After Christine McVie’s passing last week (here’s our covers tribute), many artists on tour began working her songs into their setlist. And though there have been a fair share of “Don’t Stop”s and “Little Lies”, one song has become the clear, cathartic favorite: “Songbird.” Here are four of the most prominent (a fifth, LCD Soundsystem’s, I can’t find any recording of).
On tour in Chile, Harry Styles delivered a version on acoustic guitar backed by his full band (piano most prominent, naturally). He nailed the fairly tricky vocal acrobatics.
First Aid Kit have played it twice now on their UK tour. As we’ve seen here many times, the Swedish sisters are masters at these sorts of covers, just an acoustic guitar and their two voices. Hopefully they’ll keep it in the set for a while to come.
British pop star James Bay is one hell of a singer, and he put those pipes to good use on his recent “Songbird,” performed with just a piano accompanist. And, just for fun, I’ll throw in a similar version by American folk duo Over the Rhine.
Maybe the most impressive of all, Keith Urban worked “Songbird” into a full medley of McVie-penned Fleetwood Mac tunes alongside “Say You Love Me” and “Everywhere.” “For me growing up listening to their music, you had three incredible vocalists in that band,” he said introducing it. “You had Lindsey Buckingham, who brought this punk, angular ethos. You had Stevie Nicks, whose voice was angelic, otherworldly. And then you had Christine, who for me was the maternal, soulful heartbeat vocally.”
Find many more great covers of McVie tunes in our list of The Best Fleetwood Mac Covers Ever.