I'm Like a Bird

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"I'm Like a Bird"
Nelly Furtado - I'm Like a Bird.jpg
One variant of the standard artwork
Single by Nelly Furtado
from the album Whoa, Nelly!
ReleasedSeptember 26, 2000 (2000-09-26)
Studio
GenreFolk-pop[1]
Length4:03
LabelDreamWorks
Songwriter(s)Nelly Furtado
Producer(s)
Nelly Furtado singles chronology
"I'm Like a Bird"
(2000)
"Turn Off the Light"
(2001)
Music video
"I'm Like a Bird" on YouTube

"I'm Like a Bird" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado. It was written by Furtado and produced by Gerald Eaton and Brian West for her debut studio album, Whoa, Nelly! (2000). Released as the album's first single, it became one of the most successful singles of 2001, peaking at number one in Portugal, number two in Australia and New Zealand, number five in the United Kingdom, and number nine in the United States. It was the eighth-most-played song on Canadian radio in 2001.

In 2002, "I'm Like a Bird" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year[2] and won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, making Furtado the first female act to win the award for her debut single since Mariah Carey did so ten years earlier and the last to be awarded to a Canadian in the category.[3] It also won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2001.[4]

Composition[edit]

"I'm Like a Bird" is composed common time in the key of B♭ major.[5] The song moves at 90 beats per minute, and Furtado's voice spans around two octaves, from F3 to F5.[5] It is written in verse-chorus form, with a bridge before the third chorus.[5]

Furtado's response[edit]

In 2006, Furtado said of the song, "I've heard it sung at karaoke or by cover bands and it was awesome — I was like, wow, I've got one of those songs. Somebody once called it a 'hairbrush song', one that girls and guys sing in front of the mirror with their hairbrush. I just think I'm lucky I have it — it's paying the bills!".[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "I'm Like a Bird" was directed by Francis Lawrence, and features heavy use of CGI.[7] The video begins in the sky where the camera slowly pans down onto Furtado, who is lying in the grass. It then shows her singing on a tree trunk in mid-air. In the chorus she gets up and starts singing to the camera while birds are flying around her. The second verse shows her sitting in mid-air in a forest, while singing to the camera. The chorus consists of flashes of Furtado singing in mid-air, again, while leaning on the tree trunk. During the bridge she is singing to a bug while her eyes change colour, which changes the bug's color accordingly. The conclusion of the video shows her falling backwards from a branch into a crowd as she sings the final chorus of the song. The last shot pans out to reveal a crowd of tens of thousands.

There was an edited version of the music video for European VH1, where some scenes were changed.

Track listings[edit]

Canadian and European CD single, UK cassette single[8][9]
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Like a Bird" (LP version)4:03
2."Party (Reprise)" (non-LP version)4:55
UK CD single[10]
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Like a Bird" (LP version)4:02
2."Party (Reprise)" (non-LP version)4:53
3."My Love Grows Deeper" (non-LP version)4:54
4."I'm Like a Bird" (CD-ROM video) 
European maxi-CD single and Australasian CD single[11]
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Like a Bird" (LP version) 
2."Party (Reprise)" (non-LP version) 
3."I Feel You" (featuring Esthero) 
4."My Love Grows Deeper" (non-LP version) 

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the Whoa, Nelly! album booklet.[12]

Studios

  • Recorded and engineered at The Gymnasium (Toronto, Canada) and Can-Am Recorders (Tarzana, Los Angeles)
  • Mixed at Can-Am Recorders (Tarzana, Los Angeles)
  • Mastered at Classic Sound (New York City)

Personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Sales and certifications for "I'm Like a Bird"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[55] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[56] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[58] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release history of "I'm Like a Bird"
Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States September 26, 2000 Contemporary hit radio DreamWorks [59]
Australia February 19, 2001 CD single [60]
United Kingdom February 26, 2001 Polydor [61]
Germany March 5, 2001 Universal [62]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "I'm Like a Bird" reached number 19 when RPM ceased publication in November 2000.
  2. ^ "I'm Like a Bird" reached number 65 when RPM ceased publication in November 2000.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nelly Furtado: 'It was overwhelming trying to keep it all together'". April 21, 2017.
  2. ^ Staff (January 4, 2002). "44th Annual Grammy Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "Grammy Awards Winners & Nominees for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". Grammy Awards. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "Winners + Nominees". The JUNO Awards. Retrieved May 7, 2020. Select 2001 from the drop-down list near the top of the page.
  5. ^ a b c Sheet music for "I'm Like a Bird". Nelstar Publishing. 2001.
  6. ^ de Silverio, Victoria. "Nelly Furtado: Free As A Bird" Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Blender. July 2006. Retrieved September 18, 2006.
  7. ^ Method Studios - Nelly Furtado "I'm Like a Bird" Archived October 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ I'm Like a Bird (Canadian & European CD single liner notes). Nelly Furtado. DreamWorks Records. 2000. 450 933-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ I'm Like a Bird (UK cassette single sleeve). Nelly Furtado. DreamWorks Records. 2001. 450 919 4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ I'm Like a Bird (UK CD single liner notes). Nelly Furtado. DreamWorks Records. 2001. 450 933-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ I'm Like a Bird (European maxi-CD single & Australasian CD single liner notes). Nelly Furtado. DreamWorks Records. 2000. 450 934-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ Whoa, Nelly! (Canadian CD album booklet). Nelly Furtado. DreamWorks Records. 2000. 0044-50285-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  14. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  15. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7292." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7102." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  19. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". Tracklisten.
  20. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 18, no. 18. April 28, 2001. p. 9. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  21. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like a Bird" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'm Like a Bird". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  24. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". Top Digital Download.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 12, 2001" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  26. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  27. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". Top 40 Singles.
  28. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". VG-lista.
  29. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 19, no. 26. June 23, 2001. p. 14. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Top of the Year 2001". Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on December 9, 2002. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". Singles Top 100.
  33. ^ "Nelly Furtado – I'm Like A Bird". Swiss Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  35. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  38. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  39. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 2001". ARIA. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  40. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2001" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  41. ^ "Rapports annuels 2001" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  42. ^ "Canada's Top 200 Singles of 2001 (200–101)". Jam!. Archived from the original on July 26, 2002. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  43. ^ "BDS CHART : Top 100 of 2001". Jam!. Archived from the original on July 1, 2002. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  44. ^ "Year in Review – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 2001" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 19, no. 52. December 22, 2001. p. 14. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  45. ^ "Tops de L'année | Top Singles 2001" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  46. ^ "Ireland – Top Singles for 2001". Allcharts.org. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  47. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 2001". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  48. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2001" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  49. ^ "End of Year Charts 2001". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  50. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 2001" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  51. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2001". hitparade.ch (in German). Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  52. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2001" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  53. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 2001". Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  54. ^ "Top 100 top played radio tracks in Canada in 2002". Jam!. Archived from the original on September 6, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  55. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  56. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Nelly Furtado – I'm Like a Bird". Music Canada. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Nelly Furtado – I'm Like a Bird". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  58. ^ "American single certifications – Nelly Furtado – I'm Like a Bird". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  59. ^ "CHR/Pop: Going for Adds". Radio & Records. No. 1369. September 22, 2000. p. 96.
  60. ^ "The ARIA Report: ARIA New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 19th February 2001" (PDF). ARIA. February 19, 2001. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2002. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  61. ^ "I'm Like a Bird". Amazon UK.
  62. ^ "I'M Like a Bird". Amazon Germany.