Thursday, 29 May 2014

What we need is a great big melting pot. . .

Take a pinch of white man
Wrap him up in black skin 
Add a touch of blue blood
And a little bitty bit of red Indian boy
Oh like a curly Latin kinkies
Oh lordy, lordy, mixed with yellow Chinkees, yeah
You know you lump it all together
And you got a recipe for a get along scene
Oh what a beautiful dream
If it could only come true, you know, you know

The opening verse of this Kiwi classic Melting Pot by When The Cat's Away (WTCA) was originally released by Blue Mink, a British group in 1969.  The WTCA version still includes the original lyrics (which in today's day and age may almost seem cringeworthy), but the sentiment of the world being able to unite together through racial harmony was definitely a sign of the times.  This is especially true when you consider music globally at the end of the 60s (give peace a chance man) and moving into the new disco era.

When The Cat's Away was an all girl group that performed covers in the 1980s, and this release of the Blue Mink hit featured successful female artists in their own right who enjoyed singing together.  Dianne Swann left the group and Sharon O'Neill of Maxine fame joined the group and was also a support act on several occasions.  Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Margaret Urlich and Annie Crummer rounded up the rest of the members in this female supergroup.

The second verse of the song talks about celebrating all religions, which reminds me of Lennon's Imagine but that released a while later.

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough to take the world and all it's got
We've been stirring for a hundred years or more
Turn out coffee coloured people by the score. . .

This is the penultimate song in my NZ Music Month series.  There are no artists or bands for X or Y so the final song will be highlighted tomorrow.  So in all of your dealings with people from different walks of life, different hues of skin, different supreme beings that they worship, some are stronger, more flavourful than others. . . some a bit weaker, less bold. . . while others are sweet in contrast to others who are bitter.  At the end of the day, we're all coffee coloured people.