"Blackbird on the Wire" as written by Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray....
Eyes to take you dancing
Mouth to leave your wife
Legs to run away with
And you wonder why?

Heart that makes you bypass
Every other girl
Smile that keeps you grinning
At the madness of this world

But like the blackbird on the wire
I will not take the prey on you
You wouldn't want me to
For I am too soft for such a thing
And like the blackbird on the wire
I just watch you by
The tears I knew I'd cry
Fall unnoticed down below

Front to make you happy
Back to make you weep
Lips to keep you kissing
Whilst everyone's asleep

Tears to break a backbone
Laughs to win a war
And people come and ask me
What I love you for

But like the blackbird on the wire
I will not take the prey on you
You wouldn't want me to
For I am too soft for such a thing
And like the blackbird on the wire
I just watch you by
The tears I knew I'd cry
Fall unnoticed down below

And with a tongue built from quicksilver
And a character of steel
They actually come and ask me
How I feel

But like the blackbird on the wire
I will not take the prey on you
You wouldn't want me to
For I am too soft for such a thing
And like the blackbird on the wire
I just watch you by
The tears I knew I'd cry
Fall unnoticed down below


Lyrics submitted by ThatKidSteve

"Blackbird on the Wire" as written by Paul Heaton Dave Rotheray

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Blackbird on the Wire song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentim not really sure what it means but i like it, i think its all the qualities of his gf and nobody see's them but him (people come and ask me what i love u for)! im probably totally wrong , but i like how they wrote 'heart that makes u bypass' cos its clever lol!xx
    yecatson June 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno, i think your right, and i LOVE the song. cause im cool...
    Avatar-rockon May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's a bit of a play on/hommage to "bird on a wire" by leonard cohen.
    gregorybrianon March 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttheres a verse you missed out at the end:

    "and with a tongue built from quicksilver
    and a character of steel
    you actually come and ask me how i feel
    (then it repeats the chorus and the "down below" verse)

    i think this is an important verse to understanding the lyrics. cos it seems to portray a bitter aspect to the song. cos in this verse he refers to her quite nastily "with a character of steel" implying thats shes cold and harsh natured. and he says "you ACTUALLY come and ask me how i feel" like hes saying it in a "and you actually have the cheek to come ask me how i feel after youve been so cold towards me".
    my take on the lyrics is that hes singing about how he loves his female friend but because hes her friend he says he wont take prey (leer at her / use her) on her as hes had to watch so many other guys do.
    "You wouldn't want me to,
    For I'm too soft for such a thing"
    Rosarys_&_Ricochetson January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaaargh its cut out half my comment. it keeps doing that to me *sits in corner and sulks* lol
    Rosarys_&_Ricochetson January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe rest of my comment was ( you probly dont give a shit but it took me ages 2 type so im posting it lol):

    Rosarys_&_Ricochetson January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaargghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    songeanings.net seems to hate me. it never allows me to post owt properly *sniff*
    Rosarys_&_Ricochetson January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen the lyrics were written he was with a girl but in love with another girl and was feeling really bad about it, so instead of being a bird of prey taking what he wanted, he was a meek little blackbird sitting on the wire watching.
    waffleknockeron July 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song lyrics convey beautifully a distinct variant of unrequited love. The one where a male is in love with a female but she is oblivious to this and he is constrained from telling her because she is either unavailable and would reject him or - even worse - is available but would reject him.

    I think there is an additional characteristic where he is married (she has a "mouth to leave your wife") although if he got the chance he would give up everything to run away with her (he admits she has "legs to run away with"). But this is never going to happen, regardless of how much he desires it, and he is resigned to the fact that it is love from afar. In essence he is smitten with her but it is a one sided love that will never be reciprocated. She is off limits or outside his league and he knows that, but it only adds to an overwhelming sense of heartache,

    He knows he has to keep his feelings of love hidden and internal but he cannot ignore her and instead concentrates on every characteristic of her, as tends to be the case when one is head over heels in love with someone. So he worships the front and the back of her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes, including things that others don't even notice. It is a hypnotic love but one that brings both joy and despair. The tears he cries for her are overt but are obviously not noticed by her. His heart is breaking even though they have never been in a relationship. It hurts to be in love with her but he cannot stop it - his romantic inclination towards her has no "off" switch.

    So like a blackbird on a wire he can't take prey on her (she is off limits/out of league), but he sees her all the time and all he can do is watch and cry as she gets on with her life. He has confided in close friends of his love and they have questioned it ("people come and ask me what I love you for") but no matter what anybody says he is simply in love and for him there is no getting around it and no getting over it. Of course people he converses with (including his beloved intended) come out with the usual "How are you?" not realising that their words are like a dagger through his broken heart. He feels like dying from this entire situation but what can he do? Let the tears flow and fall "down below.....down below".
    analyseiton August 14, 2013   Link

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