"Little Bird" as written by and Henry Onorati Katherine K. Davis....
Your heart sings like a kettle
And your words, they boil away like steam
And a lie burns long while the truth bites quick
A heart is built for both it seems

You are lonely as a church
Despite the queuing out your door
I am empty as a promise, no more

When the time comes
And rights have been read
I think of you often
But for once I meant what I said

I was salted by your hunger
Now you've gone and lost your appetite
And a little bird is every bit as handy in a fight
I am lonely as a memory
Despite the gathering 'round the fire
Aren't you every bird on every wire?

When the time comes
And rights have been read
I think on you often
But for once I meant what I said
Here I stay, I, I lay me down
In a house by the Hill
I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill
Here I stay, I, I lay me down
In a house by the Hill
I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill
I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill
I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill


Lyrics submitted by jaynecobb, edited by LiteWait

"Little Bird" as written by Lisa Margaret Hannigan

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Little Bird song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about her break up with Damien Rice. Lisa said in a interview " It’s a snapshot in time as well.[...] But that one when I wrote it, it was really hard for me to write and really hard for me to sing for a long time, but I think it was important for me to write it. I think I needed to.”
    She also describes it as not a "mean song or a brutal song or a happy song. It feels quite… quiet"
    KiraKiraon November 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song makes me cry everytime I hear it.

    Obviously, it's about a breakup (specifically Hannigan's with Damien Rice).

    "Your heart sings like a kettle
    And your words, they boil away like steam."

    The man she loves is very emotional and erratic, and his volatile emotions are obvious - therefore it's hard to take anything he says seriously.

    "And a lie burns long while the truth bites quick,
    A heart is built for both it seems."

    No matter how long the lies the lies in the relationship have been perpetuating, once the truth is faced both parties are snapped back into reality. And as much as the heart wants to believe the delusion and deny the truth, once it accepts it, in time the heart can survive.

    "You are lonely as a church,
    Despite the queuing out your door."

    Echoing another commenter, the subject believes that no matter how many women the man tries to assuage himself with, he's broken and lonely inside.

    "When the time comes,
    And rights have been read,
    I think of you often
    But for once I meant what I said."

    In an interview, Rice once said Hannigan's last words to him were that they were better off alone. This may be what she meant. After all is said and done, what remains is that although she clearly loves him, she stands firm in her resolve to let him go.

    "I was salted by your hunger,
    Now you've gone and lost your appetite"

    She was drawn in by his charm and need to be loved - but ultimately she realizes she was used, and abandoned as soon as he was tired of her.

    "And a little bird is every bit as handy in a fight.
    I am lonely as a memory
    Despite the gathering round the fire.
    Aren't you every bird on every wire?"

    Ultimately, the subject has to let him go because he doesn't want to be shackled by the responsibility of a relationship.


    "Here I stay, I lay me down,
    I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill.
    Here I stay, I lay me down,
    In a house by the Hill.
    I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill.
    I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill.
    I'm dug from the rubble, and cut from the kill."

    Not sure about this part - anyone have any ideas?
    saffron83on June 25, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's all too apparent. I love the line "You are lonely as a church, despite the queuing outside your door", possible referring to the slews of female replacements that Damien has sang alongside with since Lisa's departure. They are all temporary and none could ever quite be what she was to Damien.
    Plus, the Leonard Cohen's allusion of "bird on a wire" pretty much sends the message home. Like a bird on a wire, Damien has tried in his ways to be free.
    Skylarkinon August 31, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmay i ask a stupid question?
    what does it mean with:

    "And a little bird is every bit as handy in a fight"?
    annsharryon December 01, 2013   Link

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