"Talking Bird" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
Oh, my talking bird
Though you know so few words
They're on infinite repeat
Like your brain can't keep up with your beak

And you're kept in an open cage
So you're free to leave or stay
Sometimes you get confused
Like there's a hint I am trying to give you

The longer you think, the less you know what to do

It's hard to see your way out
When you live in a house in a house
Cause you don't realize
That the windows were open the whole time

Oh, my talking bird
Though your feathers are tattered and furled
I'll love you all your days
Till the breath leaves your delicate face

It's all here for you as long as your choose to stay
It's all here for you as long as you don't fly away


Lyrics submitted by TDDx8, edited by Aristas, catherinec

"Talking Bird" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Talking Bird song meanings
Add your thoughts

51 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentHere's the album version of the lyrics. Just a heads-up.

    One, two, three, four



    Oh, my talking bird

    Though you know so few words

    They're on infinite repeat

    Like your brain can't keep up with your beak



    And you're kept in an open cage

    So you're free to leave or stay

    And sometimes you get confused

    Like there is a hint that I'm trying to give you



    And the longer you think, the less you know what to do



    It's hard to see your way out

    When you live in a house in a house

    'Cause you don't realize

    That the windows were open the whole time



    But oh, my talking bird

    Though your feathers are tattered and furled

    I'll love you all your days

    Till the breath leaves your delicate frame

    It's all here for you

    As long as you choose

    To stay



    It's all here for you

    As long as you don't fly away
    Nimbyon May 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFor me personally this song is not about a girlfriend. It can easily interpreted that way, but would say something like that to a loved one? I don't think so. I would find the lyrics pretty insulting, if they'd really mean that.

    For me the talking bird is the mind of a worried person or someone, who's desperately seeking an answer for something. Those same thoughts (though you know so few words) that you repeat over and over (on infinite repeat).
    Also, the person who worries, chooses to do that, he could think about happier things, if he really tried - that explains the lines with "...the windows were open the whole time..." and I can really relate to that.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on my theory very much
    Icewolfon August 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHe's in love with her for her bird-like features: she's elegant and carefree, talkative but harmless. She's happy to have him around, a companion and admirer. She sings to him, a chittering call that lights her up, but he doesn't know how to ask for a commitment. He knows she'll never stay but for some reason she still hangs around. She doesn't know how she feels for him, but she wants to be around him. Open doors, open windows, and able wings, yet she's confused as to whether she should stay or go.
    HopeTokenon March 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUh ya its about his lover who doesnt know if she should stay or go. She can leave if she wants but its complicated. He loves her though. Seems simple to me though none of you have suggested this.
    TheGallowson May 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentso the demo on the open door EP... this version is so much better there. it's ben singing with the ukulele. incredible.
    thenewyearon June 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBen has been notoriously shallow when it comes to his choice of women. He explains this vividly in "Tiny Vessels". I think this song is a reflection of himself intertwined with the "stupid" women he choses. I think he feels like he is captive to the women that fall prey to him. I could be wrong, but I totally relate to this..
    dandaman19620on February 26, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is one of my favorite Death Cab for Cutie songs, the other being Grapevine Fires.
    Listening to this song and analyzing the lyrics, my interpretation is this song is about a care taker living with older person, the bird, who is suffering Alzheimer's.

    "Oh, my talking bird
    Though you know so few words
    They're on infinite repeat
    Like your brain can't keep up with your beak"
    The talking bird represents an older person, the second and third lines represent a symptom of Alzheimer's, repetitive speech.

    "And you're kept in an open cage
    So you're free to leave or stay
    Sometimes you get confused
    Like there's a hint I am trying to give you"
    The first two lines represent an option of moving into a retirement home or staying with the care taker. The last two lines, the bird thinks the care taker is pushing them to the retirement home.

    "The longer you think, the less you know what to do"
    The bird is confused and doesn't know if it would be best to move into a retirement home or stay where they are.

    "It's hard to see your way out
    When you live in a house in a house
    Cause you don't realize
    That the windows were open the whole time"
    The first two lines talk about how the bird's memory is degrading and they can't find their way out. The last line again represents the option to leave or stay.

    "Oh, my talking bird
    Though your feathers are tattered and furled
    I'll love you all your days
    Till the breath leaves your delicate face"
    The care taker will love and care for the bird until death.

    "lt's all here for you as long as your choose to stay
    It's all here for you as long as you don't fly away"
    The care taker will be there for the bird as long as they choose to stay.
    MehDudeon June 17, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really try to refrain from judging a song based on a live recording. Personally, this song is beautiful.
    TDDx8on April 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really like it so far. i mean melodically its not the best, but i really liek the words, and its def a relatable, easily interpreted song. and ben's voice really does sound beautiful on daytrotter.
    JACKIE THE HOBOon April 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that the melody and beat is dissapointing, but I'm sure the album version will be much better.
    I do love the lyrics and meaning of this song though. He loves his "talking bird" even though it's words and generally everything isn't very impressive. Even if it doesn't know what to do, he always gives it the benefit of choosing whether it wants to leave or stay.
    Narrow Stairs seems like it's going to be more of an obvious interpretation, that the songs are easier to see the meaning within.
    saraslolon April 29, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain