November 4, 2020
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There’s a bluebird on your windowsill
There’s a rainbow in your sky
There are happy thoughts, your heart to fill
Near enough to make you cry.
(The first stanza of Bluebird on you Windowsill by Elizabeth Clarke.)
Elizabeth Clarke was a nurse at the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. One day in 1947 one of her patients, a young boy, was thrilled when a bird perched on the windowsill next to his bed. That evening she wrote the words to this song, and soon after added a melody to the words.
She sang the song often to her patients. Soon friends and coworkers encouraged her to publish it. She sang the song on a Vancouver radio station and before long it was being recorded by well-known singers like Wilf Carter, Tex Williams, Doris Day and Bing Crosby.
Elizabeth Clarke once told a journalist “I didn’t intend to write it – it just came.” She donated all the royalties from the song to children’s hospitals across Canada and continued her nursing career until her death in 1960.