On Disc 1 of The Beatles’ Anthology 2, you will find the song And Your Bird Can Sing (track no. 19). I know it is a particularly awkward name when taken in a dirty way, but sorry to disappoint, it really is not. It is more of a happy happy joy joy kind of song.
A few seconds into the song, it is wrecked by a fit of giggling by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They sound like they are having a lot of fun. For some reason, I find this blooper version of the song incredibly moving.
Let’s pretend that we’ve nearly finished some recordings and John is going off to Spain on holiday and he’s just rung up and said: Look, there’s one more song I wouldn’t mind getting on the album, it’s a good song but its not finished. If you’re up for it, take it in the studio, have fun with it, and I’ll trust you.
– Paul McCartney on recording Real Love and Free As a Bird for Anthology
The very first track of the same disc is a song named Real Love. John Lennon wrote half of it in 1977 but never finished it before he died in 1980. In 1995, the remaining Beatles took mono cassettes (with John’s voice on them) of Real Love and the also half-written Free As A Bird back into the studio and finished them.
I have listened to that song dozens of times but have never known this. It is amazing, now that I know, because it is almost as if they had managed to bring John back from the dead. Sort of. Well, if only.
How I got my hands on Anthology 2:
I found it lying on the windowsill of a friend’s rented apartment in Copenhagen and ripped it. [I also found Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead on the bookshelf – I declare it unreadable.]