Jackie DeShannon – Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Well written and great pop song. I remember it from the movie Scrooged where now that film and this song goes hand in hand. Nineteen years after this song was a hit for Jackie DeShannon, Annie Lennox and Al Green covered it for the 1988 film Scrooged. Their version reached #9 in the US and #28 in the UK and reached the Top 40 in five other countries.

DeShannon co-wrote this song with her brother Randy Myers and  Jimmy Holiday.

Jackie is a great songwriter and was inducted into the Songwriting Hall Of Fame in 2010. Other songs that she wrote or co-wrote are Bette Davis Eyes, What The World Needs Now is Love, Santa Fe / Beautiful Obsession and many more.

This song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #12 in Canada in 1969.

 

Jackie DeShannon: “My brother Randy was playing this little riff and I said, ‘Gee, I really like that riff, that’s great.’ All of a sudden, ‘Think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand, put a little love in your heart,’ came just like that. I owe some of that to my mom because she was always saying that people should put a little love in their heart when things are not so good. I’d like to say it was very difficult, but it was one of those songs you wait a lifetime to write.”

Jimmy Page was said to write Tangerine about DeShannon after their breakup.

From Songfacts

She is best known as a singer, but Jackie DeShannon is one of the most talented tunesmiths of her time – she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. She wrote many of her own songs, including this one, which she composed with her younger brother Randy Myers (Jackie’s real name is Sharon Lee Myers) and a Soul singer at her label (Liberty Records), Jimmy Holiday.

In our interview with Jackie DeShannon, she told the story: 

Jimmy Holiday’s contribution came after Jackie and her brother started composing it, as he helped polish the song. Holiday, DeShannon and Myers went on to write Jackie’s hits “Love Will Find A Way” (#40, 1969) and “Brighton Hill” (#82, 1970).

DeShannon recorded a demo of this song which she had a hard time beating in the recording session. In our interview, she recalled struggling to get the right feel. “After about eight hours we finally got it and I just felt that I had done probably one of my best vocals ever,” she said. “But when I came back in to hear it somehow my vocal was erased. Somebody must have hit something. I called my mom and I said, ‘You know what, I’m just heartbroken. I’ve probably done the best vocal ever – at least it felt to me that it was right on the button – and I have to go do it again.’ So I went right back in there fast, before I lost the muse. When I got to hear the new vocal I felt that, of course, I wished I could have had the other one. But who’s to say? Maybe this was the better vocal.”

The song was released as the first single from the album in June of 1969, and it gained momentum when a radio station in Atlanta started playing it. In August, the New York radio station WABC made it a “Pick of the Week,” and stations around the country jumped on it, sending the song to its peak chart position of #4 on August 30. Said DeShannon: “The airplay was great, and in those days if you had a record in rotation, that could be very good money. I was actually able to buy a car for my dad, and I bought a house for my parents.”

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart
You see, it’s getting late, oh, please don’t hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by, and still the children cry
Put a little love in your heart
If we want the world to know, we won’t let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see, wait and see

Take a good look around and if you’re lookin’ down
Put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart
And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place for you and me
You just wait and see
People now
Put a little love in your heart
Each and every day
Put a little love in your heart
There’s no other other
Put a little love in your heart
We ought to
Put a little love in your heart
Come on and
Put a little love in your heart

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

14 thoughts on “Jackie DeShannon – Put a Little Love in Your Heart”

  1. If we could, all of us, follow Jackie’s (and her mom’s) advice, the world WOULD be a better place. Her song is a hopeful one. About her and Jimmy Page being together, that seems like a mismatch to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember her version & that video clip. It always looked like she was singing on stage in her nightgown. Didn’t know she was involved with Page.

    I don’t remember the song in Scrooged and I loved that movie.

    Liked by 1 person

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