May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose

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"May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"
May the bird of paradise fly up your nose.jpg
Single by Little Jimmy Dickens
from the album May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
B-side "My Eyes Are Jealous"
Released September 7, 1965
Format 7" single
Genre Country
Length 2:28
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Neal Merritt
Producer(s) Don Law
Frank Jones
Little Jimmy Dickens singles chronology
"He Stands Real Tall"
"May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"
"When the Ship Hit the Sand"
"He Stands Real Tall"
"May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"
"When the Ship Hit the Sand"

"May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" is a 1965 novelty song performed by Little Jimmy Dickens. It was Dickens' most successful single on the U.S. country music chart. It spent two weeks at No. 1 that November, and stayed on the chart for a total of 18 weeks.[1] On the overall Billboard Hot 100 the song peaked at No. 15.[2]

The song, written by Neal Merritt, was inspired by one of the many comic putdowns uttered by host Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.[3]


The song features three verses, each of which mentions an incident where Dickens (the narrator) performs an action which is perceived to be insulting:

  • In the first verse, Dickens sees a beggar and proceeds to give him only a penny.
  • In the second verse, Dickens gets a call from his laundryman, who returns $100 that Dickens left in his clothes. Dickens gives him 10 cents, to compensate him for the phone call.
  • In the final verse, Dickens asks a cabdriver to rush so he can catch a train; the driver is ticketed for speeding, while Dickens stands by, waiting for the change from his fare.

The chorus is an insult, said back to Dickens, for his insulting action.

The distinctive guitar work was done by Grady Martin, using the brand new Echoplex unit which had just been released.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 15
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening[4] 8
Canadian RPM Top Singles 4


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 106. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 178. 
  3. ^ "Dickens' Single Is Raising Dickens". Billboard. 23 October 1965. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 73. 
Preceded by
"Behind the Tear"
by Sonny James
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

November 20–November 27, 1965
Succeeded by
"Make the World Go Away"
by Eddy Arnold