Bird on the Wire

Year Inducted: 2006
Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Written In:1969
Lyricist(s):Leonard Cohen
Composer(s):Leonard Cohen

On a small Greek island, Leonard Cohen moved into an old seaman’s house. There were no telephone poles or wires, but electricity finally came and with it wires that stretched across his windows. Watching them with a sense of disappointment and annoyance, Cohen noticed a bird on one of the wires: this was the genesis of the famous and much loved song. As with most of his work, it took many years to revise it and bring it to some acceptable version.

Bird on the Wire reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard music chart, #31 on Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart, and was used as the inspiration for a 1990 movie starring Mel Gibson, in which Aaron Neville sang the title song.

COVER ARTISTS INCLUDE: Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, k.d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, Neville Brothers, Johnny Cash, Tom Cochrane, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Soul Asylum, and Blackeyed Susans.

Bird on the Wire

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Audio

PLAY Bird On the Wire - Leonard Cohen (1969)