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Confirmed: Beyoncé's 'Blackbiird' Used Original Backing Track From the Beatles Song

The 56-year-old song still reverberates for all the right reasons.

beyoncepaulmccartney blackbird
Source: Parkwood/Blandford/Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency Entertainment LLC/

Beyoncé provided an 'act ii' for the Beatles' 'Blackbird.'

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Beyoncé, Paul McCartney and various sources have confirmed in a story via Variety that the Beatles' 1968 song "Blackbird" is indeed the rendition heard on the Cowboy Carter track "Blackbiird."

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Source: Blair Caldwell/Parkwood Entertainment LLC

The 'Cowboy Carter' credits are slowing rolling out.

McCartney's acoustic guitar and foot-tapping (specifically miked by engineer Geoff Emerick at McCartney's request) are the basis and source backing for "Blackbiird." While credits have been coming out slowly for all 27 songs, for this track, Beyoncé, McCartney and John Lennon are listed as songwriters and McCartney is included as a producer (along with Beyoncé and Khirye Tyler).

The 56-year-old song still reverberates for all the right reasons. Initially conceived by McCartney after the Beatles return from their meditation retreat in Rishikesh, India, he wrote the song in April 1968 at his High Park Farm in Kintyre, Scotland. Basing the melody off J.S. Bach's "Bourree in E minor," he brought the song to George Harrison's house where, in addition to Lennon who supplied chirping noises, they committed a demo to tape in late May.

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McCartney brought "Blackbird" into EMI Studio Two on June 11 as the first song he wanted to record for what would become known as the "White Album." Harrison and Ringo Starr were not present during the session and Lennon stayed only briefly before leaving to gather sound effects for his composition "Revolution 9."

Producer George Martin was in the control room with Emerick as McCartney was being filmed for a short promo be shown to executives at EMI and Capitol Records. McCartney did 32 takes of "Blackbird" with just himself on his 1967 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar and vocal along with his tapping feet and, as notated from The Beatles Recording Sessions, bird sound effects were "courtesy of Volume Seven: Birds Of Feather from the Abbey Road taped sound-effects collection."

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Source: ℗ © Lennon/McCartney/Sony ATV Music/The Beatles//YouTube

The Beatles - Blackbird [REHEARSAL]

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"Blackbird" appeared as track three on Side Two of The Beatles (aka the White Album), released in the U.S. on November 25th, 1968. He was never able to play the song while the Beatles were still a unit, however, he eventually started to incorporate it during the Wings Over America tour in 1976 and continues to perform it in concert.

To swing the pendulum back to the present day, one can see why this song has personal meaning for Beyoncé, who recruited four Black women country singers – Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts and Brittney Spencer – to provide harmony vocals for her rendition.

Source: Paul McCartney Official/Facebook

McCartney with Thelma Mothershed and Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine, and inspirations for 'Blackbird,' 2016.

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During his One on One world tour in 2016, McCartney who had at various times throughout his career made mention of the lyrical inspiration for the song, on this night at the tour's stop in Little Rock, Arkansas, met two women who were part of the Little Rock Nine: African American students who became the first to attend Little Rock Central High School in 1957, desegregating the school and becoming symbols of the American civil rights movement.

"Way back in the '60s, there was a lot of trouble going on over civil rights, particularly in Little Rock," he said from the stage that night. "We would notice this on the news back in England, so it's a really important place for us, because to me, this is where civil rights started. We would see what was going on and sympathize with the people going through those troubles, and it made me want to write a song that, if it ever got back to the people going through those troubles, it might just help them a little bit."


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