Transformative Blackbird Grooves

A few weeks before Christmas my neighbor Laurin recommended the movie, “The Big Year.” Since my brother & I like birds (really like them) she thought we would enjoy this movie, based on a book by Mark Obmascik about three birders from diverse backgrounds going after the gold medal of birding: whoever spots the most North American species in one year (a Big Year.)

For some reason (not just because I like birds) this movie starring Steve Martin, Jack Black & Owen Wilson struck a chord with me, watched multiple times over the holidays. (My uncle needed to see it? friends? family?)

Since the movie starts at New Year’s and ends the following New Year’s, it seemed kinda holidayish. There’s also friendship, humor, transformation (especially Steve Martin’s character), lots of amazing birds, and music grooves that make the movie even more fun.

One song in particular caught my attention: Brad Mehldau’s jazzy rendition of “Blackbird,” originally written by Paul McCartney for the Beatles. At an important juncture for Steve Martin’s character, hard-nosed businessman Stu Preissler, this song conveys transformative internal grooves.

When my brother downloaded the movie music this week (& Brad Mehldau’s jazz album, “The Art of the Trio”) he added a rendition of ‘Blackbird’ Brad Mehldau does with Swedish soprano Anne Sofie von Otter on their “Love Songs” collaboration.


Here’s a YouTube version to have a listen.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night, Take these broken wings & learn to fly… Blackbird fly, blackbird fly, Into the light of the dark black night…” (Paul McCartney)

Over @ Haddon Musings, Bernadette posted a quote last week that went straight into my journal. Seems like a good fit for this song, not to be missed.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C. S. Lewis

May our broken wings be mended to fly like blackbirds in the night!

grace, peace & transformative blackbird grooves

Virginia : )

p.s. The C.S. Lewis quote also applies to characters from The Big Year movie, which makes it an inspirational film for everyone (not just birders!)

This entry was posted in MOVIES !!, Music and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Transformative Blackbird Grooves

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Loved watching the movie πŸŽ₯ 🍿 with you and Dwight. Great application from movie!

    • Virginia says:

      It’s such a fun movie – glad you enjoyed it, Cin. Uncle Wayne enjoyed it, too. Shere & Woody now want to see it, so we’re plotting a movie night. Much love! πŸ™‚

  2. Missed the movie but liked the Blackbird rendition, GL. Thanks! . . . MK

    • Virginia says:

      Oh Mark, hope you can see it! It’s funny & inspirational & amazing pictorially (+ great music) – but the mix of Steve Martin, Jack Black & Owen Wilson make it loads of fun. Much love! πŸ™‚

  3. indilydia says:

    Virginia, I know it’s been a long time. I’ve been off the blog world for the last many months due to big changes in my life and greater responsibilities. It’s really a sabbatical, and I’m trying to re-prioritize my life so that I can intentionally continue writing, not just as a luxury.

    However, why I wrote this is because of all of your posts to drop in from nowhere and read, it had to be this one, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the first Staff Inservice Day of the year for my teachers, and the theme that I’ve clearly ‘heard’ to be the signature for the whole year is ‘Transformation’. I’m actually finalizing my Powerpoint for the faculty meeting right now.

    I’m always taken aback by the way God speaks and creates. Thank you so much for your post. I’m going to requote Bernadette’s quote at the meeting, and mention what I read in your blog as a stepping stone to the presentation. I would so much value your prayers for the time with the faculty, and for my family’s own journey into greater change and purpose.

    Many regards,

    • Virginia says:

      So good to hear from you, Indi, you’re in my prayers! Transformation is such a good theme for all of us – in our daily lives & work lives, too. (It’s what we strove to facilitate with ‘long-term transformational development community programs’ when I worked in the Middle East & Africa.) πŸ™‚ I really like Bernadette’s quote – instead of belaboring origins of past quagmires, we can plot our way (with God’s help) to new beginnings (& endings.)

      May God continue to bless you in every way – in your work, at home, with your family. Change can be challenging, but it also presents opportunities for God’s grace & love to sustain you. May God continue to strengthen your faith!
      grace, peace & prayers – Virginia

  4. Rene Bowditch says:

    Virginia, I just saw the story about that song the other day somewhere. Here it is:
    Thanks for these great posts lady!!

    • Virginia says:

      Wow, Rene, thanks for this link! The connection of the Beatles’ Blackbird song to the Civil Rights Little Rock Nine makes it even more amazing. Paul McCartney still can sing it – boy, did I have a crush on him growing up (still do!) Much love! πŸ™‚

  5. TMH says:

    Virginia, geez, I love that photo above the excerpt from ‘Blackbird’. Coincidentally, my wife and I watched that same movie in December and enjoyed it. That Blackbird’ rendition caught Lisa’s fancy and I liked and bought the songs ‘This Could All Be Yours Someday’ by Guster and ‘Flood’ by Jeremy Fisher from that movie. Nice job of weaving in a good life lesson or two with your mini-review of the movie.

    • Virginia says:

      Tim, I took that blackbird photo whilst on silent retreat with the Jesuits 2 years ago in PA. (Searched photo files & it’s the only one that looked kinda like a blackbird?) πŸ™‚ So glad you also liked the movie – & the music! My brother (the music meister) downloaded a bunch of movie songs into a “Birds playlist” we’ve been groovin’ to (Guster & Jeremy Fisher inclusive, along with The Trashmen, Eels, Coldplay, Iron & Wine etc.) Blessings (& hope you’re not in Tsunami zones!!!!!!!) VA

  6. Thank you friend-I too love birds. Love that song. I use to love “snowbird” when I was young. Oh here’s to a year of beautiful birds!

    • Virginia says:

      Reading about your morning services, for sure you’re a bird groupie, Michele! We so enjoy watching them come to feeders & knock about our trees -especially all the woodpeckers (red bellied, downey, golden flickers – one of my most favorite birds – & we’ve even seen a few huge pilated!) Cheers to a year with lots of birds! Hugs! πŸ™‚

  7. arlene says:

    “May our broken wings be mended to fly like blackbirds in the night!”…how lovely!

  8. Pingback: A Song for Saturday | Roses in the Rubble

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