Snowbird (song)

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Single by Anne Murray
from the album This Way Is My Way
B-side "Just Bidin' My Time"
Released June 1970
Format 7"
Recorded 1969
Genre Country pop, soft rock
Length 2:10
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Gene MacLellan
Producer(s) Brian Ahern
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Anne Murray singles chronology
"Bidin' My Time"
"Put Your Hand in the Hand"

"Snowbird" is a song by the Canadian songwriter Gene MacLellan. Though it has been recorded by many performers (including Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley), it is best known through Anne Murray's 1969 recording, which—after appearing as an album track in mid-1969—was eventually released as a single in the summer of 1970. It was a #2 hit on Canada's pop chart and went to #1 on both the Canadian adult contemporary and country charts. The song reached #8 on the U.S. pop singles chart, spent six weeks at #1 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart, and became a surprise Top 10 U.S. country hit as well. It was certified as a gold single by the RIAA, the first American Gold record ever awarded to a Canadian solo female artist.[1] The song peaked at #23 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2003 it was an inaugural song inductee of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.[2]

Anne Murray and Gene MacLellan had met while both were regulars on the CBC television series Singalong Jubilee and Murray recorded two of MacLellan's compositions: "Snowbird" and "Biding My Time" for her first major label album release, This Way Is My Way recorded in 1969. Murray would recall: "Gene told me he wrote ["Snowbird"] in twenty minutes while walking on a beach in PEI."[3]

The theme and approach broadly resemble that of the earlier hits "Message to Michael" (a.k.a. "Kentucky Bluebird" in hit versions by Lou Johnson and Adam Faith) and "Yellow Bird" in contrasting the narrator's being stuck in the place of his/her heartache to the bird's ability to just up and fly away. "Snowbird" sold well over a million copies and was recently picked as 19th on the 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version list, a partially populist approach to defining the most influential songs by Canadians.

Gene MacLellan made his own recording of "Snowbird" on his 1970 album Street Corner Preacher: MacLellan's version features an additional verse to the song's standard two verse format.

In 2007 Anne Murray remade "Snowbird" for her Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends album, the song being rendered as a duet with Sarah Brightman.

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Preceded by
"Wonder Could I Live There Anymore"
by Charley Pride
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Anne Murray version)

August 22 - September 5, 1970
Succeeded by
"Everything a Man Could Ever Need"
by Glen Campbell
Preceded by
"I Just Can't Help Believing" by B.J. Thomas
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Anne Murray version)
August 29, 1970 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters