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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

01 December, 2009

Paul McCartney's 'Blackbird' and Iconic Realism (Click onto this title to view Paul McCartney singing "Blackbird")


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Paul McCartney's song, "Blackbird," is an example of iconic realism. When he composed "Blackbird' in the spring of 1968, the United States was dealing with civil rights issues, the women's movement, the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Vietnam War. Here, McCartney's focus is on the empowerment of the female African-American woman. 
The term 'bird' is an English slang for woman, and the blackbird is a literary symbol for freedom, so this blackbird, singing in the dead of night is the juxtaposition of an iconic, realistic figure in a realistic setting, not usually expected for that icon. McCartney's placement of this figure in this setting brings awareness of the hope for women, particularly African-American women, to find their freedom through equality within a 'sunken eyed' society. 
This simple song, introduced by a brief musical reference to Bach's Bourree, with meter changing from flowing waltz to a steady two-step, brings enlightenment of a cultural need for reform in regard to feminine empowerment in society. To this day, segments of the world's society need to awaken to the message in this song.

6 comments:

  1. I never knew the song had hidden depths, but the REALLY strange thing is that I can't stand Macca or The Brutales, they really really DEEPLY irritate me.BUT, here is the incredible bit, I was actually singing this song today!I never ever sing it, I hate it, I couldn't help myself(ihad just seen a Blackbird)but what kind of a coincidence is that,prof? Spooky!

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  2. TFE...No kidding! You were singing this P.M. tune today?! Truly, this is one of those unexplained phenomena. Hmmm....magical mystery, perhaps?? ; )
    I have wanted to use a Beatles' song as illustrative of this theory for a while. Just today, I looked up songs written by Paul McCartney. (I think I must've heard something on the radio regarding his current tour.)
    After reading the list of his songs, there it was, staring me right in the face. I did a little research on his original thoughts regarding this one since it has been around for a while and was amazed to find that its cultural/literary significance makes it an excellent example of this theory.
    Do you like the jazz version on my Playlist?

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  3. Actually, yes, I really like the Jazz version.SMOOTH!

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  4. Fascinating post! I was unaware of the meanings hidden in these lyrics. I LOVE this kind of thing. Fun stuff.

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  5. I am with T.F.E. but I was humming FREEDOM (Richie Havens) whilst suffering from a massive dose of food poisoning!

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  6. Willow: Good to hear from you. Yes, this is what I love about my theory.I am consistently finding illustrations in the most unusual places. Thanks for dropping by.

    Your Highness: Oh no! I sincerely hope you are feeling better and glad that Richie Havens helped you through it. Whether one is a Beatles fan or not, they have made a significant contribution to the pop music culture. And even if you don't like their music, they have composed it in such a way that it is easily adaptable to other musical genres...as evidenced in the jazz version of 'Macco's Blackbird.'
    Good to hear from you again and please take care of yourself. Once, I had food poisoning from linguine with clam sauce, thought I was going to die for sure...Clear broth and rice did the trick.

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