Song of the Day: Jackie DeShannon, “What The World Needs Now Is Love” #LoIsInDaBl23

This prompt, "a love song for this planet," gave me trouble, and finally I said "I’m just going to put this off until tomorrow." It might have been the best thing that’s happened, because this morning as I was having my leg pressed, I got a notification that composer Burt Bacharach had died at the age of 94. I knew immediately what song I would use…

Wikipedia says this about "What The World Needs Now Is Love":

Co-songwriter Burt Bacharach revealed in his 2014 autobiography that this song had among the most difficult lyrics Hal David ever wrote, despite being deceptively simple as a pop hit. He explained that they had the main melody and chorus written back in 1962, centering on a waltz tempo, but it took another two years for David to finally come up with the lyric, “Lord, we don’t need another mountain.” Once David worked out the verses, Bacharach said the song essentially “wrote itself” and they finished it in a day or two.

The song’s success caught the two songwriters completely by surprise, since they were very aware of the controversy and disagreements among Americans about the Vietnam War, which was the subtext for David’s lyrics. Bacharach has continuously used the song as the intro and finale for most of his live concert appearances well into the 2000s.

They offered the song to their "go-to girl," Dionne Warwick, who thought it as "too country." Jackie DeShannon recorded the song in 1965, and it reached #7 in the US and #1 in Canada. I think we can all agree that, even though it’s not exactly "a love song for this planet," the message is still relevant.

Bacharaach was one of the greatest composers of our time, maybe of all time. May he rest in peace.

16 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Jackie DeShannon, “What The World Needs Now Is Love” #LoIsInDaBl23

  1. This is so appropriate for today and every day. Listening to this song made me think of ” Finding Your Roots”. I watched it the other day and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Was with an actor, Joseph Mont…I gorget his last name! He is part Armenian. His great grandmother was a victim of the genocide. Tge Turks stirmed into their home, took every out. Shot her husband then her. She laid there pretending to be dead. She heard 7 more shots ..killing all her kids save the vaby in the crib. They would leave babies to starve to death. When they left, she got her baby, and strapped him onto her back and walked. She was placed in the death March with many others but escaped. She swam the Euphrates to the other side but her baby drowned. There she was met by Germans but for medical help. Somehow, she got together with one of the men and got pregnant with the actor’s grandmother. I. Telling you my mouth dropped! To say there was no genocide is such an insult. The Turkish government need to acknowledge this, apologize gor the atrocities plus not acknowledging this and then move on. That nans great grandmother went through hell.


  2. Hi John – he was a prodigious musician and songwriter … wonderful song – and appropriate for today, so many horrors going on. Cheers Hilary


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