Never Have to Be Alone

‘Beautiful People’ was released on Melanie’s 1969 album Affectionately Melanie.  This was her second album and she sang this song in the set she played at Woodstock and although it wasn’t a hit, this song helped to make her famous.  Melanie said that she was inspired to write this song from her experience during the 1959 blackout in New York City which lasted about 13 hours before the lights went back on.  She would have been about 12 when this happened and the 500-block area of Manhattan near Central Park had their power cut because the grid was overloaded with refrigerators and air conditioners in the August heat.  This section had a reputation of being a place where crime incidence was fairly high, but police reported only a few misdemeanors and a couple of picked pockets.

The power was cut just as night fell, leaving New Yorkers to do their best to make their way to places where they would feel safe.  Melanie handed candles out during the emergency to the people that lived in her building.  She saw Beautiful People helping each other out during this potentially bad situation, and she felt that it was magical the way strangers were caring for each other.  In big cities when blackouts occur, people get stuck inside of elevators and usually lots of babies are born 9 months later.  Melanie took this song to Woodstock when she was invited to play at the festival that featured a lot of big rock performers.  She was a young girl, playing three chords on her guitar, and she thought some fans might want to stone her or throw tomatoes at her, but she ended up instantly resonating with 500,000 people there.

Beautiful people
You live in the same world as I do
But somehow I never noticed
You before today
I’m ashamed to say

Beautiful people
We share the same back door
And it isn’t right
We never met before
But then
We may never meet again

If I weren’t afraid you’d laugh at me
I would run and take all your hands
And I’d gather everyone together for a day
And when we gather’d
I’ll pass buttons out that say

Beautiful people
Then you’d never have to be alone
‘Cause there’ll always be someone
With the same button on as you
Include him in everything you do.

Beautiful people
You ride the same subway
As I do ev’ry morning
That’s got to tell you something
We’ve got so much in common
I go the same direction that you do
So if you take care of me
Maybe I’ll take care of you

Beautiful people
You look like friends of mine
And it’s about time
That someone said it here and now
I make a vow that some time, somehow
I’ll have a meeting
Invite ev’ryone you know
I’ll pass out buttons to
The ones who come to show

Beautiful people
Never have to be alone
‘Cause there’ll always be someone
With the same button on as you
Include him in ev’rything you do
He may be sitting right next to you
He may be beautiful people too
And if you take care of him
Maybe I’ll take care of you
And if you take care of him
Maybe I’ll take care of you…

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music challenge Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) – Challenge #186.

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