Breedloves's Folk Songs


    “The Great Speckled Bird” is a Southern hymn whose lyrics were written by the
    Reverend Guy Smith. The song is in the form of AABA and has a 12 bar count. It is
    based on Jeremiah 12:9, “Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round
    about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.” It
    was recorded in 1936 by Roy Acuff. It was also later recorded by Johnny Cash (in 1959),
    Hank Locklin (1962), Bert Southwood [in 1990], and Jerry Lee Lewis.
    The tune is the same apparently traditional melody used in the folk song “I Am Thinking
    Tonight Of My Blue Eyes,” originally recorded in the 1920s. The same melody was later
    used in the 1952 country hit “The Wild Side of Life,” sung by Hank Thompson, and the
    even more successful “answer song” performed by Kitty Wells called “It Wasn’t God Who
    Made Honky-Tonk Angels.”
    What a beautiful thought I am thinking
    Concerning a great speckled bird
    Remember her name is recorded
    On the pages of God’s Holy Word.
    All the other birds are flocking ’round her
    And she is despised by the squad
    But the great speckled bird in the Bible
    Is one with the great church of God.
    All the other churches are against her
    They envy her glory and fame
    They hate her because she is chosen
    And has not denied Jesus’ name.
    Desiring to lower her standard
    They watch every move that she makes
    They long to find fault with her teachings
    But really they find no mistake.
    She is spreading her wings for a journey
    She’s going to leave by and by
    When the trumpet shall sound in the morning
    She’ll rise and go up in the sky.
    In the presence of all her despisers
    With a song never uttered before
    She will rise and be gone in a moment
    Till the great tribulation is o’er.
     I am glad I have learned of her meekness
    I am proud that my name is on her book
    For I want to be one never fearing
    The face of my Savior to look.
    When He cometh descending from heaven
    On the cloud that He writes in His Word
    I’ll be joyfully carried to meet Him
    On the wings of that great speckled bird


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