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What Inspired the Song, ‘Brand New Key’? Here’s the Story…

The song “Brand New Key’ by Melanie in 1971 took her to the top of Billboards’ charts and won her a gold record, but the inspiration for the song shows that ideas come from the strangest places in the strangest ways. Here’s the story behind the song: Melanie (Safka) could best be described as a child of Woodstock. She was sincere about living her life in “peace and love”. So much so that her search for enlightenment and purification inspired her to go on a lengthy fast. In fact, it lasted 27 days. As she was coming back to semi-normal foods like grated raw carrots and sips  of orange juice, she suddenly felt this extremely strong urge, like her “inner voice”, telling her to go to McDonald’s and get a hamburger and french fries. She had been a vegetarian for three years, but this yearning for McDonalds was more than she could deny.

She ran to McDonalds, bought the whole hamburger meal and began the song while eating on her way home. Melanie explains it this way, “If you are what you eat   (laughs) ….I totally connect the two (the McDonalds meal and the song).

Thus, the song, “Brand New Key” was born.

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