"Brand New Key" as written by and Melanie Safka....
I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I ride my bike, I roller skate, don't drive no car
Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far
For somebody who don't drive
I been all around the world
Some people say, I done all right for a girl

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out you see
I been looking around awhile
You got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said, yes, but you weren't alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone, but you've got something I need

Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think that we should get together and try them out to see
La la la la la la la la, la la la la la la
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key


Lyrics submitted by iforgot

"Brand New Key" as written by Melanie Safka

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Brand New Key song meanings
Add your thoughts

13 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentHere's what Melanie Safka has to say about it:
    "'Brand New Key' I wrote in about fifteen minutes one night. I thought it was cute; a kind of old thirties tune. I guess a key and a lock have always been Freudian symbols, and pretty obvious ones at that. There was no deep serious expression behind the song, but people read things into it. They made up incredible stories as to what the lyrics said and what the song meant. In some places, it was even banned from the radio."

    "Brand New Key" broke on American radio in October 1971 and reached the top of the charts in December. For nearly four months, confused record buyers flooded the stores asking for "The Roller Skate Song," "I've Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates," and even "The Bicycle Song." Fortunately, all finally were steered to the right record.

    "I used to love singing 'Brand New Key,'" said Melanie, "at first. It had great shock value, dropped in the middle of one of my concerts. I'd be singing along about Suffering and the Trials of Man, and then suddenly, 'I've got a brand-new pair of roller skates...' It had a great effect. After it became a hit, though, the fun kind of wore off, at least for me. Some things, I think, are better left a surprise."
    SeaThingChildon July 08, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionPeople may say I've got a wicked mind, but beyond the lecture of "when things were simple", I've always felt the brand new pair of roller skates referred to "a brand new pair of knockers", and that the "brand new key" was a phallic symbol...
    To me it's a song about teenager sexuality (she doesn't drive a car because she's too young), she's been around but she's focused on a childhood friend and she would like to experiment her brand new feminity on him. It bothers her when she hears "he's home, but not alone".
    pieanneon January 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou obviously don't know how roller skates worked. you'd tighten them with a key to loosen and tighten them. without a key you couldn't get your skates on or off. so you need someone with a key if you want to wear roller skates.
    geoadaon April 01, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti saw melanie play in ohio on saturday and this is what she said about the song.

    she was on a fast for 27 days where she drank nothing but water. she did this to leave her body and fun, different from what most people did in the 60s to leave their bodies. she had been thinking about becoming vegetarian at this point. her doctor urged her to come off the fast and he told her that she will know what she wanted to do when she got off of it. one day she sees those golden arches she is lured in by them. she has to go in there. she orders a combo meal sits down to eat. takes a bite of the hamburger and at the moment she bit into the hamburger was when she wrote brand new key.
    artoseybycyon November 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThere is clearly a sexual metaphor going on in this song, even if Melanie won't take credit for it.

    "I don't go to fast, but I go pretty far." That one's obvious. Going "all the way" is a term referring to sex that's been around since at least the thirties. Not to mention, everyone knows you gotta take it slow. ;)

    "For somebody who don't drive, I been all around the world" Well that's easy, this is clearly from the perspective of a young girl who is experimenting with her new-found sexuality. You can tell she's young because she asked the boy's mom if he was home, not something an adult woman would have to worry about.

    "I'm okay alone, but you've got something I need" The something she needs, the "key" for her "skates"... Well that's obvious too. The "lock and key" metaphor for female and male body parts has also been around forever.

    And of course the anxiety and that little tinge of jealousy over being avoided is ubiquitous to anyone who's experienced a crush, especially in their youth.

    Overall, it's a very sweet and sexy song. It takes it right to line with the metaphors, and no further. Just perfect.
    SongFoxon November 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMelanie herself has suggested that people not to take this song to seriously, but the lyrics are pretty simple to interpret and I'm sure she knew *exactly* what people would think, when she wrote them.

    First, old time quad roller skates needed a key to take them on and off. If you lost your key, you could use a needle nose pliers, with some difficulty.

    The 'lock and key' context of this song is also a classic euphemism for sex, and the song practically drips with teenage female sexual longing and awakening with practically every line. The young woman has had some experience already ("I go pretty far", "I've been all around the world"), but wants this particular young man, who's apparently more interested in someone else ("but you weren't alone").

    The obvious sexual innuendo actually got this song banned from play by some radio stations back in 1971.
    rkpetersenon December 20, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIMO, the key & rollerskates she refers to is a metaphor for the physical connection during sex. If you listen to it, the sexual inuendo is practically dripping from her voice. This song definately is very flirty & suggestive.
    redjelloon April 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrasputina does a cellorific cover of this song.
    artoseybycyon November 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit reminds me of when thing were simple
    :'(
    shalayaon May 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnytime I'm feeling blue, this song cheers me up. :)
    twobit84on August 20, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain