"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.
The source of Marley's inspiration for the lyrics of "Three Little Birds" remains disputed. They are partly inspired by birds that Marley was fond of, that used to fly and sit next to his home. 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." However, three female singers from the reggae group I Threes who did shows with Marley claim it is a reference to them. 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?'"
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.
"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.
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. 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. The single was then cancelled in favour of an album-first release. 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". 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. The album was recorded in a bedroom studio, nicknamed "the hut".
"Three Little Birds" was released as Talbot's first single on 10 June 2008 in the UK, and released alongside the album in the U.S. on 14 October. Rashvin Bedi, writing for Malaysian newspaper The Star, said that "Three Little Birds" was her favourite song on Over the Rainbow. The single peaked at number 3 on the Independent Singles Charts in the United Kingdom, and entered the BillboardHot Singles Sales chart at number 2, dropping to 3 the next week. It then raised back to number 2, and, on the sixth week, reached number 1. 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, and to the success of her videos on YouTube. 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." As of November 2008, the single has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.
A music video for the song was shot in Jamaica in late March/early April 2008. Talbot was quoted as saying that "going to Jamaica was the best thing I've done this year". 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.