It all started with Barbra Streisand: people who need people

It all started with Barbra Streisand: people who need people

The revolution—backwards.

by Jon Rappoport

April 3, 2017

A cultural turning point.

The 1964 song, People Who Need People, composed by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, made Barbra Streisand a star.

I remember radio stations playing the tune day after day. The sentiment of the lyric had people saying YES as they wiped their tears away. It was as if a repressed universal idea had suddenly emerged out of the subconscious of America, forming a new national anthem:

People who need people.

I couldn’t make head or tail of it. I felt like I’d suddenly moved to Mars.

But there it was: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”


Of course, the song moved on to talk about love and finding one very special person—sure, everybody was on board with love and romance—but even then we were told: “first be a person who needs people.” As if that were the pre-requisite for love.

People who NEED people. The stunner. The need was suddenly a marvelous plus. It wasn’t a problem. No, it was good.

Need is something that eats away at you. But don’t worry. Give in to the need. Be the need.

There is the implication that people who don’t need people are very unlucky. They might WANT the friendship and love of others, but that’s not enough. No, they have to need.

Need means “can’t do without.” If you thought that was a negative, you were wrong. Need is compulsion. But the “compulsion for other people” makes you exceedingly lucky. You just won the jackpot.

And how about this line from the song: “We’re children, needing other children.”

That’s the dead giveaway. Adults are trapped. You can’t be an adult and live your life with happiness. No. You’re really a child, and you have to admit it.

We’re all children, we’re needy children. Let’s all regress. Let’s have a society of needy children. Let’s be “dependent on our needs.”

Years later, we were given other messages that flowed from the song: It takes a village. Inner child.

People who want people, or people who love people—those lines wouldn’t have worked in the song. To hit the sweet spot, it had to be people who need people. That would create a sense of victimhood.

A new revelation. We’re victims. And that’s good. It leads us to love. That’s how we get there.

And since we’re all children needing other children, we need…parents. Isn’t that the implication? Doesn’t that follow? Who will be our parents? Certainly not the adults who raised us. That’s boring. That’s old hat. No, the parents will be some other Gentle Force.

The State.

As long as it’s a good State. And the only way we can guarantee that is by giving our consent to a government who does, in fact, see us as children, who knows we’re children (victims) with needs, and who will satisfy those needs.

Individual self-reliance, independence, determination, will power, creative force, accountability? Those are illusions. Old illusions. We use them to cover up our true condition as yearning children who need and must have other children. We’re “letting our grown-up pride hide all the need inside,” as the song goes. Aha. See a therapist today. Unload all that pride and bring out the inner child.

Of course, self-reliance, independence, determination, will power, and accountability, plus a boatload of talent, is how Barbra Streisand made it, how she became a smashing success. But with that song, she turned around and became the prophet of need for everyone else.

The 1964 tune that made her famous was a tremor in the culture. From that point on, it became fashionable and correct and even “psychologically accurate” for people to conceive of themselves as victorious victims.

Recall the key statement Karl Marx made popular (1875): “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” What could be clearer? I doubt Marx had a sense of humor, but had he been alive in 1964 and witnessed the reaction to Streisand’s People Who Need People, he surely would have cracked a smile, realizing that a schmaltzy lyric was raising from the depths, across America, the essence of his cruel philosophy, dripping like tears from a heretofore undiscovered infantile audience longing for a playpen utopia.

People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world,
We’re children, needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside,
Acting more like children
Than children.
Lovers are very special people,
They’re the luckiest people
In the world.
With one person, one very special person
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you were half,
Now you’re whole.
No more hunger and thirst
But first be a person
Who needs people.
People who need people
Are the luckiest people
In the world!

With one person, one very special person
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you were half,
Now you’re whole.
No more hunger and thirst
But first be a person
Who needs people.

People who need people
Are the luckiest people
In the world!

Exit From the Matrix

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

49 comments on “It all started with Barbra Streisand: people who need people

  1. sean says:

    Wow 1964. You already knew this. All I know is that neediness can still nearly kill me. And learning and applying even just a tiny fraction of Individual self-reliance, independence, determination, will power, creativity and accountability in the past, has yielded me the best outcomes ever in my life. What would happen to me now if I applied a lot?

  2. Dana Doran says:

    No wonder Streisand threatens to leave the country every time a republican wins the Presidency! I just wish she’d keep her promises.

  3. Jamie says:

    I threw up…just a little bit…in my mouth as I read those lyrics.

  4. bob klinck says:

    In the exact formulation of Major C.H. Douglas, “the media and finance are concentric”. We have a money economy, which can be expressed otherwise as meaning that money is the veritable lifeblood of the economy. When economic connections are complex, an ordering, or command, system is needed if these are to be functional. Money, the vast majority of which is bank credit, serves this purpose. It is in effect a licensing facility for human activity, and its creators, being in a monopoly position, assume a dominant role in human initiative in all fields, which they manipulate in order to preserve and indeed constantly enhance their control. One should not imagine that the repetitive playing of a message such as is found in this Streisand song comes about by accident or by the “free interplay of market forces”. In the context of centralized financial control, such “free interplay” is a myth.

    Your article reminds me of another oft-broadcast song: “I’ll be Watching You” (also known as “Every Breath You Take”). Because it is a paean to stalking, it mystifies one that it is played at all, much less with frequency. But through repetition it also serves the deeper purpose (constantly pursued by the Money Power) of attenuating reaction against the surveillance/control state.

    • SanityClaus says:

      You do not have money. Silver is money. Federal Reserve Notes are military scrip. You are ruled by the Pentagon for the benefit of the British Crown to whom they pentagon has pledged permanent service. They are traitors. YOU ARE RULED BY TRAITORS THAT PRINT FAKE MONEY. Not only do they steal our labor and our property, they steal our ability to cultivate luck using honest money as charity. When we try to use fake money for charity it will not make us lucky. This is why people live in despair of practicing charity towards others. They don’t know that fake money can’t be used for anything but selfless charity. The laws of the universe provide reciprocity for our actions both good and evil.
      People who put fake money in the collection plates at their church are giving a broken promise to a deity as an offering. They can expect no benefit for their charity. Why bother serving the good when you get no reward? This is evil despair inflicted upon us by the pentagon baby killer traitors that serve the British Crown mafia.
      Barbara Streisand Rocks. You live in despair.

  5. Greg C. says:

    Yep, let’s just collapse two egos into one and return to the emotional security of the womb. What a recipe for disaster! Billy Joel’s My LIfe has a good retort:

    They will tell you you can’t sleep alone in a strange place
    Then they’ll tell you can’t sleep with somebody else
    Ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
    Either way it’s O.K. you wake up with yourself

  6. RunProgram . says:

    Never liked that song. Never made any sense to me. Lots of musical sentimentality with no meaning leading to anything useful. sniffle, sniffle, … hand me a tissue, please.

    Like your statements about the “good State”. I’d like to add that the “good State” or “good government” are a lot like unicorns, except unicorns have some extremely very small chance of existing while the others have a zero percent chance.

  7. Joy says:

    Brilliant, Jon!!! I, too, bridled at that song and, even with a ten-year-old’s mind, asked “What the hell?” And all of these years since, I have had to give myself a good talk each time thoughts came to me saying something must be seriously wrong with me, or when family said to me that I could not even be a person if I did not “need” them. But you have remembered this song at precisely the right time, reminding us of how much it was both a herald and a sinister tool for what was coming!

  8. Marilyn Guinnane says:

    Most song lyrics, especially in modern times, are silly and pointless. As long as something rhymes, the lyricist is satisfied. Listen to some of the lyrics carefully, of the Beatles’. Almost all rock song lyrics are garbage. Streisand’s “People” was a goofy song but her voice was that of an angel so it carried that pointless song along. Did anyone take the lyrics seriously? Well let’s hope not. I know I didn’t.

    • Michael Burns says:

      Marilyn I beg to differ…I sing and play this very song a lot on my guitar..the song is about inflection.

      Poetically it is one finest poems I have read, lyrically it fits so well with the music, strangely though the Beatles never played on the white album, but these words are so powerful. With the music their ability to express such sheer existential lonliness..this ‘is a powerful song. Everytime I play it it changes me.

      “Eleanor Rigby”

      Ah, look at all the lonely people
      Ah, look at all the lonely people

      Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
      Lives in a dream
      Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
      Who is it for?

      All the lonely people
      Where do they all come from?
      All the lonely people
      Where do they all belong?

      Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
      No one comes near
      Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
      What does he care?

      All the lonely people
      Where do they all come from?
      All the lonely people
      Where do they all belong?

      Ah, look at all the lonely people
      Ah, look at all the lonely people

      Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
      Nobody came
      Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
      No one was saved

      All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
      Where do they all come from?
      All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
      Where do they all belong?

    • artemisix says:

      You are right about this….. a great singer can carry the WORST LYRICS…. SOUL music for example…sometimes just babay, baby, YEAH>>>>>>>. That is NOT thinking music though, it is for something else…….entirely. A non though state, related to sex, or consumerist mentality, or the high/low of drugs, the magnificent physical focus of dance perhaps. Some songs are even devoted to self pity and helplessness. Every human condition imaginable…..

  9. Sue says:

    That song was always like fingernails on a chalkboard. Another one that annoys the crap out of me is “Alone Again, Naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. Gets me to thinking, “Go to the tower and jump, already!”

  10. From Quebec says:

    If it’s true that we are here to help others,
    then what exactly are the others here for?

  11. barn moose says:

    It needn’t be an externally applied low bar.

    What more can you expect from someone than his utmost? How can you deny his basic needs?

    Sounds humane.

  12. kt1111 says:

    HA ha ha , love the comments as well as the article. This song always drove me nuts too, what the heck??!! Now my latest beef is with the commercial (and great commercial – can’t for the life of me remember what it’s advertising!) “Every great why needs a great how”. Wait, WHAT?! Senseless!

  13. Alan Reid says:

    It is very hard not to put ‘Cult’ and ‘Barbra Streisand’ into the same sentence. I never did get the allure. I guess i missed that batch of Kool-Aid. I have seen a large amount of worship and weirdness in the mention of this person. She always seemed to creep me out and i never managed to watch any of her work for more than a few moments. One can tell when one is being played.. and this woman seemed to have a whole orchestra at her bidding. I found it all uninteresting..

  14. joanie says:

    …as cells divide and continue dividing, it shows us we all came from the same block.
    We are all as one– what we do to others, we do to ourselves.

    People are not gathering the essence of the deep meaning of the lyrics,
    obviously fooled by the charming, easy language to hopefully educate.
    – loving thy neighbor/people as thyself, minus hate, envy or greed etc.
    and all the while each life is parasitic,
    in that if one doesn’t look outside of themselves they won’t “see” within.
    We as individuals cannot learn the lessons without others,
    as the saying goes no man is an island.
    The point of any life, one discovers is a symbiotic one.
    There is no one, without the other.

    ya can’t do it. try imagining only you and never another,
    and what would be the point of your life?
    If we do not exercise what we are, without feedback, there is no us.

    Jon’s writing is for naught without an audience of the varied kind,
    readers, buyers, discussions had… driven by affecting the total sum, people.

    People need people and once you recognize the beauty of that,
    you’ll life will become much fuller.

    • bob klinck says:

      The song doesn’t say that people need people; it says that a certain class of people, those who need (an undefined concept) people, are especially lucky.

    • Michael Burns says:

      “ya can’t do it. try imagining only you and never another,
      and what would be the point of your life?
      If we do not exercise what we are, without feedback, there is no us.”….joanie

      I spend a lot of time doing precisely that, and I live it in a dream, it’s a hugh place that only I exist in and I am very happy there…’without feedback there is no us’; sure there is.

      Imagine having the world to yourself.

      But first you must loose the ‘we’ and the ‘us’ and find the ‘I’. Your hit on the gist of it; ‘Imagining” is the secret.

      Do you like spending time alone with yourself?

  15. Laura says:

    Ugh, that cringey, loony, sappy song! Streisand, though talented, makes me feel sick. That song, from the first time I heard it at age 7, disturbed and confused me and made me mad. It’s good fortune to NEED unpredictable, dubious creatures calling themselves human? The opposite is true, the most fortunate are those who can go it alone, who don’t need other people. It’s not “lucky” to need figurative crutches made of flimsy plastic throughout life. That concept is insane! I cannot relate to people who need a herd surrounding them everywhere, and they cannot relate to me who always prefers solitude. Even at the end, sticking to one’s self and keeping others out, except for any truly loved ones, is a far safer and better way to die. One must consider one’s self extremely lucky if any caretakers as you’re dying aren’t monsters under the surface. Even when you’ve always had your big loving herd, for one reason or another you still may be pretty much alone at the end. It seems those who are used to being alone would be far less traumatized by it. Like Jean Paul Sartre said, hell is other people. Now animals, that’s another matter…they’re angels who can lead us to heaven 🙂

  16. From Quebec says:

    Here is a very lucid song:

    We Want Your Soul – The New Video

  17. Marx and ACTS in the Bible: “…27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: 30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul….”
    I always knew something was wrong with this “logic” even as a child. Especially, since some of my neighbors seemed to have more for doing less and not always by possessing integrity like my hard working family.

    As for Streisand’s song, I can’t tell you the intermittent depression I felt hearing it endlessly and believing something was wrong with me. I was trying to find me way in the world, and this frickin’ song felt like a ball and chain. You nailed it, Jon.

  18. Sunshine says:

    That song always put me in a coma! Perhaps it was produced to counteract “You Don’t Own Me” sung by Leslie Gore the previous year.

  19. Great article, Jon.

    Good to see you back “on the pulse”.

    Just a little innocent FYI. As far as I can gather the Thai’s don’t distinguish between “want” and “need”, though there are many ways of expressing “want” (in general).


  20. Eduardo the Magnificent says:

    There’s a word for people who need people: extroverts. Some 75-80% of people are extroverts. Introverts, by contrast, are thinkers and don’t need people. Hence, we don’t get the song.

    • Joy says:

      Eduardo, I never put this together before, but do you think it is possible that the “extrovert-introvert” continuum is just another fabrication by the matrix controllers? In my experience, the “extrovert” types always prided themselves in being “people persons,” while denigrating we “introverts” as being the weird ones. As I am typing these words, I see that this fits perfectly…yet another of their tools that now needs to be exposed for what it truly is. In the meantime, I say, “Thank goodness for the introverts…and even more so that I am NOT an extrovert!”

      • Marilyn Guinnane says:

        Eduardo (the what?) & Joy — In my view, introverts are old souls. This is a planet of young souls, in the main; a great classroom. But here I am an old soul so that I’m an introvert surrounded by extroverts, and the extroverts NEED attention. Old souls are tired of all the silly antics; we’re not overly keen to participate. The funny thing is, when the situation calls for it, I flip-flop and become an extrovert. Like when I’m called upon to speak before an audience, for example. Or when I had to attend this party where I knew exactly no one. Out of nowhere comes this bubbling personality, although I’m always glad when it’s over and I can return to being my loner self.

        Well, I guess the bubbling personality part stems from having been a flight attendant for such a long time . . . it was my job to chat with the passengers, assuage their fears when I could see they were scared out of their wits to fly. “Don’t worry; the pilot’s sober, for once.” Make ’em laugh and they calm right down.

        Anyway, I find introverts are the interesting ones. They generally don’t talk unless they have something to say. Extroverts tend to be boring and self-absorbed, as young souls are!

  21. Michael Burns says:

    Don’t like Babara, sucks to be you…here a song for ‘You People’

  22. doesn't play well with the others says:

    Ahh…the socialist crackpipe dream where your comrades take care of you and everything is free.
    Sounds good in the ivory towers of academia but has zero application in the real world.
    You see there is thing called human nature and that is why socialism will always fail.
    Forward! To each according to his need, workers of the world unite.

  23. Joe Nieroski says:

    That song stands in contravention to “People Need The Lord.”

  24. Ken says:

    Has anybody looked at the dark Barry Manilow classic “I Write the Songs”?

    I’ve been alive forever
    And I wrote the very first song
    I put the words and the melodies together
    I am music and I write the songs

    I write the songs that make the whole world sing
    I write the songs of love and special things
    I write the songs that make the young girls cry
    I write the songs, I write the songs

    My home lies deep within you
    And I’ve got my own place in your soul
    Now, when I look out through your eyes
    I’m young again, even though I’m very old

    I write the songs that make the whole world sing
    I write the songs of love and special things
    I write the songs that make the young girls cry
    I write the songs, I write the songs

    Oh my music makes you dance
    And gives you spirit to take a chance
    And I wrote some rock ‘n’ roll so you can move
    Music fills your heart
    Well, that’s a real fine place to start
    It’s from me it’s for you
    It’s from you, it’s for me
    It’s a worldwide symphony

    • Sunshine says:

      That’s plenty creepy. Guess I never listened to the words to Manilow’s I Write The Songs closely enough.

    • artemisix says:

      People get to choose the kind of music they listen to. Can’t help people that have sorry taste in it……….Or like me, you can just write your own……Way more fun. I studies this exact song as a kid about 4 th grade. It seems to me an Orpheous archetype take. Music is the universal communicator…….what do you think?

  25. Lea says:

    Thank you Jon for your enlightening essays.
    I always look forward to reading your truthful, concise and informative writing.

    Your topic reminded me of conversations with folks who claimed that sex for them, was a need.
    Trying to explain to them the differences etween “wanting” and “needing” was pointless.
    As far as I know, none of them have died from the lack of it.

  26. dunc says:

    That tune did give me some goose bumps when i was a kid .first goose bumps i ever experienced was when my mom played clair de lune .the pop lyrics seemed unrealistic .never took me into the realm.then a buddy turned me on to bitches brew.(miles davis)WTF another reality .never been the same since .now i love hank williams to john coltrane . appreciate great pop tunesmithing.. jon? where is the blog included with the horse NY2. i soiled myself .you and mort drucker …thanks!! it is on fire lately.

  27. artemisix says:

    alienation much? That song is not in the real book, and it seemed to me, not a classic in any way, nor was it innovative. I listened to a lot of radio when this song came out, and the target audience of THIS song was not me. I think it is, lonely elderly people who feel relationships are their identity —(mrs. so and so,ect), denial of self for/family values/addictive personalities, those who KNOW the RIGHT WAY TO BE. THIS is their song. To me, it is sappy tripe. Any radio station that played it is INstantly changed. TO ME it seems very alienating. I just cannot and would never sing it (yes singing was my day job for some years). There are about a million BETTER songs. Songs that haunt you with deep truths and beguile you with power. Music is one of the highest forms of magic, i have seen it work and used it all my life. BUT the freedom to choose between forms is a good thing. If there weren’t songs like this, when you heard a really great song, you would have less to compare it to. Glad to see you are dabbling in my field…….a change of worlds is a good thing.

  28. Tony says:

    Humanity does — gauging from our cultural output — appear to be overstimulated in the solar plexus:

    “The solar plexus can be so over-vitalised that all the forces of the personality can be turned downwards and subverted to purely selfish and separative ends, thus producing a powerful personality, but—at the same time—the temporary suspension of the spiritual life of the man. When this suspension takes place, all the forces of the body which have been “elevated” are driven downwards again, putting the man en rapport with the rank and file of humanity who are working through the lower chakras; this tends to produce an immense personality success.

    […] The man is a powerful creative thinker, selfishly polarised and with an emotional solar plexus contact with the masses. He frequently also has a strong sexual complex in some form or another.”

    — Alice Bailey: Problems Arising Out of the Awakening and Stimulation of the Chakras

  29. MetaCynic says:

    Streisand’s vision of two needy people morphing into a single ideal being: A person without legs strapped onto the back of a person without arms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s