Three Little Birds

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This article is about the Bob Marley & The Wailers song. For the fairytale, see The Three Little Birds.
"Three Little Birds"
Single by Bob Marley and the Wailers
from the album Exodus
B-side Every Need Got an Ego to Feed
Released Joaquin
Format 7"
Recorded 1977
Genre Roots reggae
Length 3:01
Label Tuff Gong
Writer(s) Bob Marley
Producer(s) Bob Marley and the Wailers
Bob Marley and the Wailers singles chronology
"Could You Be Loved"
(1980)
"Three Little Birds"
(1980)
"Redemption Song"
(1980)
Exodus track listing
"Turn Your Lights Down Low"
(8)
"Three Little Birds"
(9)
"One Love/People Get Ready"
(10)

"Three Little Birds" is a song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It is the fourth track on side two of their 1977 album Exodus and was released as a single in 1980. The song reached the Top 20 in the UK, peaking at number 17. It is one of Bob Marley's most popular songs. The song has been covered by numerous other artists. One of the most notable covers was by British singer Connie Talbot, whose version reached number one on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart in 2008.

Writing and inspiration[edit]

The source of Marley's inspiration for the lyrics of "Three Little Birds" remains disputed. They're partly inspired by birds that Marley was fond of, that used to fly and sit next to his home.[1] Tony Gilbert, a long time friend of Marley, was present at the time he was writing the song and elaborated, "Bob got inspired by a lot of things around him, he observed life. I remember the three little birds. They were pretty birds, canaries, who would come by the windowsill at Hope Road."[1] However, three female singers from the reggae group I Threes who did shows with Marley claim it is a reference to them.[1] I Threes member Marcia Griffiths remarked, "After the song was written, Bob would always refer to us as the Three Little Birds. After a show, there would be an encore, sometimes people even wanted us to go back onstage four times. Bob would still want to go back and he would say, 'What is my Three Little Birds saying?'"[1]

Covers[edit]

Releases[edit]

Other uses[edit]

Baseball player Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox, a fan of Bob Marley, uses the song as his at-bat music. During the 2013 season, the crowd at Fenway Park would sing the chorus “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right” whenever Victorino comes to bat.[2] The song has become associated with the 2013 Red Sox team, which went on to win the World Series.[3] At Amsterdam ArenA, they play the song during Ajax games near the end of half-time. The song was used in the Full of Life ad for Danone Actimel Ireland.

In 2013, Marley's son, Stephen Marley, and Jason Bentley, remixed the song for a campaign by the automobile manufacturer Hyundai in the United States for their Bluelink in-vehicle telematics system.

Monty Alexander version[edit]

"Three Little Birds"
Single by Monty Alexander
from the album Stir it up - The Music of Bob Marley
Released September 25, 1999
Format 7", CD
Genre Jazz, Reggae
Label Telarc International Corporation
Writer(s) Bob Marley

Monty Alexander recorded a cover of "Three Little Birds" in January 1992 and, in 1999, he released it as a hit single. The Cover was also produced from him and unlike the original the Monty Alexander version is very Jazz-heavy. The original Length is 3:00.

Track listings[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Three Little Birds"   Bob Marley 3:00
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
2. "Could You Be Loved"   Bob Marley 2:50

Connie Talbot version[edit]

"Three Little Birds"
Single by Connie Talbot
from the album Over the Rainbow
B-side "You Raise Me Up"
Released June 10, 2008 (2008-06-10)
Format CD Single
Genre Reggae
Length 3:08
Label Rainbow Recording Company
Writer(s) Bob Marley
Producer(s) Simon Hill and Rob May
Music video
Three Little Birds on YouTube

"Three Little Birds" was released as the first single by British child singer, Connie Talbot on 10 June 2008. It was taken from the 2008 rerelease of her 2007 album, Over the Rainbow. Talbot released a music video to publicise the single, which was filmed in Jamaica. The release reached number 3 on the UK Independent Singles Chart, and number 1 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart in the United States.

Background[edit]

After rising to fame on the first series of Britain's Got Talent, Talbot signed with Rainbow Recording Company and began production of her debut album, Over the Rainbow.[4] The album initially featured several Christmas themed songs, and the first single, "Over the Rainbow"/"White Christmas", was planned be released on 3 December 2007.[4] The single was then cancelled in favour of an album-first release.[5] The album was rereleased with more general tracks to replace the Christmas songs, and one of the new tracks was a cover of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds".[6] The songs on the album were chosen with collaboration between Talbot and her management; first Talbot and her family wrote "a list of the songs that Connie would sing at her birthday party", and the management then thought "long and hard" about including the more adult songs, including "I Will Always Love You", but Talbot herself insisted.[7] The album was recorded in a bedroom studio, nicknamed "the hut".[8]

Release and reception[edit]

"Three Little Birds" was released as Talbot's first single on 10 June 2008 in the UK,[9] and released alongside the album in the U.S. on 14 October.[10] Rashvin Bedi, writing for Malaysian newspaper The Star, said that "Three Little Birds" was her favourite song on Over the Rainbow.[11] The single peaked at number 3 on the Independent Singles Charts in the United Kingdom,[12] and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 2, dropping to 3 the next week.[13] It then raised back to number 2, and, on the sixth week, reached number 1.[14] Talbot received attention from the British press because of the single's success, with the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph attributing her success in America to her appeal to the Christian market,[15][16] and to the success of her videos on YouTube.[16] Talbot's father, Gavin, spoke about the song reaching number one, saying "When we received the phone call we were driving back from doing a round of radio interviews in London and Connie was asleep in the back of the car. When we told her she just took it in her stride. I just cannot believe that she is number one in America. We are all very proud of her. It is a big achievement – people have just taken a shine to her." He also said it was "a big shock to hear she was number one. It is tremendous."[17] As of November 2008, the single has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.[18]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song was shot in Jamaica in late March/early April 2008.[19] Talbot was quoted as saying that "going to Jamaica was the best thing I've done this year".[19] The video begins with images of Talbot skipping through a garden, which is then replaced with an image of her singing on a beach. She then joins a child whose parents had been arguing and plays with them and others in a field, then dances with them on the beach. The children are then lead to a stage, where Talbot performs as the others sing and play musical instruments. The video closes with Talbot in the garden, skipping away from the camera. After the success of the single in the U.S., the Daily Mail attributed much of Talbot's success to her YouTube videos, mentioning that the "Three Little Birds" music video had attracted more than 82 million views.[16]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Country Peak Date
Independent Singles Charts UK 3 20 June 2008
Hot Singles Sales U.S. 1 27 November 2008

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Three Little Birds"   Bob Marley Bob Marley 3:08
2. "You Raise Me Up"   Brendan Graham Rolf Løvland 4:04

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d Goldman (2006), p. 241
  2. ^ "Bob Marley, Shane Victorino and the Series". ESPN.com. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (2013-10-31). "Victorino's 'big moment' leads Red Sox back to top". MLB.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sewards, Lisa (2007-11-17). "Connie gets second bite at stardom as gap-toothed girl shrugs off Cowell's rejection". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  5. ^ "Connie’s dream of a hit single". Express & Star. 2008-01-13. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Britain’s Got Talent Connie Talbot sings Three Little Birds". Daily Mirror. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  7. ^ Mason, Kerri (2008-10-10). "Record buyers head-"Over"-heels for 7-year-old". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  8. ^ Lopez, Korina (2008-11-02). "'Talent' star Connie Talbot is 7 going on globally successful". U.S.A. Today. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "Buy Connies single today!". Rhythm Riders. 2008-06-10. Archived from the original on 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Connie Talbot Soars 'Over The Rainbow' and Up the Billboard Charts (press release)". AAO Music/Reality Records. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  11. ^ Bedi, Rashvin. "Over the Rainbow". The Star. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "Connies single at No. 3!". Rhythm Riders. 2008-06-20. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Three Little Birds- Hot 100". Billboard. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 16 November 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Hot Singles Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  15. ^ de Wilde, Gervase (2008-11-28). "Connie Talbot goes to Number One on the Billboard Charts". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  16. ^ a b c "Connie Talbot, 8, the Britain's Got Talent star snubbed by Simon Cowell, breaks America". London: Daily Mail. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  17. ^ "Connie tops the US charts". Sutton Coldfield Observer. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Harrison, Ruth (2008-11-27). "Album Review: Connie Talbot’s Christmas Album". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 30 November 2008. 
  19. ^ a b Van Guens, Sharon (2008-04-06). "Britains Got Talent star Connie's got teeth". The Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 16 November 2008. 
Bibliography

External links[edit]