign Titles

American Hits With Foreign TitlesSong Writing

What are the biggest US hits with French, Spanish (not "Rico Suave"), Italian, Scottish, Greek, and Japanese titles?

Colin Hay

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.