May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose Lyrics

Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Hey there music lovers! Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the most bizarre and catchy tunes from the 1960s – "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" by Little Jimmy Dickens. This song may be over half a century old, but its lyrics are still as absurdly entertaining as ever.

For those who aren’t familiar with this classic tune, it’s essentially a comical warning about getting too big for your britches. The chorus goes like this: "May a bird of paradise fly up your nose / May an elephant caress you with his toes." It’s hard not to chuckle at these outrageous lines, but what makes them even more amusing is how well they fit into the upbeat country melody. So let’s dive in and explore the story behind "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" and why it became such a beloved hit back in the day.

Little Jimmy Dickens: A Brief Biography

Little Jimmy Dickens, born James Cecil Dickens in 1920, was an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known for his novelty songs and humorous lyrics that captivated audiences around the world. With a career spanning over seven decades, Little Jimmy Dickens became one of the most celebrated country musicians of all time.

Growing up in West Virginia, Little Jimmy Dickens showed a natural inclination towards music from a young age. At just eight years old, he began playing guitar and singing at local events. It wasn’t until he moved to Ohio in his teenage years that he started performing professionally. In 1948, he signed with Columbia Records and released his first hit single "Take An Old Cold ‘Tater (And Wait)."

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Little Jimmy Dickens continued to release popular hits such as "Country Boy," "Hillbilly Fever," and "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose." His unique style of blending humor with traditional country sounds made him stand out amongst other artists of the time. Alongside his successful recording career, he also appeared on numerous television shows including Grand Ole Opry and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Despite facing health issues later in life, Little Jimmy Dickens remained active in the industry until his passing in 2015 at the age of 94. He was posthumously awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Pioneer Award for his contributions to country music. As fans continue to enjoy his timeless classics today, it is clear that Little Jimmy Dickens’ legacy will live on for generations to come.

The Origins Of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’

While Little Jimmy Dickens may have popularized the song ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,’ it is worth investigating whether he was truly the originator of this catchy tune. Some theories suggest that other artists, such as Gene Pitney or Jerry Lee Lewis, actually wrote and performed the song before Dickens. However, despite these claims, there is little evidence to support them.

One thing we can say for certain is that Dickens’ version of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ became a massive hit upon its release in 1965. The song’s silly lyrics and upbeat tempo captured the hearts of listeners across America, earning it a spot on numerous music charts and cementing Dickens’ status as one of country music’s most beloved entertainers.

So what made ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ so special? Perhaps it was the way it combined humor with musical talent, showcasing both Dickens’ vocal abilities and his penchant for comedic storytelling. Or maybe it was simply the fact that audiences were ready for something lighthearted and fun after years of serious ballads and heartbreak songs.

Regardless of the reason behind its success, there’s no denying that ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ has become an iconic piece of American music history. From its origins to its enduring popularity today, this song serves as a testament to the power of laughter and joy in even the darkest times.

  • It’s interesting to note that while some people associate ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ with Little Jimmy Dickens exclusively, many other artists have covered this classic tune over the years. Some notable examples include:

  • Johnny Carson: Yes, THAT Johnny Carson! The legendary talk show host once sang a parody version of ‘Bird Of Paradise’ on his program.

  • Buck Owens: Another famous country musician who put his own spin on Dickens’ hit song.

  • Weezer: In 2019, the alternative rock band released a cover of ‘Bird Of Paradise’ as part of their ‘Teal Album.’

  • Despite being over 50 years old, ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ remains a beloved classic to this day. It’s still played on radio stations across America and has even been featured in movies like ‘The Big Lebowski.’

  • The song’s legacy is also evident in modern pop culture references. For example, in the popular animated TV show ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ one episode features a character performing an interpretive dance to ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.’

Whether you’re a diehard country music fan or simply someone who enjoys catchy tunes with silly lyrics, there’s no denying that Little Jimmy Dickens’ ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ is a true masterpiece. From its origins to its enduring popularity today, this song represents everything that makes American music great – humor, talent, and a whole lot of heart.

The Catchy Melody And Upbeat Rhythm

The lyrics to "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" may be silly, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the catchy melody and upbeat rhythm. The song was recorded by country artist Little Jimmy Dickens in 1965 and quickly became a hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

From the opening notes of the steel guitar to the infectious chorus, this tune is impossible to resist singing along with. It’s no wonder that even today, over fifty years after its initial release, people still find themselves humming or whistling this classic ditty.

Listening to "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," you can’t help but feel transported back to a simpler time when songs were meant for dancing and having fun. This track embodies all those elements that made traditional country music so beloved – storytelling, humor, and an irresistible beat.

So next time you’re looking for something lighthearted and fun to listen to, give "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" a spin. You’ll be tapping your toes and singing along before you know it!

The Absurd Lyrics And Comical Warning

As the song goes, "may a bird of paradise fly up your nose." These absurd lyrics have been etched in our minds since the 1960s. The catchy tune with its comical warning has brought laughter to generations.

The song’s writer and performer, Little Jimmy Dickens, was known for his humorous approach to music. His unique style often included strange phrases and funny anecdotes that entertained audiences worldwide. This particular song became one of his biggest hits, resonating with listeners who appreciated the lightheartedness it offered.

While some may find these lyrics nonsensical or even silly, they represent something deeper than just humor. They remind us not to take life too seriously and to embrace the unexpected. Whether we encounter a bird of paradise flying up our nose or any other obstacle in life, we should learn to laugh at ourselves and keep moving forward.

In essence, this classic country hit teaches us an important lesson about resilience and optimism. Its popularity over half a century later proves that sometimes all we need is a good laugh and a reminder to stay positive no matter what comes our way. So let us enjoy this timeless gem and remember always to keep smiling!

See also  How To Keep Birds Off Side Mirrors

The Song’s Initial Reception And Success

After delving into the bizarre lyrics and humorous warning of "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," it’s time to shift focus onto its initial reception and success. Upon its release in 1965, the song quickly climbed up the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, peaking at number two. The catchy tune was an instant hit with audiences, thanks in part to its playful melody and memorable chorus.

But what truly set this song apart from others was its offbeat subject matter – a bird flying up one’s nose is certainly not your typical country music topic! Despite (or perhaps because of) its quirkiness, "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" became Joe Diffie’s signature song and remains his most well-known work to this day.

In fact, the popularity of the song even led to some unexpected opportunities for Diffie. He appeared on various TV shows such as Hee Haw and Nashville Now, further cementing himself as a fixture in the country music scene. And while he would go on to have other hits over his career, none quite captured the public’s attention like "Bird of Paradise."

It’s clear that "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" struck a chord with listeners when it first came out, but its lasting legacy proves that it continues to resonate with fans decades later. Whether you love it or hate it (and let’s be honest, there are probably plenty in both camps), there’s no denying that this quirky little tune has secured itself a unique place in country music history.

The Legacy Of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’

The 1965 hit ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ is a song that has had lasting cultural impacts, from the memorable lyrics to the controversy that followed its release. The lyrics, which include the lines "If you don’t believe that it’s true, just try and see what happens to you," have been a source of amusement for listeners for decades. The song’s cultural impact is seen in its influence on popular culture, even making an appearance in a recent episode of ‘The Simpsons’. Despite its popularity, the song has also been the center of controversy due to its perceived offensiveness. It’s a song that’s sure to spark debate and discussion.


Have you ever found yourself humming along to the catchy tune of "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"? The song, written by country musician Little Jimmy Dickens, has become a classic in the genre. However, it’s not just the melody that makes this song memorable – it’s also the hilarious lyrics.

The first verse sets the tone for the comedic nature of the song: "One fine day as I was a-walkin’ down the street / Spied a beggar man with his hands outstretched for me / Oh but he cried when I said what have you got? / So with my big heart I took off my hat and coat." From there, we’re taken on a journey through absurd scenarios involving birds flying up people’s noses and monkeys stealing wallets.

Despite its humorous content, the song still manages to convey a message about greed and karma. In one of the verses, Dickens sings about a rich man who refuses to help others until he himself is in need. The chorus then reminds us that "what goes around comes around" and warns listeners to be careful how they treat others.

In addition to its legacy as a funny country hit, "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has been covered by other artists over the years. Rockabilly artist Wanda Jackson put her own spin on it in 1968, while more recently, The Dead South performed a bluegrass version in 2020. This proves that even decades after its initial release in 1965, this silly song continues to captivate audiences.

So next time you find yourself singing along (or laughing) at "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose", remember that its clever lyrics are just as important as its catchy melody. Who knew such an outrageous premise could lead to such enduring success?

Cultural Impact

Now that we’ve discussed the humorous lyrics and catchy melody of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, let’s delve into its cultural impact. This song not only became a hit in the country music genre, but it also reached mainstream success – even making an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Furthermore, the song has been referenced and parodied in popular culture over the years. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy included a joke about it in his stand-up routine, while The Simpsons featured a bird flying up Mr. Burns’ nose as an homage to the song.

Additionally, ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ played a role in shaping Little Jimmy Dickens’ legacy as a country musician. He continued to release hits throughout his career, but this particular song remains one of his most well-known and beloved by fans.

Finally, the song’s message about karma and treating others with kindness still resonates with listeners today. In fact, it could be argued that this theme is more important than ever in our current social climate. So next time you hear someone humming along to this classic tune, remember its impact goes beyond just being a silly novelty song – it’s also a reminder to be mindful of how we treat those around us.

In conclusion, ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ may have started out as a lighthearted country hit, but it has since become so much more. Its popularity across different genres and generations proves that good music can transcend time and space. Ultimately, this funny little ditty reminds us to laugh at life’s absurdities while also recognizing the importance of compassion and empathy towards others.


Now that we’ve explored the cultural impact of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, it’s important to acknowledge the controversy surrounding this classic country hit. While many fans love the humorous lyrics and catchy melody, others have criticized its offensive language and insensitive themes.

Specifically, some listeners take issue with the song’s derogatory remarks about people from different cultures, such as Native Americans and Hawaiians. They argue that these stereotypes perpetuate harmful attitudes and reinforce harmful power dynamics in society.

Furthermore, critics point out that Little Jimmy Dickens himself acknowledged the controversial nature of his music later in life. In a 2008 interview with NPR, he expressed regret for using certain words and phrases in his songs that could be considered offensive by today’s standards.

Despite these critiques, however, ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ continues to hold a special place in country music history. It remains one of Little Jimmy Dickens’ most recognizable hits and has influenced countless other artists over the years.

In conclusion, while it is essential to recognize the problematic aspects of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, it is also crucial not to erase its contributions to music culture entirely. By acknowledging both its flaws and strengths, we can appreciate this classic tune while also striving towards more inclusive and respectful representations in all forms of media.

Cover Versions And Pop Culture References

Like a rare, exotic bird taking flight, "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has taken on a life of its own in popular culture. Since it was first recorded by Little Jimmy Dickens in 1965, the novelty song has been covered by several artists and referenced in various forms of media.

One notable cover version came from the country music group The Statler Brothers. Their rendition of the tune took on a more contemporary feel with updated instrumentation and harmonies. The track appeared on their album "The Best Of The Statler Brothers Rides Again," released in 1976.

See also  Why Do Birds Dance To Music

In addition to its use as a comedic punchline, "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has also made appearances in film and television. In the classic sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," character Jethro Bodine sings a portion of the song while playing guitar. It was also featured in the movie "Pee-wee’s Big Adventure," where Pee-wee Herman performs his own unique interpretation of the tune.

Despite being considered a one-hit wonder for Little Jimmy Dickens, "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" continues to be recognized as a quirky piece of Americana that has stood the test of time. Its legacy serves as proof that even novelty songs can leave an enduring mark on pop culture.

Its catchy melody and memorable lyrics have cemented it as a beloved oddity that never fails to bring joy and laughter to those who encounter it. Whether you’re hearing it for the first time or returning to it after years away, there’s no denying the infectious charm of this feathered favorite.

The Song’s Enduring Appeal And Timeless Humor

The comedic novelty hit "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" by Little Jimmy Dickens has endured since its release in 1965. Its timeless humor and catchy melody have kept it relevant to this day, making it a staple on oldies radio stations and popular culture references.

With lyrics like "I was strolling down the street / When out the corner of my eye / I saw a pretty little thing approaching me," the song tells the story of an encounter with a woman who is not so attractive upon closer inspection. It’s relatable humor that still resonates today, as people continue to find themselves in similar situations.

But what truly sets "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" apart is its absurd title phrase. Despite being impossible and somewhat gruesome, it’s hard not to laugh at the thought of a tropical bird flying up one’s nostrils. This playful irreverence is part of what makes the song so endearing.

Decades after its initial release, "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains a beloved track that brings joy and laughter to listeners young and old. Its ability to transcend time and generations speaks to the power of good-natured humor and catchy music – two qualities that will never go out of style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are The Most Famous Artists To Cover ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’?

Many artists have covered various songs throughout the years, and some of them managed to make a name for themselves in the process. From classics like "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley to modern hits like "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi, covers can sometimes become even more popular than the original versions. When it comes to "May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," there are several famous musicians who have put their own spin on this catchy tune. Some notable names include Little Jimmy Dickens, Buck Owens, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Each artist brings their unique style and flair to the song while keeping its fun and lighthearted nature intact. It’s always fascinating to see how different performers interpret a piece of music, and these covers certainly do not disappoint.

What Inspired Little Jimmy Dickens To Write This Song?

The late Little Jimmy Dickens was a legendary country music singer and songwriter who left behind an impressive legacy in the genre. One of his most famous hits, "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," has been covered by many artists over the years. But what inspired him to write this classic tune? Well, according to interviews with Dickens, he wrote it after hearing someone use the phrase as an insult during a poker game. Apparently, he found the saying so amusing that he decided to turn it into a song. And thus, one of country music’s most beloved novelty songs was born!

Did Little Jimmy Dickens Have Any Other Hit Songs?

Little Jimmy Dickens, the legendary country music singer and songwriter, had a career spanning over seven decades. With hits like "Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)," "Country Boy," and "Out Behind the Barn," he was truly one of the greats of his time. However, it was his signature tune "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" that catapulted him to fame in 1965. Interestingly enough, this novelty song reached number one on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart as well as the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it not only Dickens’ biggest hit but also a crossover success. Despite having other chart-topping songs throughout his career, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains Little Jimmy Dickens’ most iconic contribution to country music history.

Have The Lyrics Of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ Ever Been Changed Or Censored?

The lyrics of many classic songs have been subjected to censorship or changed over time, in accordance with evolving societal norms. This has led some fans to wonder if the infamous song "May a Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has undergone any such alterations. While there is no official record of any changes made to this novelty tune, it’s worth noting that certain phrases and euphemisms used in the original version may not be considered acceptable by modern standards. Despite this potential controversy, the song remains a beloved part of country music history and continues to be played on radio stations across the nation.

Did The Success Of This Song Have Any Impact On The Career Of Little Jimmy Dickens?

Little Jimmy Dickens, the country music legend known for his humorous and lighthearted tunes, had a long-lasting impact on the genre. His hit song "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" became an instant classic upon its release in 1965, but it was far from being just another novelty track. In fact, the success of this tune helped to solidify Little Jimmy’s place in the industry as one of its most beloved entertainers. With his signature wit and charm, he continued to captivate audiences for many years to come and inspired countless artists who followed in his footsteps. Today, we remember him not only for his contributions to country music but also for his larger-than-life personality that left an indelible mark on all those who knew him or listened to his songs.


As a music journalist, it is impossible to ignore the catchy and humorous tune of ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’. This classic country song has been covered by countless artists throughout the years, but none quite capture the playful spirit of Little Jimmy Dickens’ original version.

Dickens was inspired to write this song after witnessing an altercation at a bar where someone insulted another person’s appearance. He believed that everyone should be appreciated for who they are on the inside, not judged by their external features. And so, he crafted a lighthearted tune that pokes fun at those who think they’re better than others.

While ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ may be Dickens’ most popular hit, he had several other successful songs including ‘Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)’, ‘Hillbilly Fever’, and ‘A-Sleepin’ At The Foot Of The Bed’. As for censorship or changes to the lyrics, there have been some radio edits made over the years to remove references to alcohol consumption.

The success of this song certainly had an impact on Little Jimmy Dickens’ career as it helped him gain recognition in the world of country music. But more importantly, it solidified his place as a talented songwriter with a unique sense of humor. So next time you find yourself humming along to ‘May A Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, remember to appreciate the quirky genius behind its creation.

Leave a Reply