The Story Behind, "The Great Speckled Bird"
This song was composed by Reverend Guy Smith, a minister of the gospel in Springfield Missouri. He was a traveling evangelist in that area.
This song's unusual title and lyrics were inspired by Jeremiah 12:9, "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."
The song was popularised by Roy Acuff (1903-1992) who had heard it from an obscure group called The Black Shirts who used the same English folk tune as the Carter Family's 1929 Top Ten pop hit "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes".
Acuff is reported to have paid one of the group members fifty cents to have the song transcribed for him. It became the most requested number of his group Acuff and His Crazy Tennesseans and the rest is history.
Acuff and his group published this song in 1936.
The Great Speckled Bird Song Lyrics
What a beautiful thought I am thinking
Concerning a great speckled bird
Remember her name is recorded
On the pages of God's Holy Word.
All the other birds are flocking 'round her
And she is despised by the squad
But the great speckled bird in the Bible
Is one with the great church of God.
All the other churches are against her
They envy her glory and fame
They hate her because she is chosen
And has not denied Jesus' name.
Desiring to lower her standard
They watch every move that she makes
They long to find fault with her teachings
But really they find no mistake.
She is spreading her wings for a journey
She's going to leave by and by
When the trumpet shall sound in the morning
She'll rise and go up in the sky.
In the presence of all her despisers
With a song never uttered before
She will rise and be gone in a moment
Till the great tribulation is o'er.
I am glad I have learned of her meekness
I am proud that my name is on her book
For I want to be one never fearing
The face of my Savior to look.
When He cometh descending from heaven
On the cloud that He writes in His Word
I'll be joyfully carried to meet Him
On the wings of that great speckled bird.
For more links to more stories and lyrics visit here.
In the video below Roy Acuff sings this song.