Topaz Goldsmiths and Gallery

Topaz Goldsmiths and Gallery
November 6th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Carly Simon and then-husband James Taylor perform their hit, “Mockingbird,” in a rare live performance at NYC's Madison Square Garden in 1979.



In the catchy song that is actually based on the lullaby “Hush Little Baby,” the duo sings, “Everybody have you heard? / He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird / And if that mockingbird won’t sing / He’s gonna buy me a diamond ring."

“Mockingbird” reached #5 on the US Billboard Top 40 chart in 1974 and was released as the lead single from Simon’s Hotcakes album.

Five years later, “Mockingbird” would be back in the spotlight as Simon (who suffered from stage fright) and Taylor kicked off the high profile MUSE No Nuke concert at Madison Square Garden with a rousing rendition of the song.

MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) staged a series of concerts in September of 1979 to bring national attention to the dangers of nuclear power. Among the artists participating in the all-star shows were Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, The Doobie Brothers and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Even though “Mockingbird” is widely associated with Simon and Taylor, who were married from 1972 to 1983, Inez and Charlie Foxx first released the song in 1963. That version was also a Top 10 hit.

It’s hard to believe that Simon, one of the quintessential singer/songwriters of the 1970s celebrated her 75th birthday in June. The Bronx-born, two-time Grammy winner has amassed 24 Billboard Hot 100 singles over her stellar career.

A few items of Simon trivia…
• She attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.
• She is the daughter of Richard Simon, co-founder of the publishing house Simon & Schuster.
• She submitted a demo tape to Clive Davis at Columbia Records, who turned her down. She she ended up signing with Elektra.
• She earned a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1971.
• She and James Taylor lived in the house later owned and made infamous by O.J. Simpson.

The 72-year-old James Taylor is a five-time Grammy Award winner and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Please enjoy the video at the end of this post. It’s a classic clip from Simon and Taylor’s triumphant performance of “Mockingbird” during the No Nukes concert. As a bonus, we're including the audio track of the original release by Inez and Charlie Foxx. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

“Mockingbird”
Written by Inez and Charlie Foxx. Performed by Carly Simon and James Taylor.

Everybody have you heard?
He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won’t sing
He’s gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won’t shine
He’s gonna surely break this heart of mine
And that’s why I keep on tellin’ ev’rybody, sayin’
Wo, wo, wo, wo, wo

Hear me now and understand
He’s gonna find me some peace of mind
And if that peace of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna find myself a better way
And if that better way ain’t so
I, I, I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear sayin’
Wo, wo, wo, wo, wo

Everybody have you heard?
She’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won’t sing
She’s gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won’t shine
She’s gonna surely break this heart of mine
And that’s why I keep on tellin’ ev’rybody, sayin’ no, no, no, no,no

Listen now and understand
She’s gonna find me some peace of mind
And if that peace of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna find myself a better way
I might rise above , I might go below
I, I, I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s why I keep on shoutin’ in your ears y’all
No, no, no, no, no, no, now, now, baby


Credits: Screen capture via YouTube.com.