Our Lady Peace

The Birdman

The Birdman was inspired by an experience with a homeless man while on a trip to Kansas City. The man was ranting over a megaphone about inner-city problems late into the night outside of the hotel where Raine was staying.

I assume he was some kind of politician that lost it and was living on the streets and just going nuts all night. It was so strange. [The next morning] I just caught a few words as I passed by him, and he was one of the most intelligent people I've ever heard speak. Right then I had this enlightenment. I didn't give him a chance, and there's probably so many times where you miss opportunities because you form an opinion so quickly.- Raine Maida, Axcess Magazine, Mar. 1995

'Birdman' came from this trip my family and I took to Kansas City, like a therapeutic retreat and there was this crazy man outside this place where we were meeting in downtown Kansas City. He had a bird costume on and I can’t even remember at this point if he was some sort of activist, I don’t remember what the cause was, but he was standing on a soapbox, literally, and screeching like a bird. He had some pamphlets and stuff, but I was with my family for a pretty serious reason and it just kinda stuck with me. [Lets out a little laugh.]

It was this four-day therapy session and all through it, every time we left and went back into this place, we had to go by this guy. It was just really profound. The image of him and everything he was kind of spewing was somewhat powerful even though I didn’t really understand it. It stuck with me forever, so I wrote a little thing about it and it ended up that it couldn’t get out of my head, so a song was born.

It really still is [incredibly surreal]. I haven’t talked about it in a long while, but it’s one of those childhood moments, like you can’t remember a lot of things but something sticks out. I don’t remember what the therapist looked like that we were meeting with, but I remember this Birdman guy.- Raine Maida, CBC, 21 Mar. 2014


Hopelessly a man starts to feed your day
Once he was there you never looked back
How do you think that his words might just fade away?
He seemed harmless enough so you let him in and now you'll pay

I can't see him but he's stalking my thoughts
How does it feel when you can't concentrate?
I just stare
All of your daydreams are a seesaw for him to play on
do you feel when he calls your name?
You plug your ears but it's not the same
do you know when he pulls you back?

Get it on

Nobody's wrong, nobody's right, the birdman wouldn't lie
Nobody's wrong, nobody's right, but I just can't trust him tonight

How do you forget a stranger that plagues your days?
We arm ourselves when there's nothing to fear

do you feel when it comes to pass there's something there
But it's not quite right
How do you know, does it make you mad?

Nobody's wrong, nobody's right, the birdman wouldn't lie
Nobody's wrong, nobody's right, it's all on the outside

I feel him close
But how do we find out...

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