The Onion Song

Tammi Terrell, Marvin Gaye

About The Onion Song

"The Onion Song" was a hit for soul singers Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1969. It reached the top ten overseas, and was a more modest hit in the U. S. The song, which reflected social consciousness, became Gaye & Terrell's biggest hit in the United Kingdom, entering the singles chart on 15 November 1969 and peaking at No.9 on 9 December. Terrell died, aged 24, just prior to the song's release as a single in the U. S. "The Onion Song" peaked at No. 18 on the soul singles chart and No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 


Year:
2017
3:00
70 
#2

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You think you're so way out
And you got all the action
Still you can't find no satisfaction
Baby - try me, and I'll make you see

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Ooh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all
Ah ah, at all

You like to kiss and run
And that's where it is
'Cause somebody told you
Love was heartaches and tears
Baby, although you're free
I'll make you see

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Oh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all
You ain't livin' at all

To be in love, I know it's not your ambition
But before you go, think about my proposition
You may conquer the world and be king on a throne
But you still ain't nobody, baby
When you're sittin' all alone

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Ooh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Ooh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Ooh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all

You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
You ain't livin' until you're lovin', baby
Ooh, until you fall you ain't livin' at all

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Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., was an American singer-songwriter and musician whose career spanned more than two decades. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he was the son of a storefront minister of a local Pentecostal church sect and grew up singing gospel in church revivals as a young child. Gaye branched out into secular music as a teenager, joining the doo-wop group The Marquees, after returning from an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, before the group was hired by Harvey Fuqua to be Harvey & The Moonglows. Following the band's separation in 1960, Gaye began working as a session drummer for the Detroit music label, Anna, before signing with Motown Records in 1961, adding an "e" to his s… more »

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Written by: NICKOLAS ASHFORD, VALERIE SIMPSON

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


11 facts about this song

SONG RELEASE
"The Onion Song" was released in the spring of 1969 achieving massive international success.
MUSIC LABEL
It was released under the Motown label, an American record label known for being a significant influence on the history of popular music.
ARTISTS
The song is a duet between Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, two of the most popular and influential soul artists of the 1960s.
SONGWRITERS
"The Onion Song" was creatively put together by the successful songwriting duo, Ashford & Simpson. It was their first collaboration with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
CHART PERFORMANCE
Despite the song's popularity, "The Onion Song" only reached No. 50 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but it reached No.1 in the UK Singles Chart.
TAMMI TERRELL'S ILLNESS
At the time "The Onion Song" was recorded, Tammi Terrell was battling a severe illness. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was unable to perform.
CONTROVERSY
There was controversy surrounding the song due to Terrell's illness. Some believe that Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson) may have provided vocals on the recorded version of the song due to Terrell's condition.
THEME
The song uses the metaphor of an onion to describe global suffering, encouraging listeners to work together to solve worldwide problems. Marvin Gaye is quoted as saying the song represented "people crying all over the world" similar to an onion making people cry.
FIRST TIME FOR GAYE-WRITTEN SONGS
The album that "The Onion Song" appeared on, "That's the Way Love Is", was the first to include several songs co-written by Gaye.
FINAL DUET
"The Onion Song", sadly, was one of the last duets produced between Gaye and Terrell before her death in 1970.
POPULARITY IN THE UK
The song's success was significantly greater in the UK, where it went on to become one of Marvin Gaye's biggest hits. His later solo efforts in the 1970s also had substantial success in the UK.

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