Peruvian folk music can be hauntingly beautiful, with lovely melodies that tend to stick in your mind. A good example is the one adapted by Simon and Garfunkel: “El Condor Pasa/If I Could”. As a youth listening to rock & roll and folk music this was something really different and was one of the first “world music” songs most young people had really heard.

Emmy Lou Harris came out with “Stumble Into Grace”, a wonderful cd of touching music. One gem included is a Peruvian folk song she picked up somewhere, to which she added lyrics and called it “Little Bird”. It is a longing love song, which fits the melody well.

Eventually I got around to figuring out how to play this on my guitar. I play it in Em. You probably could just play Em and D, but it is like a modal song where you can play chords you typically don’t play. I like to include a G and Bm in the verse and a C in the chorus, or refrain.

Though this little tune is simple, it is somehow elusive when you first try to learn it. Once you do get it you will be hypnotized by the melody.

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