50 years ago,Melanie Safka — who climbed to fame just as "Melanie" — released the irresistibly catchy "Brand new Key," which topped the charts approximately the world. In a conversation v Bart Herbison the Nashville Songwriters association International, Melanie said the unlikely origin story the the song, how she felt about it specifying her career, and also the shooting of to trust it provided to Elton John.

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Bart Herbison: “Brand brand-new Key,” one of my favourite songs ever! Melanie, you space going to have to forgive me if ns fanboy due to the fact that I worship you! …People may not establish that when ‘Brand new Key’ come out, it was the subject of a many supposition and a the majority of innuendo, yet I listen you wrote it since you to be hungry.

Melanie: It comes the end in a many songs. I was ~ above a fast and also a vegetarian previously. Ns wasn’t act well as a vegetarian. Ns kept acquiring ill and colds and so I went to a fasting guru, boy name Jenson. He was in Escondido, California and I was in brand-new Jersey. Ns flew out and I had a huge concert at Carnegie Hall and I can not be sick. Ns was acquiring a cold. He said, “Come out and also we will placed you ~ above a fast.” So i did and was ~ above a fast for 27 work on nothing but distilled water, and also it had actually to be distilled water for this reason you didn’t get any kind of extra mineral or anything. Ns was see God, and also I didn’t really desire to stop the fast. There room so countless different opinions of fasting and also so countless different monster diet things. Anyways, ns was in search of my perfect diet and also solution and also again, I had actually been a vegetarian and wasn’t doing well. On the 27th day, he said, “Melanie, i think the time to avoid the fast.” ns said, “No! ns am beginning to obtain visions!”

BH: I gambling you were! (Laughing) 

Melanie: I had actually an suffer with a mountain lion because we to be in Escondido in the hills and also I had this actual moment when i was looking in ~ a hill lion and also thinking, ‘Wow! no he beautiful?

BH: That’s more than likely why the didn’t attack you, since you didn’t act afraid.

Melanie: Probably. I was simply so not afraid. Ns was cleansed. Ns went ago after Dr. Jenson claimed that my perfect diet would happen to me. He said that ns eat meat since my blood type was O. I was like, “What!? Meat? No!” (He said, “At least, maybe once a week, due to the fact that it will aid ground you.”

I stopped the quick gradually by eating partly cooked grated carrot and zucchini. I did this because that a couple of days and then i was ~ above my method to a flea market...I came back with a big bag full of crazy stuff and I to be hungry! us were passing something and I smelled this aroma. Dr. Jenson said it would take place to me, that I would know. I looked over and it was a McDonalds. This was the truth!

BH: by the way, McDonalds was pretty new then.

Melanie: It was really new. Just that odor of rancid grease, ns don’t know what the was, yet we pulled in and I obtained one the those combos and also no sooner than had I perfect the last bite that burger, that I wrote “Brand new Key.” It simply came into my head. I had actually one that those small practice guitars in the van with me and also when mine husband, who was a document producer, heard me singing, that said, “What’s that?” and I said, “Oh, part silly song. I’m just playing around.” that said, “No, no--do that part again!” and I did, and he said, “Melanie, it is a hit!” and also I said, “A hit? No! If it is a hit, i am doomed to be cute for the remainder of my life.” and also that is specifically what happened!

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Melanie: say thanks to you so much. And also it’s the 50th anniversary of the song. Wow!

About the series

In partnership with Nashville Songwriters association International, the "Story Behind the Song" video clip interview series features Nashville-connected songwriters pointing out one of your compositions. Because that full video clip interviews with all of our subjects, visit www.jajalger2018.org/music.