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

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

26 thoughts on “P is for People songs”

  1. It’s so funny how some music can take you back to certain periods of your life. Barbara Streisand’s song of people is one of them for me. Thanks for the memories!

  2. All these People song titles! I thought that Sexy People by Arianna was the only one. Well, I do remember Depeche Mode a little too.

  3. I’m familiar with only People are People by Depeche Mode. Then People Need the Lord crossed my mind, a church song.

  4. OH how I love Barbra Streisand’s version of ‘People’, one of my all time favourites. Glad to see a mention of The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby….’All the lonely people, where do they all come from?’
    The grave and tombstone of Eleanor Rigby lies in the graveyard at St Peters Church in Woolton Village, Liverpool.
    Engraved on the tombstone is the name of Eleanor Rigby who died aged 44, She was married to a Thomas Woods but was buried in the family grave .
    This church is just 5 mins drive from where we live. Paul, John and George used to hang about in the graveyard, probably when they were bored….
    Obviously the name of Eleanor Rigby stuck in Paul’s mind until he wrote the song!
    Guess who’ve I’ve written about Roger ?
    Di x

    P’S My linky doesn’t seem to have worked again Grrr!
    Help please xxD.x

  5. I put “I hate people lyrics” into google and up came three songs named I Hate People. (Why? Because that’s how I feel.) One was a rather silly song sung by Scrooge from Scrooge The Musical. The other two were totally serious NSFW punk songs by Anti-Nowhere League and GG Allin, who was quite a character. Just adding to the record FYI.

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