What Have They Done To My Song Ma

What Have They Done To My Song MaWhen listing "rain" songs on Saturday, I included a gem by Melanie. "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" is a great tune, but it's not my favourite Melanie tune. I'm partial to "Brand New Key".

You don't hear much about Melanie these days, likely because she seemed to withdraw from public life in the early 70s, but she had a string of fun hits including "What Have They Done To My Song Ma".

Here's "What Have They Done To My Song Ma" for the unfamiliar:

In a great example of irony, my first exposure to this tune was when it was used in a Quaker Oats Oatmeal Raisin Crisp ad in the early 80s. I remember this ad well, because I thought the song was catchy. I had no idea who Melanie was or that it wasn't an original tune.

So Melanie wrote a song called "What Have They Done To My Song Ma" and without her consent (because she didn't own the rights) had her song purchased and used by Quaker Oats to promote cereal.

Self-fulfilling prophecy indeed!

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I'm telling you that a group did that song and made it a big hit, the New Seekers.

September 23, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You might be right, but I'm only familiar with Melanie's original and Ray Charles' cover.

September 23, 2013 @ 11:49 AM


miley cyrus did a great cover as well recently.

September 23, 2013 @ 12:09 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I just learned this via Twitter.

I honestly had no idea...

September 23, 2013 @ 12:50 PM


There was cover of this in Serbian in the 1980s. It was a huge hit in Yugoslavia at the time. They made it into "Look what we've done to your song, Mama"
You cannot unsee the 80s :)

September 23, 2013 @ 10:11 PM

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