And you know the song. Melanie Safka described it this way:
“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.
My idea about songs is that once you write them, you have very little say in their life afterward. It’s a lot like having a baby. You conceive a song, deliver it, and then give it as good a start as you can. After that, it’s on its own. People will take it any way they want to take it.
Forty-odd years later, it persists. First, Orange County chanteuse Sabrina Lentini, now 19. She was 14 when she did this take:
Sabrina has a single coming out next month called “Dorothy Gale.”
Katharine McPhee actually released her take on the song in 2010, and it’s an intriguing blend of Melanie and the late George Michael.
Finally, a punky rendition by the Dollyrots:
Never could bring myself to hate this song.