Album: After The Gold Rush (1970)


  • "Birds" is the eighth track on After The Gold Rush. It features no instrumentation other than piano and Young's voice. It's a song of loss, with Young comforting a lover he's about to leave. At just over two-and-a-half minutes long, it's one of the shortest songs on the album, trailing in that honor only "Till The Morning Comes" and "Cripple Creek Ferry."
  • The song's structure is interesting because the six-line chorus is longer than both four-line verses. It starts with Young reassuring his lover that there will be "another one who'll hover over you beneath the sun." The chorus then paints an image of Young flying away from his "little one," ending with the sweetly spoken yet harsh assurance that "it's over."

    It's a beautiful song (though Jimmy McDonough among others feel it was overworked in the studio) that's even more interesting looking at Young's life and career as a whole. He's always shown a penchant for abandoning people, from lovers to friends to bands. It's a notorious aspect of his personality, and one he himself has lamented on many occasion, both in interview and in song, for instance, "Running Dry (Requiem For The Rockets)."

    "Birds" can be viewed as another song of Young chronicling his own tendency to burn bridges and leave people behind as he chases his muse. Or, it can be enjoyed simply as a tale of the universal complexities of romantic love.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Martin Page

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.


AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.


SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.