The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library


An energetic, uplifting song that is very easy to teach and learn. Great with drums and always popular in my classes. Written by Santa Cruz song leader Debbie Nargi-Brown. She writes: “This song was inspired by a quote by Sir James Barrie, ‘If you can’t teach me to fly, teach me to sing.’ The last two lines are in Sanskrit which is over 3,000 years old and is part of the Heart Sutra, words from the Buddha. The chant speaks of the journey to the Infinite, the journey to the Self.”

Composer & Copyright

Original song by Debbie Nargi-Brown.


This recording is by Debbie Nargi-Brown, all rights reserved. The song is off of her wonderful “Into the Rhythm” CD, available for purchase here.



If you can’t teach me to fly, teach me to sing, and dance
If you can’t teach me to fly, teach me to love, and be loved

Gate gate parasam gate bodhi svaha

Translation of the Sanskrit Heart Sutra: “gone, gone, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, hallelujah!”


1 Comment
  • I attended a free workshop at the library in town, months ago. Not knowing what to expect and being pleasantly surprised, now I am interested in knowing myself thru voice (mindfulness practice). Seeing the song FLY automatically called up the music in my lil brain, so I would like to be wise and follow this path.. I don’t mind making noise alone, when I get the chance. Singing with others is YIPES!

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