Fans react to Beyoncé’s cover of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ from ‘Cowboy Carter’

Beyoncé’s cover of The Beatles classic ‘Blackbird’, included on her new album ‘Cowboy Carter’, has prompted a lot of reactions among fans.

‘Cowboy Carter’ was released today (March 29), her eighth studio album and the second in an expected trilogy that began with 2022’s ‘Renaissance’.

The second track on the album is a cover of the 1968 Beatles song, which she has renamed ‘Blackbiird’. Given the album’s embrace of country influences – including a cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and appearances from Willie Nelson and Linda Martell – and its themes concerning race in American music history, the song has been chosen pointedly.

Listen to ‘Blackbiird’ here:

Paul McCartney wrote ‘Blackbird’ during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, just weeks after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. As he is quoted in the 1997 book Many Years From Now: “Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a Black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: ‘Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.’”

McCartney was also inspired in part to write the song by the Little Rock Nine, a group of Black teenagers who tried to enrol at an all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957.

In Beyoncé’s version, she uses McCartney’s original guitar part, accentuating the melody with the harmonised vocals of Black country singers Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy. The emphasis on the words “learn to fly” and “moment to arise” highlight the positive messaging of the original track.

Many on social media have been sharing how emotional the experience of listening to ‘Blackbiird’ has been, with one writing: “Paul McCartney wrote Blackbird about a Black woman during the civil rights movement so for Beyoncé to put the Black country girls on this specific song. I’m going to be so normal about my favorite song.”

Another said: “All the black country girlies on blackbird where tf is my box of tissue bitch”.

Check out a range of other reactions to the song below:

‘Cowboy Carter’ also includes features from Post Malone and Miley Cyrus, although the long-rumoured appearance from Taylor Swift did not materialise.

Before its release, Queen Bey also addressed some of the backlash she had received for foraying into the country music sphere. Writing on Instagram, she said: “This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.”

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