"Hummingbird" as written by and B.b. King....
I don't know what love is, but I think I must have it bad
Yeah, you I don't know what love is, people, whoah, but I think I must have it bad
Yeah, you know some people say love is just a gamble, but whatever it is, it's enough to drive old me mad

They say love is just a proposition, people. it's strictly a game of give and take
Yeah, they tell me love, love, love is a proposition, people, they say it's strictly a game of give and take
Whoah, but my woman took all I gave her and I'm here to tell to you that love proposition stuff 's a fake

Oh, I don't claim to be no gambler people, oh, I don't know much about the dice
Yes, I don't claim to be no gambler people, I tell you I don't know much about the dice
Oh, but I wait and my baby knows, she knows I'm not the kind who's gonna crap out twice

Yes, she left me early this mornin', I don't know the reason why
She just got up early this mornin', didn't even say good-bye
But I love you, I love you, you know I love you baby, although you made me cry
Yes, there are a lot of women who love me, oh, but how you satisfy


Lyrics submitted by dashgoo12

"Hummingbird" as written by Johnnie Pate B.b. King

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hummingbird song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI saw that no one had posted this song yet, so I definitely felt the obligation to share such an amazing work with fellow John intellects. I've only heard this live, and I pray that he puts it on his next album because it is truly phenomenal. Its melancholy hopefulness reminds me of a friendship that I am disentangling myself from right now, and this song is how I hope that my friend feels about me. I put the lyrics up as an away message, hoping he'll get the point.

    "Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I wanted her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But then I didn't even think that she knows."

    This hits home... he never told me until it was too late, and now I'm picking up and leaving.
    Leave it to John to write a song for every situation of my life. I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do... I hope he plays it when I go see him in August.
    dashgoo12on June 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I wanted her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But then I didn't even think that she knows"

    i understand this part but the hummingbird parts are lost on me... any ideas? i think the flute in this song is kind of annoying perhaps because it sounds like a bird that wakes me up every saturday as i try desperately to sleep in. so yeah hate to admitt it but this is not one of my favorites of jcm's...maybe if someone had some insight into the meaning i might like it more though! help!
    mayerhavemybabieson January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the correct lyrics are:
    "Once upon almost every mornin
    I woke up to find her flying in
    Hummingbird was making blurs of
    Blue and rings of purple in the air

    All the while
    I was trying to keep her there
    Not man enough to leave
    Man enough to always care"

    I think hummingbirds are symbolic of messengers and beauty. 'Its long tongue lets it bypass the often tough and bitter outer layer to find the hidden treasures underneath.' I think the meaning of this song is that there was a girl that brought beauty into his life (first lines) and he selfishly tried to hold onto her even when he wasn't feeling her that much. And only after she left did he truly realize what he lost.
    InLoveon October 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I wanted her to go"...... I love that... I think that there was a woman who brought joy to his life, but he was feeling himself too much and didn't let her know that he loved her... and he would tell all of his boys that he didnt really want her, or that she was just 'whatever' to him... but in reality she meant a lot. And now, when she's already gone, he doesn't know what to do.. he realizes he should've just told her he needed her/loved her.. but its too late.... even tho he 'will always care'
    Pryncess33on December 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOnce upon almost every morning
    I woke up to find her flying there
    Hummingbird was making blurs of
    Blue and rings of purple in the air

    all the while
    I was trying to keep her there
    Now I'm man enough to leave
    Man enough to always care

    Hummingbird
    Hummingbird
    That's all I heard
    That's my hummingbird

    Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I want her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But that i didnt want her to know

    Now that she's gone i know
    all the while i was trying to keep her there
    Now I'm man enough to lead
    Man enough to always care

    Hummingbird
    Hummingbird
    That song I heard
    That's my hummingbird

    Hummingbird
    Hummingbird
    mtfn22on August 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"in fact i quite depended on her" ... as much as i love johnny, that line almost makes me mad. i guess just because it sounds like he's been taking her for granted.. maybe even hoping she wouldn't notice. well... i guess she did.


    of course, i can't stay mad at johnny. haha. no way. he's my hero.
    *MadeForThis*on September 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song.

    "Once upon almost every mornin
    I woke up to find her flying in
    Hummingbird was making blurs of
    Blue and rings of purple in the air"

    This is saying she's a woman that's "flying" in and out of his life- flittering around like a hummingbird.

    "All the while
    I was trying to keep her there
    Not man enough to leave
    Man enough to always care"

    He doesn't really want to be in a relationship with her, but at the same time, wants to be in her life. Selfish, sure, but realistic- I think we've all been in that sort of situation before.

    "Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I want her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But that i didnt want her to know"

    Again, he needs her, depends on her, but doesn't want to seem weak by admitting so. Actually, he doesn't want to admit how much he needs her because she's the one who will come and go as she pleases- it's easier for him to remain aloof at the chance of getting hurt. Like I mentioned earlier, the hummingbird metaphor is used to describe someone free who comes and goes as they pleases; this woman is a hummingbird to him.

    That's my take on it all, at least :)
    brittpinkieon July 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust to help shed some light on the Hummingbird idea is that the Hummingbird represents a woman. These types of birds and fast, graceful, but hard to keep around. They are extremely timid, and if you don't give them enough space, they won't come around. So in a way, when John says, "Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I wanted her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But then I didn't even think that she knows"

    He doesn't want her to get scared because he feels too much too soon. Thats what I get from the entire song. This is one of my new favorites, but the list changes all the time.
    JordyLee007on August 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the Hummingbird methaphor is about fear of commitment. The Hummingbird stays hovering in one spot or it flys backward, but i does not go forward. So it is like he is saying he wants to stay right here where they are and not move things forward or go to the next level. This line really says it all; Just because I said I didn't want her
    Doesn't mean I want her to go
    In fact I quite depended on her
    But that i didnt want her to know
    He did not want her to go but he did not want her in the forever sense.
    ak231510on December 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomeone should really correct those lyrics up there, they're mostly wrong and change the meaning. For instance, he says, "I'm not man enough to need, but man enough to always care," which is totally different from what's written above. Just as above it states that his "hummingbird" flies in about once every moon, as in once every month or so, implying that he kept his bed open for her, waiting for her, while he say's "Once, about almost every morning I woke up to find her flying there." Which implies that once he had a girl that he just took for granted would be there. "All my life," which sounds as if he'd always loved this woman, is again drastically different from, "All the while," which is more of a realization. Think about it, 'Oh my gosh, all the while I was trying to keep her there, but I'm just not man enough to appear less manly and "need" her, but I will always care about her...' That's all I heard, sounds like enamorment, while That song I heard is more wistful. The lyrics to HIS song are more about a man who didn't realize how he really felt about the relationship until analyizing it after it was over. The lyrics to THIS song... Are, well, different.
    YourSummerHearton January 03, 2010   Link

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