what is the great speckled bird meaning

“To what does the phrase The Great Speckled Bird refer?” asked Jim and Anna Small of Kingsport, Tenn., after reading my column referring to Roy Acuffs career-launching hit.

Good question.The song is based on a passage at Jeremiah 12:9, according to the King James Version of the Bible: “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.”

Actually, neither the name nor the species of the “great speckled bird” appears in the Scriptures. The Rev. Mr. Smith – whoever and whenever he was – allowed his fancy to take flight when he wrote that “… the great speckled bird in the Bible is one with the great Church of God.”

One commentator called it “a strange allegorical song that had been associated with the then-popular Church of God sect.”

The song, which some believe has a slight similarity to the traditional folk melody “Red River Valley,” is now believed to have originated from “The Prisoner’s Song,” a piece that Vernon Dalhart copyrighted in 1924 in the name of Dalhart’s cousin Guy Massey. Dalhart’s cousin Guy had sung the song while visiting Dalhart’s house, and Robert Massey, Dalhart’s brother, may have heard it while Robert Massey was incarcerated. Though there is disagreement among Bible scholars regarding the significance of Jeremiah’s prophecy, some people may find it intriguing to compare the Lord’s church to “The Great Speckled Bird.” ”.

It is therefore challenging to pinpoint the precise text that Guy Smith wrote given the abundance of recordings. However, the song seems to have been around since the 1920s (and even then it seemed unattributed and traditional), and the text had to be from 1936 or earlier because Roy Acuff heard it for the first time in that year. The 1977 hymn book New Songs of Inspiration, Volume Ten by Brentwood and Benson merely refers to the text as “Traditional” and the melody as “Arr.” by W. Elmo Mercer, 1965. All rights reserved by Singspiration, a Zondervan Corporation division. Another arrangement was made in 1971 by Albert E. Brumley for his Olde Time Camp Meetin’ Songs. This appeared in Ellis J. Ellis’ 1977 Special Sacred Selections. Crum. Additionally, these arrangements and the Acuff recording differ in a few ways. “Guy Smith is my Great-Great Grandfather,” wrote the great-great-grandson of Guy Smith. My grandfather and his grandson, who I consulted, claimed that the lyrics had been set to music from another country song at the time. ”.

By the time Acuff recorded the song in the first few months of 1938, Roy had composed four more stanzas to complement the original six. The 1952 country hit “The Wild Side of Life,” sung by Hank Thompson, and the even more popular “answer song,” “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” performed by Kitty Wells that same year, both featured the same melody. Greenhaw Records’ Grammy Award-nominated album 20th Century Gospel, featuring Nokie Edwards and The Light Crust Doughboys, features a noteworthy instrumental rendition. Later recordings of “The Great Speckled Bird” were made by Pearly Brown (1961), Hank Locklin (1962), Marty Robbins (1966), Lucinda Williams (1978), Bert Southwood (1990), Marion Williams, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Johnny Cash and Kitty Wells recorded the song in 1959 as well. It was also recorded in the early 1970s by George Jones and The Smoky Mountain Boys (though that recording wasn’t made public until 2017).

INTRO. “The Great Speckled Bird” is a hymn that compares the church to a speckled bird with enemies. Guy Smith, a minister, wrote the manuscript. I could not find any biographical information about this author other than the fact that he was a traveling evangelist in the Springfield, Missouri, area. The lyrics, which refer to Israel’s enemies in Jeremiah 12:9, are an allegory that referenced Fundamentalist perceptions of themselves during the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. It’s possible that the song and the Jeremiah passage are both poetic descriptions of mobbing behavior. The song was transcribed by vocalist Charlie Swain from what appears to be a traditional English melody. The song “Thrills That I Can’t Forget,” which was recorded by Welby Toomey and Edgar Boaz for Gennett in 1925, and the song “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes,” which was first recorded by the Carter Family for Victor in 1929, appear to have the same traditional melody. Roy Acuff first heard “The Great Speckled Bird” performed in 1936 by The Black Shirts, a little-known musical group.

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“What is the meaning behind the phrase The Great Speckled Bird?” inquired Jim and Anna Small from Kingsport, Tennessee. after reading my piece about Roy Acuff’s breakthrough hit

Good question. According to the King James Version of the Bible, the song is based on a passage found at Jeremiah 12:9: “Come ye assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour; mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her.” “.

The Scriptures don’t actually mention the name or species of the “great speckled bird.” The Rev. Mr. When Smith wrote that, he let his imagination run wild, regardless of who or when he was. The Bible compares the great Church of God to the great speckled bird. “.

It was described as “an odd allegorical song that had been associated with the then-popular Church of God sect” by one commentator. “.

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Roy Acuff performed it to the song “I’ve Been Thinking Tonight of My Blue-Eyes” by the Carter Family. When William Warren composed Hank Thompson’s 1952 hit song “Wild Side of Life,” which featured the line “I didn’t know God made honky-tonk angels,” he took inspiration from the melody. ” J. D. Miller used it once more in his 1953 reply to Kitty Wells, “It Wasnt God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” “.

The Internet is speckled with references to the title.

During the Vietnam War, an anti-war leftist group in Atlanta published an underground newspaper called “The Great Speckled Bird.” The publication, sometimes known as just “the Bird,” is still in operation today. In 1968, a Canadian country-rock band used the name and recorded “The Great Speckled Bird” as their debut LP.

Guy Smiths interpretation of Jeremiahs words is not universally accepted.

A website called “Truth for Daily Living” claims to be “a ministry of Zion Hill Baptist Church, Marion, N. C. ,” proclaims:

“The speckled bird has a white breast and iron grey wings.” Because it gets blood on its breasts when it kills other birds, it is known as speckled. Today our churches are filled with religious, speckled birds. “.

Biblical Palestine was home to a great variety of birds. The Bible specifically names some 30 varieties.

There is some degree of guesswork involved in identifying particular species because the Hebrew names are not always easy to match with their English counterparts. Jeremiah used the Hebrew word “ayit,” which can refer to vultures, eagles, hawks, falcons, and kites. It means “bird of prey.”

It is clear that Guy Smith drew inspiration from the King James Version, which was first released in 1611. Later versions give the Great Speckled Bird a different character.

Jeremiah bemoans the fact that the people of Judah appear to have turned against him and God in the twelfth chapter of his prophecy, and that his lineage now lies with the birds and beasts of prey rather than his people.

The verse is rendered as follows in the 1901 American Standard Version, which revised the King James text:

“Am I descended from a speckled bird of prey? Are there predatory birds nearby? Gather all the field’s creatures and bring them to eat!” “.

The 1970 edition of the New English Bible contains the following verse:

Is this place I own a hyena’s lair, with raptors circling around it? Come, wild animals; come, throng to the feast. “.

In the words of the Roman Catholic Confraternity Version, “My heritage is surrounded by vultures and is a prey for hyenas; come gather together, all you beasts of the field, come and eat.” “.

“The Living Bible,” published in 1971, paraphrases it this way:

“My people have fallen. I’m going to unleash hordes of vultures and feral animals on them so they can harvest the flesh from their dead. “.

“The Great Speckled Bird” was already regarded as a traditional hymn when Roy Acuff first heard it.

Roy’s popularity among the Grand Ole Opry at the time stemmed mostly from his fiddling.

However, it allowed him to perform “The Great Speckled Bird” in 1938. ” Fan letters poured in by the tub full .

The song’s final verse speaks of Christ’s anticipated return and declares, “I’ll be gladly carried to meet Him on the wings of that great speckled bird.” “.

An additional note was added by one of the numerous individuals who shared the song’s lyrics online:

“This song is fantastic, but if you haven’t acknowledged that you are a sinner, it means nothing.” “.

Gene Owens can be reached by mail at 1004 Cobbs Glen Drive, Anderson, S. C. 29621. Or send e-mail to him at genepegg@bellsouth. net.


What does the great speckled bird mean in the Bible?

In Jer 12:9 the speckled bird is an unclean bird. It is some sort of carrion eating vulture. God says that due to Judah’s horrible and unrepentant sins, God will give them up to destruction and plunder at the hands of the Babylonians.

Where in the Bible does it talk about the speckled bird?

The song is based on a passage at Jeremiah 12:9, according to the King James Version of the Bible: “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.”

What is the great speckled bird Wiki?

The Great Speckled Bird was a counterculture underground newspaper based in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976 and 1988 through 1990. Commonly known as The Bird, it was founded by New Left activists from Emory University and members of the Southern Student Organizing Committee, an offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society.

Who sang the great speckled bird?

They were named after the song, “The Great Speckled Bird”, as recorded by Roy Acuff (1936).