What Have They Done to My Song Ma

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"What Have They Done to My Song Ma"
Single by Melanie
from the album Candles in the Rain
A-side"Ruby Tuesday"
Released1970 (1970)
StudioWessex, London
GenreFolk rock
Producer(s)Peter Schekeryk

"What Have They Done to My Song Ma" is a song by Melanie. It was released in 1970 as the B-side of her "Ruby Tuesday" single and included on the album Candles in the Rain. The single reached the number nine on the UK singles charts for three weeks.[1]

Other artists have recorded the song as "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma",[2] after the song's first line, and this title is used on the Music page at Melanie's own website.[3]

Cover versions[edit]

Daliah Lavi recorded a successful German version of the song in 1971 and Ray Charles released a cover (as "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma") in 1972. The song has also been covered by many other artists, including Nina Simone, the New Seekers, Dalida, and Billie Jo Spears. Czechoslovak singer Helena Vondráčková recorded it in 1971 as "Kam zmizel ten starý song" with Czech lyrics by Zdeněk Borovec. Jeanette did an English/French version in 1973. Yugoslav rock band Bajaga i Instruktori released a cover of it with lyrics in Serbian, called "Vidi šta sam ti uradio od pesme, mama", in 1985.

It was used in the 1970s as a commercial for Lifebuoy soap ("Look what they've done to my Lifebuoy"), and in the 1980s as a commercial jingle for Ramada Inn (as "Look what they've done to Ramada") and for Oatmeal Crisp cereal (as "Look what they've done to my oatmeal"). In October 2012, Miley Cyrus released a video of her own acoustic version of the song as part of her Backyard Sessions series. In 2015, Melanie joined her to duet on the song in addition to "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)".[4][5]


  1. ^ "MELANIE - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma" discographical search results at 45cat.com, retrieved February 8, 2019
  3. ^ "Music" page at Melanie's website, retrieved February 8, 2019
  4. ^ "Happy Hippie Presents: Look What They've Done to My Song Ma (Performed by Miley Cyrus &..." YouTube. May 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "Happy Hippie Presents: Peace Will Come (According to Plan) (Performed by Miley Cyrus & ..." YouTube. May 12, 2015.