top of page

Songbird - Fleetwood Mac





Throughout decade after decade of touring, Fleetwood Mac, when Christine McVie was with them, would finish every concert with "Songbird", so it's appropriate that she sign off here with what has become her most famous composition, last track, side one, of the classic album "Rumours".


Famously the song came to Christine in a rush and fully formed around midnight on an evening when she was having trouble getting to sleep. Fearful she would forget the tune and chords, she had to then stay awake till morning so she could hurry to the studio to record it.


After 28 years with the band, in 1999 Christine McVie quit and returned to England to be closer to her father and brother.

After the death of her father and following divorce from her then husband, she descending into loneliness, depression, codeine addiction, and agoraphobia along with fear of flying and fear of travelling in cars. In 2014, she was persuaded by fellow band member Mick Fleetwood to visit him at his home in Hawaii. While there she played with Mick's local band, and was then open to be persuaded to rejoin and tour with Fleetwood Mac. In a recent interview, she said she realised that the family and home she had been looking for was the band all along, and that she was never happier than touring with them.


She was once asked who the "you" in the song was, and she replied that it was, indeed, Fleetwood Mac, a not inconvenient answer considering the chequered amorous history of all of the band members. Convenient or not, this was a truth that became more and more self-evident as the years passed.


In 2017, Christine was a guest on BBC Radio 4's "Desert Island Discs"(you can hear it on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b09jby2m ). When asked the traditional final question: "if you were allowed to have only one of the discs you have chosen, which would it be?" she said she couldn't make up her mind between "Man of the World" by Fleetwood Mac or Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending", before choosing the latter. "Man of the World" was by the band before she had joined them, but reminded her of guitarist and vocalist Peter Green, (see https://www.unclestylus.com/single-post/2020/08/12/man-of-the-world-fleetwood-mac ) who formed the band; the Vaughan Williams reminded her of her father, who was a concert violinist, practicing in the front room of her childhood home.


"Songbird" is all of Christine McVie, her soulful piano playing, her skill as a songwriter, her warmth and natural generosity, her beautiful very English, but paradoxically, very bluesy singing.


"........and I wish you all the love in the world but most of all, I wish it from myself;


and the songbirds keep singing like they know the score and I love you, I love you, I love you like never before, like never before, like never before."



bottom of page