The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20634   Message #667485
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
12-Mar-02 - 12:23 AM
Thread Name: Who/what is the Great Speckled Bird?
Subject: RE: Who/what is THE GREAT SPECKLED BIRD?
The "Great Speckled Bird," by Rev. Guy Smith, consists of eight four-line verses. The longer version by Acuff, Number (2) given in the DT, contains the original words by Smith, but has two errors which were perpetuated in one of Acuff's recordings. The verses are run together, as well.
Verse 1:
(G)What a beautiful thought I am (C)thinking,
Con(D)cerning a great speckled (G)bird.
Remember her name is re(C)corded
On the (D)pages of God's Holy (G)Word.
(Acuff sang "On the pages of pure shining gold")

Verse 4:
Desiring to lower her standard,
They watch every move that she makes;
They long to find fault with her teachings,
But really they find no mistake.
(Acuff sang "But they cannot find any mistakes")

I have added Acuff's chords. His first recording, (1937) did not include verses 2, 3, 5 or 6.

Guy Smith's poem was printed in 1936 in a newspaper, before Roy Acuff's copyright. Smith may have obtained the idea from an earlier hymn or poem. (Traditional Ballad Index)