Why The Caged Bird Sings

from This Perfect Day by Bill Gable

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about

Inspired by the Maya Angelou poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” I have always been struck by how people limit themselves. Rousseau once wrote “man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.” As I write this I realize I years ago wrote a song entitled “Chains” exploring the same theme.

The time signature in this song shifts continually because it seemed to support the narrative best that way. As with most of my more complicated songs, I tried it many ways before choosing the one that sounded the most natural to me. This was a difficult album and demanding in its own way on the players. I love the way Steve Rodby and Tom Brechtlein played this. I recall we only did a couple of takes.

lyrics

sunlight comes streaming through my window
somewhere out there in the world
there’s a place for me
pretty boy on a plastic swing
don’t it make you wonder
why the caged bird sings?

songlines across the blue horizon
following the setting sun
was my destiny
I dream I fly on silver wings
don’t it make you wonder
why the caged bird sings?

does he sing from hunger
does he sing for company
does he sing from happiness
or just to break monotony

lately I’ve left the door stand open
thinking any fool would fly
if you sent him free
don’t he know
outside it’s spring?
don’t it make you wonder
why the caged bird sings?

credits

from This Perfect Day, released December 8, 2003
Bill Gable: guitar, percussion and vocals
Steve Rodby: acoustic bass
Tom Brechtlein: drums
Judd Miller: EVI (harmonica)
Tollak Ollestad: harmonica solo

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about

Bill Gable Los Angeles, California

BILL GABLE is an uncompromisingly original American singer-songwriter, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist whose music spans the boundaries between pop, jazz and world music.

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