“The sunsets come
The sunsets go
The clouds roll by
And the earth turns old
And the young bird’s eyes
Do always glow”
Song quote from It’s a Beautiful Day’s White Bird, 1967, songwriters: David and Linda LaFlamme
“White Bird” was written in December 1967, in Seattle, Washington. Manager Matthew Katz had moved the band there to polish their act at a small Seattle ballroom before booking them into San Francisco nightclubs. Living in the attic of a Victorian house across the street from Volunteer Park, the band had inadequate food and no transportation during a dreary Seattle winter. The song evolved from the depression of the band’s circumstances and yearning to be free.
The song’s repeated chorus is, “White bird must fly or she will die.”
In a later interview, LaFlamme said:
Where the ‘white bird’ thing came from … We were like caged birds in that attic. We had no money, no transportation, the weather was miserable. We were just barely getting by on a very small food allowance provided to us. It was quite an experience, but it was very creative in a way.
The song was arranged and produced by LaFlamme and sung as a duet between him and group member Patti Santos. A prominent stylistic feature of the song’s original arrangement are multiple violin parts overdubbed by LaFlamme.