Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

lyrics lyrics lyrics lyrics words words words song song song

Magic Penny

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1955 and 1958 Northern Music Corporation, renewed 1986. a.k.a. "Love Is Something." Despite the later copyright dates, this song was actually written while Malvina's daughter was at a junior high school dance, so around 1949.


Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

It's just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won't have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

Money's dandy and we like to use it,1
But love is better if you don't refuse it.
It's a treasure and you'll never lose it
Unless you lock up your door.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

So let's go dancing till the break of day,
And if there's a piper, we can pay.
For love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.


Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
---- Cheerful Tunes for Lutes and Spoons: Youngish Songs
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook
---- There's Music in the Air: Songs for the Middle-Young

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- The Big Book of Children's Songs: Easy Guitar (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1998)
---- Peter Blood and Annie Patterson: Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [lyrics & guitar chords only] (Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Corp., 1992)
---- Peter and Annie Blood-Patterson: Winds of the People [lyrics & guitar chords only] (Sing Out, 1980?)
---- Peter Blood-Patterson: Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [lyrics & guitar chords only] (Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Corp., 1988), p. 240
---- The Great Big Book of Children's Songs: Big-note Piano (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1995)
---- The Great Big Book of Children's Songs: Piano, Vocal, Guitar (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1995)
---- Larry Long: I Will Be Your Friend: Songs and Activities for Young Peacemakers (Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center, 2003)
---- Michael David Mojcio et al.: Music in Motion (Los Alamitos, CA: Modern Signs Press, 1983)
---- Sing Out!, Volume 5(4) (1955), pp. 12-13
---- Tell Them I'm a Child of God: A Child's Celebration of the Family of God (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing, 1978)
---- Carl Visconti: Paint Creek Folklore Society Song Tune Book (Paint Creek, 1986)

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Malvina Reynolds Sings the Truth
---- Held Over
---- Ear to the Ground
---- Malvina Reynolds...Sings the Truth (2008)
---- listen to youtube.com video
---- listen to youtube.com video

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Anne Lief Barlin and Marcia Berman: Cloud Journeys (B/B Records B/B 111, 1982)
---- Marcia Berman: Sings Malvina Reynolds' Rabbits Dance and Other Songs for Children (B/B Records B/B 112, 1985)
---- Bluestein Family: A Horse Named Bill & Other Children's Folksongs (Greenhays Recordings GR 709, 1981)
---- Eunice Boardman and Barbara Andress: The Music Book. Grade 5, Record 8. (Holt, Rinehart and Winston HMB 507, 1981)
---- Bongo Barry: It's All Right! (Healthy Sounds, 2004)
---- Bev Bos and Michael Leeman: Thumbprints (Turn-the-Page Press, 1985)
---- Bev Bos and Michael Leeman: Thumbprints, Thumbprints Too (Turn-the-Page Press, n.d.)
---- Jacki Breger: Sing Some More (It's Music Time MT 106CD, 2002)
---- Dave & Cindy: Two Sides of Dave & Cindy (Silcox Productions, 1989)
---- Dr. D. W. Penner School Choir: The Year of the 'Child' (Gem Records DWP-001, 1979)
---- James Durst: Isn't This a Great Day for Singing?! (WorldWind, 2002)
---- Nellie Edge and Tom Hunter: Music Is Magic (Resources for Creative Teaching, 1988)
---- Mike Fenton: Kangaroos & Pussycats, Fun Songs for Children (Heritage Records HRC 1219, 1990)
---- Mike Fenton: Move Over With Mike (Heritage Records HRC-C-1275, 1991)
---- Cathy Fink: When the Rain Comes Down (Rounder C-8013, 1988)
---- Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer: A Cathy & Marcy Collection for Kids (Rounder CD 8029, 1994)
---- Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer's Kids' Guitar Songbook (Homespun HL00695258, 1998)
---- The Flyers: Family Hug (Flyers/Hootentoot Productions, 1989)
---- Norman B. Foote: Norman Foote (LP Music LPM 101, 1989)
---- Norman B. Foote: Pictures on the Fridge (Oak Street Music, 1997)
---- Emily Fox: Songs Kids Love to Sing (Emily Fox, 1985)
---- Dave Fry: I Like Peanut Butter (Bearswamp Studios CD#DF-0598, 1998)
---- Gary Clail On-U Sound System: The Emotional Hooligan (Perfecto Records PD 74965, 1991)
---- Nina Gerber: Sweet Dreams, Lullabies for Guitar (Goatscape Music GS 102, 2003)
---- Gerri Gribi and Tom Pease: Monsters in the Closet (Makin' Jam, Etc., 1982)
---- David Grover & the Big Bear Band: Watch Me Now! (Big Bear Music BB00014, 2003)
---- Mary Ann Hall and Bill Dewitt Hall: Snug-a-love Songs (Music for Children Productions H-100, 1986)
---- Paul Hann: Bernie the Bowlegged Bloodhound (Strathcona Music SMCL-1000c, 1987)
---- Robyn Helzner: Clap Your Hands (RAH Productions RAH 4287, 1987)
---- Barbara Hoffman: Simple Gifts (1997)
---- Nan Hoffman: Ahead of the Game! (Moosehead Audio MHA 001, 1985)
---- Connie and Gordy Hoke: Kid Stuff (Connie & Gordy, 1989)
---- Connie and Gordy: Keep On Singing (CGCD-200002, 1999)
---- The Hokey Pokeys: Sing Ho! (1989)
---- Fred Holstein: For All the Good People (Holstein Brothers HOLSTEIN 001, 1983)
---- Fred Holstein: Fred Holstein, A Collection (Oasis CD, 2001)
---- Christine Hutchinson: Out of the Hat (ABC Music 514834-4, 1993)
---- The Interpreters: Sing and Celebrate; 50 Years, The United Church of Canada (Berkeley Studio SR 108, 1975)
---- Sara Melton Keller and Mary Ann Samuels: Songs for Children (Sara Melton Keller, 1980)
---- Gary Lapow: Sing a Silly Song (Springboard Records SB1001, 1984)
---- Jay Leibovitz: For the Child in Us All; Songs for Children 6-106 (InsightOut Productions 001, 1986)
---- Joseph Linn: Sing! 49 Songs for Juniors, Vol. 2 (Lillenas L-9029, 1981)
---- Larry Long: I Will Be Your Friend (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2003)
---- Alex Mahé: Railroad Rendez-vous (Chuggy Chug Records 9BC202, 1992)
---- Joe McCarry: For All the Good People (Chinook Wind Productions C102, 1987)
---- Mr. I: Hello Mr. I (Mr. I MR17CD, 1996)
---- Mayo Muir: The Magic of Mayo Muir (20th Century-Fox TFS-4122, 1963)
---- José-Luis Orozco: Esta Es Mi Tierra (Arcoiris Records JL-21CD, 1998)
---- Sandy and Caroline Paton: I've Got a Song (Folk-Legacy Records, 1975)
---- Annie Patterson et al.: Everything Possible; 164 Songs About Community & Change (Sing Out Corp. SO107-SO112, 1991)
---- Cyril Paul: Who Will Love a Little Sparrow? (Sentinel Record Corporation S8-8867, 1968)
---- Faith Petric: Faith Petric (Bay Records 216, 1979)
---- Jody Prusan and David First: Rockin' & Lullin' with Jody Prusan (Starlight Children's Foundation, 2000s)
---- Robert Resnik and Gigi Weisman: Sweet Potatoes and Home Grown Tomatoes (Fletcher Free Library, 2004)
---- Bob Roden: Mammals Eat Coconuts (2000)
---- Sally Rogers: Peace by Peace (Kid's Records KRPL-1042, 1988)
---- Paul Runalls: Rhythm of the Sun (Odd Socks Productions OSP-003, 1994)
---- Saint Andrew's Singers: Just Praisin' the Lord (Saint Andrew's Singers SAS 1001, 1975)
---- Tony Saletan: Let's All Sing (Western Records WV-1102, 1976)
---- Robert Schultz: Tell Them I'm a Child of God (Augsburg Pub. House 23-1878, 1978)
---- Jackie Silberg: Lollipops & Spaghetti (Miss Jackie Music SO 16156, 1979)
---- Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits: Swingin' (Gemini Records GR 1002, 1984)
---- Rosalie Sorrels: Somewhere Between (Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship TAD 3080, 1964)
---- Rosalie Sorrels: No Closing Chord; The Songs of Malvina Reynolds (Red House Records RHR CD 143, 2000)
---- Merrill Staton: The Spectrum of Music. Level 3, Record 1. (Schirmer Records P 16690, 1983)
---- Summer Love: The Sound Track Album [as "Love is Something"] (Decca DL 8714, 1958)
---- The Tickle Tune Typhoon: Circle Around (Tickle Tune Typhoon Recording Co. TTTLP001, 1983)
---- Mary Lu Walker: Share the Sunlight (K & R Records KRS-1071, 1981)
---- Dean Wilson: A Child at Heart (Dean Wilson MM1011, 1995)
---- listen to youtube.com video
---- listen to youtube.com video
---- listen to youtube.com video
---- listen to vimeo.com video
---- listen to youtube.com video
---- listen to youtube.com video

Additional note
1. There was orginally a bridge at this point: ďThey said ĎDonít play with fire,/Once burned, twice shy,í/But now Iíve played with fire/And all I want to do is fryĒ but Malvina was asked to change it when the song was used in a beach movie. She substituted "Moneyís dandy and we like to use it..." and the song was copyrighted that way. Judy Fjell sings ďMoneyís dandy if you like to use it...Ē one of the few changes to Malvinaís songs, other than updating sexist language, that improves on the original. But then, the original Judy was working from wasnít the original thought, but a rewrite for somebody elseís requirements.


*                 *                 *                 *                *

http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr101.htm
This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

Return to Song Menu
Return to Home