P is for People songs

Plastic Jim by Sly & the Family Stone borrows from Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles.

peopleI had all these posts for Round 15 lined up, either odd words or 70th birthdays, except for a few. After I mucked it over a good while, I said, to no one in particular, “I’ve got nothing, people.” Then suddenly, I did. Songs starting with the word People in the title that I own.

One must start, naturally, with People by Barbra Streisand, her signature song from Funny Girl that went to #5 in 1964 on the US Billboard singles charts. “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” Is that true? I was rather fond of the cover version by Nat King Cole) that only went to #100 that same year.

A lot of People songs are inspirational. People Get Ready by The Impressions, featuring Curtis Mayfield, went to #14 in 1965, but was an anthem of the civil rights movement.

People Are Strange by The Doors, #12 in 1967, is a simple song, with a single verse and chorus; I tended to relate to it.

Back to the inspiration mode is People Got to be Free by The Rascals, #1 in 1968.

People Make The World Go Round is a melancholy tune by the Stylistics, #25 in 1972, with a long instrumental outro. I also have a Jackson Five cover of this.

Violent images show up in the odd People Who Died by The Jim Carroll Band, #103 in 1981. The lyrics are serious – and he repeats TWO verses – but the music is pretty straight-ahead rock and roll. I heard this a lot on WQBK-FM, my favorite radio station, at the time.

A more hopeful tune is People Are People by Depeche Mode, #13 in 1985.

The N-word is used in context in People Everyday by Arrested Development, #8 in 1992. I found it unfortunate that it’s so much less hopeful than the song it borrows heavily from, Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone, #1 in 1969.

I see that Kelly Clarkson had a song called People Like Us, #65 in 2013, on her greatest hits album. I didn’t have that but I DID have a totally different song with the same title, in fact, the title track of an album by The Mamas and the Papas.

Finally, I was pondering the sad tune Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles – “all the lonely people” – #11 in 1966, from which Plastic Jim by Sly & the Family Stone borrowed.


ABC Wednesday, Round 15

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