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Peace Will Come (According to Plan) - Melanie



After the success of her first US hit., the rousing "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" ( https://www.unclestylus.com/single-post/2018/11/21/lay-down-candles-in-the-rain-melanie-with-the-edwin-hawkins-singers) , Melanie's follow-up was the very different "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)", an altogether more complex affair.


As usual with Melanie, there are a number of different versions of "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)", all good: the original single, the final studio recorded version that finishes her brilliant 1970 live album "Leftover Wine (see https://www.unclestylus.com/single-post/2018/11/21/leftover-wine-melanie)", and there's this, from 1993's "Silver Anniversary", preferred here because of its uncluttered arrangement and gorgeous backing vocals.


"Peace Will Come (According to Plan)" was originally released in 1970, the fifteenth year of the Vietnam war, so the hope expressed in the song is implicitly for a US military withdrawal from South East Asia. The repeated ironic phrase "according to man", asserts that it is men, therefore humanity, that cause war and therefore could prevent it, an echo of Buffy Saint-Marie's message seven years' earlier in her song "Universal Soldier". Melanie emphasises that we are all responsible, are all a part of the world: we come from it and we go back to it as the "rivers", the "waters" and the "ocean"; and therefore should all invest in peace; and Melanie's still out there, a Molly Malone (see last post), trundling along with her wheelbarrow, only this time she's selling peace, and she's saying to each and every one that passes her by, "Please buy one, please invest in peace, invest in the future, our future", a message more relevant now than ever.


So play it again, but this time sing along with Melanie, out loud, all the way through, and I warn you, with Melanie's vocal prowess it sometimes isn't easy, but then, neither's peace.


And of course, by the time we're half way through, with the lovely bit about "the velvet hill in the small of our backs", we realise that, in "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)", Melanie has written her own requiem:


"There's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one.


Well sometimes when I am feeling as big as the land

with the velvet hill in the small of my back

and my hands are playing the sand

and my feet are swimming in all of the waters,

all of the rivers are givers to the ocean,

according to plan, according to man.


Well, sometimes when I am feeling so grand

and I become the world

and the world becomes a man

and my song becomes a part of the river

I cry out to keep me just the way I am

according to plan.


Oh there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

well there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one.


For sometime when we have reached the end

with the velvet hill in the small of our backs

and our hands are clutching the sand.

will our blood become a part of the river?

all of the rivers are givers to the ocean

according to plan, according to man


There's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one.


There's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in my life, please buy one.


Well sometime when I am feeling as big as the land

with the velvet hill in the small of my back

and my hands are playing the sand

and my song becomes a part of the river

I cry out to keep me just the way I am

according to plan.


According to man, according to plan,

according to man, according to plan,

according to man, according to plan,

according to man, according to plan.


There's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one;

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one

there's a chance peace will come

in your life, please buy one."



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