The My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war took place in two hamlets of the Song My village. Please read the lyrics with this in mind. Then you will know what it means. Please note...
Look what they done to my song ma
Look what they done to my song
Well it's the only thing
That I could do half right
And it's turning out all wrong ma
Look what they done to my song

Look what they done to my brain ma
Look what they done to my brain
Well they picked it like a chicken bone
And I think I'm half insane ma
Look what they done to my song

I wish I could find a good book to live in
Wish I could find a good book
Well if I could find a real good book
I'd never have to come out and look at
What they done to my song

La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la
Look what they done to my song

But maybe it'll all be alright ma
Maybe it'll all be okay
Well if the people are buying tears
I'll be rich someday ma
Look what they done to my song

Ils ont change ma chanson, ma
Ils ont change ma chanson
See'est la seule chose que je peux faire
Et ce n'est pas bon, ma.
Ils ont change ma chanson.

Look what they done to my song, ma
Look what they done to my song
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag
And turned it upside down ma
Look what they done to my song

Look what they done to my song ma
Look what they done to my song
It's the only thing that I could do alright
And they turned it upside down
Oh ma
Look what they done to my song

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"What Have They Done to My Song Ma" as written by Melanie Safka


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Look What They've Done to My Song song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentA cri de coeur, written and originally performed by Melanie (Safka) and covered by the New Seekers. Later used, inexplicably, in a set of food commercials on TV, with an incongruous upbeat, let's-sell-this-stuff aura.

    This song is indeed, as kyuuialison (above) wrote, about large institutions' twisting and distorting an artist's heartfelt expressions. But it goes beyond that, a wrenching plaint against all the things that dehumanize and demean us, hollow out our souls, and drive us crazy, slowly or quickly.
    mbrachmanon October 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it is about how music company's change an artists music, and their true message. They can ruin the deepness of an artist because their intention is to make money.
    kyuuialisonon July 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVery intriguing that the song could be a crypto comment about the insanely horrific Mai Lai massacre of 16 March 1968 where the US army raped and slaughtered 500 villagers made up almost entirely of defenceless women and children. One of the tiny villages was indeed called "Song My".

    Part of the song's appeal is that it has the tone of a cry from the heart. However, if the song really does refer to the Mai Lai massacre, it is no where near hard or desolate enough.

    Generally I like allusive lyrics, but in this case, this historic fact is so abhorent and so ghastly that it deserves a more direct reference and more consistency in the text. Maybe I'm being too blunt, but for a start, how about calling it, "Look What They've Done to Mai Lai".
    Seron August 03, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can definitely see how it could be about the music industry, but another interpretation, I see it being about people judging a person. Their "song" represent's the person's self as a whole and at the end even goes to say it is their soul. They want to escape the criticism and judgement of everyone and at the end they adopt more of an optimistic mindset that although they can't fit in or escape judgement they will get through it.
    lyriclover34on January 08, 2016   Link

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