To call Carrie Fisher a polymath would be an understatement. Not only was she an accomplished actress; she was also a playwright, author, and comedian. Perhaps the least recognized of her talents was in singing and songwriting. That's partially because she didn't want to join her mother, Debbie Reynolds, onstage — either as a form of adolescent rebellion or just a manner of carving out some space for herself.
But her musical talent never faded, and indeed is on full display in a song that she co-wrote with Sean Lennon just before her death. "Bird Song" was the result of late-night studio chats between Fisher and Lennon (yes, the son of that Lennon). Better still, Sean tapped Willow Smith to sing this recording, which is just an unmixed demo. So this song is a product of three major artists, all of whom happen to be children of titanic entertainers.
The story behind the song is nearly as beautiful as the song itself. It's a fairly straightforward guitar ballad, mostly unadorned by the elements that songs inevitably pick up in the studio. Even as a rough draft, it's still quite good. One presumes that, were Lennon to put some more work into it, it would only get better.
"Carrie and I wrote this song years ago," Lennon wrote on SoundCloud. "When she died I just felt I had to record it. This is only a demo unmixed, we only had a few hours to record it. But the lyrics she wrote with me I think are marvelous. Carrie and I used to stay up til dawn chatting and pontificating about life. They were my best moments. Anyway...we wrote a song about staying up too late and hearing the birds sing. Willow Smith is a prodigal angel and was generous enough to lend her golden voice to this little tune."
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