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.