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ChrisCornell

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Reply with quote  #1 
As most of you know from my posts, this is def. my favorite Mofro song right now. I alternate between the Live at Wakarusa version and the JJ solo acoustic from Live at Lightning 100. I love the build up and the ending is amazing.

For those who've heard the studio version, are the lyrics the same?

My main question, is what do y'all think the song is about? I mean, I guess the narrator shot a hummingbird and regrets it. Is there something deeper to it. Is the Hummingbird symbolic? I mean, there's plenty of songs about a regret on killing something but a hummingbird seems like a weird target. There may not even be an answer to this but I was just wondering what y'all think. Is it symbolism? Is it really about accidently killing a bird? Or am I way off base.

Thanks!

PC
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Dispatch Ninja

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Reply with quote  #2 
Lyrics are the same...personally I prefer the studio album version to the live ones. As far as the meaning I always thought of it like you already explained...im sure there is a deeper meaning to the song though. Really beautiful song.
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MofroFan1

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm sure we'll be finding out at some point, but personally I think it's pretty straightforward...meaning that there is no deeper meaning. Sometimes JJ's songs are symbolic and sometimes they're not.

When I was maybe 12 or 13 I shot a cardinal in my back yard with my BB gun. I had shot squirrels and birds with it many times before and it was so weak that the BB's literally bounced off and never ever hurt one. On this one ocassion a cardinal was high up in a palm tree and I shot it and it fell to the ground. I ran away and into the house in horror. I could not believe I had killed this innocent bird. Maybe 5 or 10 mins later I returned to the scene of the crime. The bird was gone. I don't know if it was just stunned or a cat got it or what. It bothered me for a long time. Hell here I am 30+ years later and I can remember it vividly. I guess I'm saying that I can see where he would write a song about something that got to his emotions...in this case a combination of guilt and sadness over what he had done.
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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #4 

Not sure what show, maybe a couple, but I have heard JJ tell the story of when he took careful aim and made no sound ........ he didn't think he was gonna hit the hummingbird, but he did, and it haunted him.  One of my fav versions is of an in studio at a radio station, just him and his guitar and his emotion that comes over him while singing and my other fav version is the one he belted out and the last NYE Freebird run, at the end of the song when he is singing "I feel you .... I feel you ... I feel you there ...."  gives me goosebumps!



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MofroFan1

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MofroFan1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yes the Lightning 100 in studio is excellent...same one you're talking bout Sunshine. You and PC are on the same track, and I'll join you and I know where_u_at will too. I remember her saying she had the lyrics memorized the like the same day this went up. (I know you're out there.)
 
 
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Sunshine

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Mr. D .....

I bow to you 

bowdown-1.gif bow down image by xwacky
as you are the mayan!!!!
both the versions I love!!! Thank you !!

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Bigdog

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Reply with quote  #8 

Being raised in Georgia and around all that shooting and hunting culture, I remember me and my brothers and friends shooting our pellet guns at all types of prey. We used to try and hit hummingbirds...hard to beleive.You would be considered a good shot or lucky shot if you hit a hummingbird or bumblebee. I never shot one but I can relate to the experience in the song. Clay my last bird I ever shot was a cardinal at 14...never will forget it! Stoked for the new release and going to a new venue to see the swampers, and a Fl. date ofcourse.

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lil mofro ho

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have heard JJ tell the story too, Maybe Cafe 11, 2006.  I was thinking that because that is very recent in my memory and he told so many stories that night.  I think the story is actually very similar to your cardinal story MF1.
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AntsyAshley

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Reply with quote  #10 

I had the pleasure of discussing this song with JJ after a show one night. Just as y'all said, he shot a hummingbird from really far away. He thought there was no chance in the world he would actually hit it, but he did. It broke his heart, and it continues to haunt him -- as the song states. I love that song so much. It is indeed straightforward, but at the same time we can find deeper meaning about regret, harm towards innocence done by an innocent, circle of life, and so on.

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Mr Pilchard

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Reply with quote  #11 
Good Lord ...  If the Lighting 100 clip doesn't bring you closer to JJ nothing will.......
First Time seeing that.......Thanks


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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #12 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Pilchard
Good Lord ...  If the Lighting 100 clip doesn't bring you closer to JJ nothing will.......
First Time seeing that.......Thanks

I feel the same way Mr. Pilchard ... everytime I watch it ...


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ChrisCornell

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Reply with quote  #13 
Even with amazing reviews of Lullaby and Georgia Warhorse, I can already predict King Hummingbird will be my favorite song off the album.

Esp. if its truly better than the live versions as has been said.
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slick814

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Reply with quote  #14 
OMFG!!! THat was incredible!!!! I hadn't seen the lightning 100 clip before. To see the look on his face at the end, and hear it in his voice. You know the pain is there.
Somehow I think that many of us have done something like that when we were young. Either because we were trying to show off to our friends how good we were with a gun (which was the case for me...not a hummingbird, but a barn swallow), or because we were bored, or just wanted to see if we could. And then were shocked when we did, which lead to guilt at some point. I know I can still see the one I shot sitting on a fencepost, then...so I can definitely relate to JJ's feelings on this one. And to be honest, in all of my hunting, fishing, etc., I can honestly say that that is the one thing that I've killed and still regret.

CC - I'm thinking the studio version will become one of my favorites too. Along with Sweetest Thing, 'cuz my little girl LOVES JJ, and Hide N' Seek. I still swear I was the only one in the crowd singing along with that one here in April.

Funny thing about the end of the clip, tho...
I wuz thinkin' the other day who I'd like to see JJ and the boys play with, say as a double bill or with MOFRO headlining,  and I came up with none other than Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit... and who was opening that night? J.I. and his boys. Maybe I need to move down that way. We don't get as many good shows here like we once did.

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Delerious Tyme

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Reply with quote  #15 

If I remember right, that lightning 100 one was the first time he played King Hummingbird public or to an outlet of any sort.  That was back in early 2009? 


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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delerious Tyme

If I remember right, that lightning 100 one was the first time he played King Hummingbird public or to an outlet of any sort.  That was back in early 2009? 


yes DT you are indeedie correct!!!  I still remember  when you supplied me with the link to be able to put it on my mofroPOD.... never forgot your incredible thoughtfulness... 

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Thinton13

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCornell
As most of you know from my posts, this is def. my favorite Mofro song right now. I alternate between the Live at Wakarusa version and the JJ solo acoustic from Live at Lightning 100. I love the build up and the ending is amazing.

For those who've heard the studio version, are the lyrics the same?

My main question, is what do y'all think the song is about? I mean, I guess the narrator shot a hummingbird and regrets it. Is there something deeper to it. Is the Hummingbird symbolic? I mean, there's plenty of songs about a regret on killing something but a hummingbird seems like a weird target. There may not even be an answer to this but I was just wondering what y'all think. Is it symbolism? Is it really about accidently killing a bird? Or am I way off base.

Thanks!

PC


I just recently got hooked on this song thanks to Pandora radio, shortly after found literally the only copy of the CD in my town a suburb of (St.Louis, MO).  After listening to it a couple of times this is what i see in my head...  

I imagine it as if this narrator is probably a hunter of sort and strives to be the best at what he does. now if you think about it imagine trying to shot a humming bird who is among the worlds smallest species of birds who flap their wings at 12-80 times per second, are 3-5in tall, and can fly up to 34mph...kinda like catching a fly Mr. Miyagi style with chop sticks out of mid air...Now to shoot a humming bird would be tough goal to achieve near impossible. as he stairs down at what remarkable feat he has just done he then realizes that there was no reason to do what he did just to try and prove his worth compared to the next guy...especially to take its life such a wonderful amazing creature...moral of the story "you have to be very carefull to not get caught up trying how good you are or just may wind up hurting somebody or creating regret"  

I just love how for me this song was able to translate into my head. very sad but great meaning whatever it actualy is... keep up the amazing work...

I still think Lochloosa/appalachia  is still the one that really hits home with me...
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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #18 
Great first post Thinton13!
Love your interpretation.
Welcome welcome to the Front Porch!!

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JKBurke

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Reply with quote  #19 
Love
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Swamp Cracka

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Reply with quote  #20 
The song really resonates.  If anyone has ever killed an animal for any reason other than hunting, then you know you've done something wrong and it never goes away.  My crazy neighbor used to shoot squirrel and frogs, and looking back, I don't think is ok.  I once shoot a grasshopper when I was a kid (hey Mofro reference) with a pellet gun with no pellets, just air.  Knocked a leg off or something.  Very stupid.

Anyway, any time I hear King Hummingbird, it reminds me how precious and delicate life can be.  Great song.  There's a lot of emotion in JJ's voice.
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