Here’s our newest lesson on Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”
Jenny shows you a cool fingerpicked lick in the video.
Click here to download the Three Little Birds Lick : )
Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
Bob Marley and the Wailers released “Three Little Birds” 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 source of Bob Marley’s inspiration for the lyrics of “Three Little Birds” remains disputed. 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?'”
Covers of Three Little Birds
Numerous other artists have covered the song. Monty Alexander recorded a cover of “Three Little Birds” in January 1992. And in 1999, he released it as a hit single. Unlike the original, the Monty Alexander version is very jazz-heavy. The original length is 3:00.
British child singer, Connie Talbot, released “Three Little Birds” as a single on 10 June 2008. It was taken from the 2008 rerelease of her 2007 album “Over the Rainbow.” Talbot released a music video to publicize 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. 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.