1969 Song of the Day is Leonard Cohen’s- Bird On The Wire. Bird On The Wire is one of Leonard Cohen’s signature songs- it is the highlight of his second album- Songs From A Room. Cohen was on the Greek island of Hydra with his girlfriend Marianne Ihlen [ of “So Long, Marianne” fame} he was depressed and she handed him his guitar and he started writing Bird On The Wire. Cohen would call it a simple country song. It was first covered by Judy Collins in 1968- even before Cohen released it.The song has been covered over the years by dozens of artists- the most notable- Johnny Cash on his American Recordings, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, k.d. Lang, Fairport Convention and Rita Coolidge. The song – and the album was produced by Bob Johnson- most famous for producing Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and Johnny Cash. The original producer was David Crosby but that didn’t work out.
Kris Kristofferson has said over the years–
‘Like a bird on a wire,
Like a drunk in some midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free’
…. That’s my epitaph