The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74827 Message #1316184
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
04-Nov-04 - 05:53 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: If I Were a Blackbird [not DT]
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: If I were a Blackbird [not DT]
The song has been issued commercially a number of times; like many others in the UK, I remember a rather sentimental arrangement being played frequently on mainstream radio programmes in the 1950s and '60s. I think that was recorded by Ronnie Ronalde in the 1950s; Delia Murphy made a very popular recording of it in the 1930s, as has been mentioned in most of the earlier threads on this song. I'd be surprised if both were not also frequently played on Australian radio.
The song probably isn't very old (though it borrows extensively from older songs), but it has been widespread in Britain and Ireland for more than a century; Sharp and Gardiner both found it in the South West of England in the first decade of the 20th century, for example. Most people who sing it nowadays will probably have learned it, directly or at a few removes, from the Ronalde or Murphy records.