Kisses On The Bottom album artwork – Paul McCartneyWritten by: Ray Henderson (music), Mort Dixon (lyrics)
Recorded: March 2010
Producer: Tommy LiPuma
Engineer: Al Schmitt

Released: 6 February 2012 (UK), 7 February 2012 (US)

Available on:
Kisses On The Bottom


Paul McCartney: vocals
Diana Krall: piano
John Pizzarelli: guitar
Robert Hurst: bass
Karriem Riggins: drums
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alan Broadbent

Written in 1926 by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon, ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was recorded for Paul McCartney’s 2012 collection of American classics, Kisses On The Bottom.

It was first recorded by Gene Austin in 1926. Other notable versions were performed by Peggy Lee, Joe Cocker, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Etta James, Dean Martin, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli.

Ringo Starr recorded the song for his 1970 covers collection Sentimental Journey, and in 1962 John Coltrane recorded a jazz version lasting nearly 18 minutes for his album Bye Bye Blackbird.

Diana Krall, who played piano on McCartney’s recording, sang ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ in the 2009 Michael Mann film Public Enemies.

I never learnt to play [these songs]. All I ever did was sing them, at the family sing-songs. They’re quite complicated, the chords and things. I’d have a bash, and I did eventually become the sort of family piano player, at New Year, as my dad got a bit older and I got a bit more capable. But I was always busking it; he knew the real chords, and I had to busk my way around. But it was good enough for the family sing-song. A lot of these songs, like ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, were ones that I’d sung along with.
Paul McCartney

In the studio

The basic track for ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was recorded at Avatar Studios in New York, with the orchestra overdubbed at Abbey Road Studios in London. The rhythm arrangement was by Diana Krall.


Blackbird, blackbird singing the blues all day
Right outside my door
Blackbird, blackbird I’ve gotta be on my way
To where the sun shines once more

I’ll pack up all my cares and woe
Here I go, sing it low
Bye bye blackbird
Where somebody waits for me
Sugar is sweet, and so is she
Bye bye blackbird

No one here can love or understand me
Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me

Now make my bed and light the light
I’ll arrive late tonight
Blackbird, bye bye

No one here can love or understand me
Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me

Now make my bed and light the light
I’ll be home late tonight
Blackbird, oh blackbird
Blackbird, bye bye