The Fleetwood Mac song that almost reduced Christine McVie to tears

Meta Description: Discover the heartwarming story behind Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” from the iconic album Rumours. Learn how producer Ken Caillat created a moment of serenity amidst chaos.

The Touching Story Behind Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” from the Album Rumours

The saga of Fleetwood Mac has always been filled with drama and tragedy, especially during the making of their iconic album Rumours. Before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined, the band was already troubled by issues of addiction, affairs, and in-fighting. However, amidst the chaos, a beautiful moment emerged that moved Christine McVie to tears.

Creating Rumours: A Story of Drama and Triumph

The addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to Fleetwood Mac brought a new dynamic, with the band comprising two couples: Nicks and Buckingham, and Christine and John McVie. While their first self-titled album together went smoothly, the creation of Rumours was anything but serene. Breakups, divorces, and affairs plagued the band, making the album’s production a monumental challenge. Songs like Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way” highlighted the personal tensions, making the process even more tumultuous.

Christine McVie described the process as “Drama. Dra-ma,” which was an understatement. Despite these obstacles, the band managed to create one of the most beloved records of all time.

Ken Caillat’s Role in the Making of “Songbird”

Producer Ken Caillat played a crucial role in keeping the band together during the making of Rumours. His ability to act as both a musical producer and a therapist was essential in navigating the band’s emotional landscape. When Christine McVie presented her stunning ballad “Songbird,” Caillat knew it needed special treatment to preserve its beauty amidst the surrounding chaos.

The Special Recording of “Songbird”

Caillat recounted a pivotal moment at the Sausalito Record Plant when he first heard “Songbird.” Recognizing its beauty, he decided to take a different approach to recording it. Drawing inspiration from a previous recording experience with Joni Mitchell at the Berkeley Community Theatre, Caillat opted for a similar concert recital setting for “Songbird.”

A Touching Moment for Christine McVie

To make the recording session special, Caillat arranged for a bouquet of roses to be placed on McVie’s piano, illuminated by three colored spotlights. He described the scene in his memoir, Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album, stating, “When Christine arrived, we dimmed the house lights so that all she could see were the flowers and the piano with the spotlight shining down from the heavens. She nearly broke into tears. Then she started to play.”

The song was captured live in one take, with 15 microphones placed around the auditorium to preserve the atmosphere of the moment. This thoughtful setup created a genuine moment of peace and beauty amidst the turmoil, contributing to the timeless appeal of “Songbird.”


The story behind Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird” from the album Rumours is a testament to the band’s resilience and the producer’s dedication. Ken Caillat’s thoughtful actions allowed Christine McVie to deliver a performance that remains one of the most beautiful and touching moments in rock history.

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