Meaning of the Mercedes Benz Song by Janis Joplin

On October 1, 1970, at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles, a tape recorded Janis Joplin’s unaccompanied performance of Mercedes Benz. It was the last recording that the famous rock vocalist made during her lifetime. Three days later, the best white blues singer died, but the story of the song continued.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song Mercedes Benz

Eyewitnesses in the studio later claimed that Janice decided to perform Mercedes Benz out of the blue. She asked the producer to turn on the tape recorder, went to the microphone and said with a smile that she wanted to sing “a song of great political and social importance.”

Then she sang Mercedes Benz in a hoarse (and, apparently, drunken) voice, in the text of which the girl asks God to buy her a car, a TV, and even pay for evening entertainment. This is a song about striving for material goods, which, in fact, do not bring happiness.

Joplin herself once said about this:

It is the desire to have something that makes you longing. What makes unhappy is not the absence of something, but the desire to get something.

Mercedes Benz was written based on the work of the same name by American writer Michael McClure, a close friend of Jim Morrison. One day in New York, Janis Joplin was playing pool with her friends, and they began to hum McClure’s song, although they remembered only a few lines from the whole text, including “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”.

When Janice returned to California, she co-wrote a Mercedes Benz song with Bob Neuwirth, based on snippets heard in New York. Joplin then called McClure for his opinion on the result.

Michael listened to Joplin’s singing, said he preferred his own version and performed it. Janice listened too and said she liked her version. That was decided, but Michael McClure, the co-author of Mercedes Benz, nevertheless, is listed.

Release and achievements

In 1971, the song was included on the Pearl album, and in 2003 a Mercedes Benz remix was released with background music.

Interesting Facts

  • During the last years of her life, Janice drove a 1965 Porsche, which, at her request, was painted in psychedelic colors.
  • In the nineties, the Mercedes Benz song (with the permission of Janis Joplin’s sister) was used in advertising for cars of this brand. This can be considered a big blunder of marketers, because the song implies that cool cars and other values ​​u200bu200bdo not make you happy and cool.
  • Mercedes Benz was also featured in a BMW Z3 commercial where the driver throws a cassette tape out the window after mentioning “Mercedes” and “Porsche” in place.
  • “Dialing for Dollars” is the title of an NBC TV show that raffled off cash and valuable prizes.
  • Mercedes Benz can be heard in the movie “Bangkok Hilton” and some other pictures.

Mercedes Benz Lyrics Janis Joplin

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?

Everybody!
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
That’s it!

Mercedes Benz Lyrics – Janis Joplin

Oh God buy me a Mercedes Benz
All my friends drive Porsches, I have to redeem myself
I worked hard all my life and my friends didn’t help me
So God buy me a Mercedes Benz

Oh God buy me a color TV
“Dialing for Dollars” is trying to find me
I wait for mail every day until three
So God buy me a color TV

Oh God buy me an evening of entertainment
I’m counting on you God please don’t let me down
Prove you love me and pay for your next drink
Oh God buy me an evening of entertainment

Together!
Oh God buy me a Mercedes Benz
All my friends drive Porsches, I have to redeem myself
I worked hard all my life and my friends didn’t help me
So God buy me a Mercedes Benz
All!

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