May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose Lyrics

Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Susan Levitt

If you’re a fan of classic country music, then chances are you’ve heard the catchy tune "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" at some point. Written by Neal Merritt and famously performed by Little Jimmy Dickens in 1965, this novelty song has become one of the most recognizable tunes from that era.

The lyrics tell the story of a man who is down on his luck and wishing ill will upon someone who he sees as having it better than him. With lines like "With your feet in the air and your head on the ground/Try this trick and spin it," this song is both humorous and relatable to anyone who has ever felt envy towards others. Despite its lighthearted nature, "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains a beloved classic for fans of the genre.

The Story Behind The Song

With a catchy melody and humorous lyrics, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" is a classic country song that has stood the test of time. Written by Roger Miller in 1965, this playful tune tells the story of a man who wishes misfortune upon his ex-girlfriend’s new lover.

Miller was known for his clever wordplay and ability to inject humor into his music, and this song is no exception. With lines like "may your hairline recede way back on your head," he paints a vivid picture of the man’s bad luck.

The inspiration behind the song isn’t entirely clear, but it’s rumored that Miller wrote it about an actual person he knew. Regardless of its origins, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains one of Miller’s most popular songs and a fan favorite.

Overall, this song is a testament to Miller’s talent as both a songwriter and performer. Its catchy chorus and witty lyrics have kept audiences singing along for over five decades, making it a true country music classic.

The Song’s Origins And History

This classic novelty song from 1965, ‘May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, has an interesting history. It was written by Little Jimmy Dickens and originally released as a single by United Artists Records. Its success led to its inclusion on Dickens’ album ‘Out Behind The Barn’, which was released later that same year. Despite its rather strange and absurd lyrics, the song has gone on to become a classic of country music, with many well-known artists covering it over the years.


It’s fascinating how music can transport us to a different time and place. The song "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" by Little Jimmy Dickens is no exception. This novelty country tune, released in 1965, quickly became a hit among its listeners. But where did it all start?

The origins of this song trace back to Dickens’ encounter with an unpleasant individual while on tour. According to legend, Dickens was approached by a man who constantly boasted about his wealth and possessions. Tired of hearing him brag, Dickens told the man that he wished for a bird of paradise to fly up his nose – hence the catchy chorus.

Dickens teamed up with songwriter Neal Merritt to turn this humorous incident into a full-fledged song. As they say, the rest is history. With its upbeat melody and clever lyrics, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" captured the hearts of many and even earned Dickens a Grammy nomination.

Decades later, this song remains a beloved classic in country music history. Its message still rings true today – reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously and to always keep our sense of humor intact.

In conclusion, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" may have started as just another funny remark from Little Jimmy Dickens, but it evolved into something much bigger than anyone could have imagined. It serves as a testament to the power of music to bring joy and laughter into our lives – no matter how silly or absurd it may seem at first glance.


Now let’s dive deeper into the history of ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’. This song holds a special place in country music history, not just because it was a hit but also because it paved the way for other novelty songs. The track spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and even crossed over to the pop charts.

But what made this song stand out from others during its time? Firstly, Dickens’ unique voice adds character to the tune – his high-pitched twang is instantly recognizable. Secondly, Merritt’s witty lyrics perfectly capture the frustration we feel towards someone who won’t stop boasting about their possessions. It’s relatable yet comical.

Interestingly enough, ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ wasn’t Little Jimmy Dickens’ biggest hit (he had several top 10 hits before this), but it became his signature song. He performed it countless times throughout his career and even recorded new versions of it later on.

The legacy of this song lives on through covers by various artists and references in popular culture. From TV shows to movies, people still recognize and appreciate this classic tune. Its longevity proves that sometimes all you need is a catchy melody and clever lyrics to make an impact in music history.

Little Jimmy Dickens’ Performance

With its catchy tune and playful lyrics, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" quickly became a hit upon its release in 1965. But what’s the story behind this humorous song? Let’s delve into the origins and history of this classic country tune.

Written by Don Wayne, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" was first recorded by Little Jimmy Dickens in 1964. The song tells the tale of a wealthy man who boasts about his extravagant lifestyle, only to face some comeuppance when a bird flies up his nose while on safari. The combination of clever wordplay and infectious melody made it an instant success.

Dickens’ performance of the song at the Grand Ole Opry solidified its place in music history. His energetic delivery and comedic timing had audiences laughing along as he sang lines like "may your wife be plagued with runners in her hose." It became one of his signature tunes and cemented him as a beloved figure in country music.

Despite being over 50 years old, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains a beloved classic that still gets airplay today. Its enduring popularity is a testament not only to Don Wayne’s clever songwriting but also to Little Jimmy Dickens’ unforgettable interpretation. This lighthearted ditty will continue to bring joy to listeners for generations to come.

The Song’s Catchy Lyrics

The lyrics of "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" are undeniably catchy and clever. From the opening line, "One fine day as I was a-walkin’ down the street," to the chorus that encourages an unpleasant fate for one’s enemies, this song sticks in your head long after it’s over.

It’s not just the playful insults that make these lyrics memorable; it’s also the expert use of alliteration throughout. Lines like "If you’re walkin’ ’round with your nose in the air / They might carry you off in a butterfly net" showcase songwriter Neal Merritt’s skill at crafting tongue-twisters that flow easily off the tongue.

But beyond their technical prowess, these lyrics also tap into something universal: our desire to see justice served, even if it means some schadenfreude along the way. The humor may be biting, but it’s hard not to smile when singing lines like "I hope you sneeze and cough and choke on everything you eat."

Overall, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" stands out as a classic example of how great lyrics can elevate a simple melody into something truly unforgettable. Its infectious energy and cheeky attitude have helped it endure through generations of listeners- who doesn’t love a good insult song?

The Song’s Impact On Country Music

This song has been a classic in the country music canon since the 1960s, and its catchy lyrics and unique sound have made it a popular go-to for cover versions. Its popularity has only grown over the years, as more and more artists have put their own spin on it. The lyrics are playful and witty, which helps explain its lasting appeal. Its influence on country music is especially noteworthy, and many modern songs can trace their roots back to the original “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” There’s something special about this song that makes it a favorite among music fans, no matter the genre. Cover versions of this track are a testament to its enduring impact on country music.

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If you’re looking for a catchy tune that’s guaranteed to get stuck in your head, look no further than "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose." This novelty song by Little Jimmy Dickens became an instant hit when it was released in 1965 and has since become a staple of country music.

One reason for its popularity is the humorous lyrics. The song tells the story of a man who brags about his wealth and success but gets his comeuppance when a bird flies up his nose. It’s a silly premise, but it’s hard not to chuckle at lines like "I was drivin’ down the street when somebody spit" or "You can’t haul nothin’ if you ain’t got no load."

Another factor is Dickens’ energetic performance. His distinctive voice, twangy guitar, and lively backup band create an infectious sound that’s impossible not to tap your toes to. Plus, he fully commits to the absurdity of the lyrics with exaggerated gestures and facial expressions, making for an entertaining stage show.

Despite being over half a century old, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains relevant today. Its enduring popularity is evident in its continued airplay on radio stations across the country as well as its inclusion on various compilations of classic country hits. Whether you’re a diehard fan or hearing it for the first time, this song is sure to bring a smile to your face and have you singing along before long.


Now that we’ve talked about the popularity of ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,’ let’s dive into its impact on country music. One significant aspect of this song is its lyrics. While it may have started as a novelty tune, the clever wordplay and humorous storytelling have stood the test of time.

The song’s satirical approach to wealth and status has resonated with audiences for decades. Even today, listeners can still appreciate lines like ‘I was dancin’ with my darlin’ to the Tennessee Waltz / When an old friend I happened to see.’ Such relatable scenarios paired with witty commentary make for an enjoyable listening experience.

Furthermore, Little Jimmy Dickens’ use of colloquialisms and slang in his lyrics added to his appeal among fans. It made him more accessible and approachable than other country stars at the time who sang about sophisticated topics or used formal language. By doing so, he helped pave the way for future artists who wanted to connect with their audience through authentic storytelling.

Overall, ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ left an indelible mark on country music by showcasing how humor can be incorporated into songs while still having something meaningful to say. Its success paved the way for other comedic hits in country music history, such as ‘A Boy Named Sue’ by Johnny Cash or ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ by Elmo & Patsy. In short, this song proved that sometimes all you need is a catchy melody and some well-crafted lyrics to create a timeless classic that will continue entertaining generations to come.

Cover Versions

Now that we’ve talked about the impact of ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ on country music, let’s dive into another aspect of its lasting influence: cover versions. The song became so popular that it inspired several artists to create their own renditions, each with their unique spin and interpretation.

One notable cover was by Buck Owens, a fellow country singer who gave the tune a more upbeat and honky-tonk feel. His version reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1965, cementing the song’s place as an enduring classic.

Another memorable cover was by punk rock band The Cramps in 1983. Their rendition retained the original melody but added a new wave twist to it, emphasizing the song’s irreverent humor even further. It demonstrated how adaptable Dickens’ lyrics were and proved that they could appeal to audiences beyond just country music fans.

Despite being covered numerous times over the years, no artist has been able to replicate Little Jimmy Dickens’ signature style and charm in delivering this iconic tune. However, these covers have helped keep the song relevant and introduced it to new generations of listeners.

In conclusion, ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ continues to be a beloved hit in country music history due to its clever lyrics, catchy melody, and relatable subject matter. Its popularity inspired many artists to cover it throughout the years while still retaining its humorous yet insightful commentary on wealth and status. These covers serve as a testament not only to Dickens’ talent but also his ability to connect with audiences across different genres and eras.

Interpretations Of The Song’s Meaning

The lyrics to "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" may seem straightforward at first, but upon closer examination, it is clear that there are many different ways to interpret their meaning. Some listeners believe that the song is simply a humorous take on revenge or karma, with the titular bird acting as a symbol for bad luck or misfortune.

Others argue that there is a deeper message hidden within the lyrics. They suggest that the bird could represent any number of negative emotions or experiences, such as envy, jealousy, or regret. In this interpretation, the song becomes a cautionary tale about the dangers of holding onto negative feelings and how they can ultimately harm us in unexpected ways.

Despite these varied interpretations, one thing is certain: "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has become an enduring classic precisely because it resonates with so many people on multiple levels. Whether you see it as a lighthearted joke or a profound meditation on human nature, there is no denying its power to connect with audiences across generations and cultural divides.

To help shed further light on this beloved tune, here are four key things to keep in mind when listening to "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose":

  • The song was originally written by country musician Little Jimmy Dickens in 1965.
  • It quickly became a hit both in America and abroad thanks to its catchy melody and memorable chorus.
  • Despite its success, some critics have derided "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" as nothing more than silly novelty music.
  • Nevertheless, countless fans continue to enjoy and appreciate the song’s unique blend of humor and pathos.

Overall, whether you view it as a simple ditty or something more meaningful altogether, there is no denying that "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains one of country music’s most beloved classics – and a testament to the enduring power of music itself.

Parodies And Covers Of The Song

While the song "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" may hold various interpretations and meanings for different listeners, it has undeniably become a cult classic in country music. Its humorous lyrics and catchy tune have earned it numerous covers and parodies from other artists over the years.

Some might argue that the song is simply meant to be taken as lighthearted fun, without any deeper meaning attached to it. However, others interpret its lyrics as a commentary on how money can’t buy happiness or class – no matter how much you may flaunt your wealth, there’s always someone who will bring you down a peg or two.

Regardless of what one believes the song means, there’s no denying its popularity across generations. From Buck Owens’ original release in 1965 to modern-day cover versions by artists such as Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has stood the test of time.

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As for parodies of the song, they continue to crop up even today on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. These range from playful renditions with alternate lyrics poking fun at current events to more elaborate productions featuring costumes and choreography. The fact that people are still finding ways to put their own spin on this decades-old hit speaks volumes about its enduring appeal and widespread recognition.

In short, whether you see "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" as a clever satire or just a silly ditty, there’s no denying that it holds a special place in country music history. With each new generation discovering and reinterpreting it in their own way, this timeless classic shows no signs of flying away anytime soon!

The Song’s Continued Popularity Today

The hit song "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has continued to maintain its popularity since its release in 1965. Despite being over five decades old, the catchy tune and humorous lyrics have managed to stand the test of time.

One reason for this is undoubtedly due to the infectious melody that makes listeners want to dance along. The upbeat tempo combined with a unique mix of country and pop elements creates an irresistible sound that continues to captivate audiences today.

Another factor contributing to the song’s longevity is its relatable message. Everyone can relate to moments when they’ve wished ill upon someone who has wronged them, even if it’s just a fleeting thought. The humor in the lyrics allows listeners to laugh at themselves while enjoying the music.

Finally, the memorable chorus with its iconic phrase "may the bird of paradise fly up your nose" has become ingrained in popular culture. It’s not uncommon to hear people referencing or singing along to this classic tune, whether at parties or on social media platforms like TikTok.

  • Many cover versions exist showcasing the enduring appeal of “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose”.
  • Songwriters recognize how important this tune was for creating novelty songs genre which includes classics such as Ray Stevens’ “Ahab The Arab.”
  • While some might argue that such an irreverent theme would never be successful today, others point out that modern takes on comedy still enjoy great success – but perhaps toned down slightly from previous eras.

In summary, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" remains a beloved classic among many generations because it combines catchy melodies, relatable themes, and cultural significance into one timeless package. Its legacy will continue well into future years as new fans discover its charm through various mediums.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Other Songs Did Little Jimmy Dickens Perform?

Little Jimmy Dickens, the country music legend who passed away in 2015, was one of the most distinctive voices in Nashville. With his signature high-pitched twang and diminutive stature, he spent over seven decades making audiences smile with hits like "Hillbilly Fever," "Take an Old Cold ‘Tater (And Wait)," and "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose." But that’s just scratching the surface of this talented singer-songwriter’s discography. From honky-tonk classics to gospel tunes, Little Jimmy Dickens had a song for every occasion. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious about his legacy, there’s no denying that this country icon left an indelible mark on American music.

Who Wrote The Music For "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"?

The catchy tune of "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has been a favorite among country music fans since its release in 1965. The upbeat melody and playful lyrics perfectly capture the humor and wit of Little Jimmy Dickens’ signature style. While Dickens is credited with co-writing the song, it was actually penned by Neal Merritt – a lesser-known songwriter who also wrote several other hits for Dickens during his career. Despite its age, "May the Bird of Paradise…" remains a classic that continues to delight audiences today.

What Is The Meaning Of The Phrase "Bird Of Paradise"?

The phrase ‘bird of paradise’ has long been associated with beauty, grace, and exoticism. This term refers to a stunning bird native to Papua New Guinea that possesses an array of colors and feathers that are unmatched by any other species. The phrase has also made its way into popular culture through music, literature, and film as a symbol of something rare and exceptional. In fact, one song titled ‘May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’ uses this phrase in a humorous hyperbole to convey annoyance or irritation towards someone. While it may seem like an insult at first glance, the use of such a vivid metaphor adds depth and humor to the lyrics, making it a memorable tune for generations to come.

How Many Times Has The Song Been Covered By Other Artists?

The classic song "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" has been covered by numerous artists over the years. With its catchy tune and memorable lyrics, it’s no surprise that so many musicians have wanted to put their own spin on this comedic hit. From country singers to rock bands, there seems to be no shortage of interpretations when it comes to this lively tune. While some covers stay true to the original sound, others take creative liberties in order to make the song their own. Regardless of how they approach it, one thing is for sure: this timeless track continues to inspire new generations of musicians even today.

What Is The Significance Of The Song’s Title?

The title of the song, "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose," is a euphemistic representation of an insult towards someone. The phrase has become a popular colloquialism for conveying annoyance or frustration towards another person in a lighthearted manner. As a catchy and humorous tune, it has been covered by several artists over the years and continues to be enjoyed as a fun sing-along track. However, its origins remain shrouded in mystery, with some sources suggesting that it may have originated from an old English expression used to express disdain for someone’s arrogance or snobbery. Nonetheless, its significance lies in its ability to bring people together through laughter and music.


Little Jimmy Dickens was known for his energetic and humorous country music, with hits like "Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)" and "Out Behind the Barn." However, it was his 1965 song "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" that became a crossover hit, reaching number one on both the country and pop charts. The song’s catchy melody and witty lyrics made it a classic in the genre.

The music for "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" was written by Neal Merritt. The phrase "bird of paradise" refers to a tropical bird native to New Guinea, renowned for its vibrant plumage. In this context, however, it is used as a playful insult directed at someone who is acting arrogant or high-and-mighty.

Over the years, many artists have covered the song, including Tex Williams and Buck Owens. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to its humor and lightheartedness, making it a staple at parties and gatherings. It also serves as a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.

In conclusion, Little Jimmy Dickens’ legacy lives on through songs like "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," which continues to bring joy and laughter to listeners today. While some may find the title offensive or crude, it speaks to our human tendency towards schadenfreude – finding pleasure in others’ misfortunes. Ultimately, though, we are all just birds trying to fly up in this crazy world. So let us embrace our quirks and imperfections with open wings – after all, you never know when life might decide to send that bird of paradise flying your way!

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