Wall Street losin’ dough on every share
They’re blamin’ it on longer hair
Big men smokin’ in their easy chair
On a fat cigar without a care.
People Make The World Go Round, The Stylistics haunting slice of Philly soul eerily rings as true today as did back in 1972. More interesting however is the odd bit of resigned wisdom that follows:
But that’s what makes the world go round
The ups and downs, a carousel
Changing people’s heads around
Go underground young man.
While the falsetto chorus advises that there’s not much you can do to change it, it’s all part of life, deal with it best as you can; it’s the contrasting upbeat arrangement that unspokenly seems to whisper but it can’t take away your dignity.
Not surprisingly an impoverished 70s Jamaica understood these sentiments quite well and have always poured that soul and pride into music, chiefly reggae. Funny enough my first exposure to People Make The World Go Round wasn’t the Stylistics cut, but rather the Hortense Ellis‘ (sister of Alton) sublime reggae/rocksteady version; easily one of my personal top ten favorite reggae cuts. My close second picks are three classic versions from The Chosen Few, The Now Generation (FYI more Jamaican soul than straight reggae) and The Tamlins. Following those are an 80s UK lover’s rock cut from The Cool Notes as well as a poppy Sly & Robby-produced dancehall number from Ruddy Thomas.
Hortense Ellis – People Make The World Go Round
The Chosen Few – People Make The World Go Round
The Now Generation – People Make The World Go Round
The Tamlins – People Make The World Go Round
The Cool Notes – People Make The World Go Round
Ruddy Thomas – People Make The World Go Round