Song Lyric Sunday – Everybody Plays the Fool

Welcome back to Song Lyric Sunday.

This week we have some the more deviant, sinister, sordid, terrible, vicious words  Cruel / Evil / Horrible / Monster / Wicked, and hopefully everyone will be able to find a song that utilizes one of these prompt words in the title or in the lyrics.

I found a song I would not describe as deviant, sinister, sordid, terrible, or vicious.

“Everybody Plays the Fool” was written for country singer Charlie Pride by J.R. Bailey, Rudy Clark, and Tim Williams. Pride decided the song was not ‘country enough’. The song was then given to a trio from Harlem who had been through several name changes – The Main Ingredient (the name taken from the words written on a Coke bottle). The song was arranged with an orchestra backup and recorded although the band did not particularly like the song.

Surprisingly, the song took off in the U.S. while the band was on tour in Europe unbeknownst to them. Also surprising was that the song could not get any airplay on R&B stations. Something certainly changed because the song hit gold, made #2 on the Billboard R&B chart, #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. and was nominated for a Grammy for best R&B song of the year in 1973.

The Main Ingredient was originally comprised of Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, and Tony Silvester with Cuba Gooding, Sr. Singing backup. Unfortunately, McPherson was diagnosed with and lost his life to leukemia. Cuba Gooding, Sr. (Yes, Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s father and notice how much son favors his father) was then moved into the role of lead vocalist.

Aaron Neville covered the song in 1991 and it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, June 10). Everybody Plays the Fool. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:23, August 30, 2020, from
Simmons, R. (2017, April 3). The Story Behind The Main Ingredient, Everybody Plays the Fool.
Retrieved from

(A note for John Holton over at The Sound of One Hand Typing: this is another good one with spoken lyrics!)

Everybody Plays the Fool
Lyrics from

Okay, so you’re heartbroken
You sit around mopin’
Crying, crying
You say you’re even thinking about dying?
Well, before you do anything rash
Dig this

Everybody plays the fool sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby
It may be factual, may be cruel
I ain’t lying
Everybody plays the fool

[Verse 1]
Falling in love is such an easy thing to do
And there’s no guarantee that the one you love
Is gonna love you

Oh, loving eyes, they cannot see
A certain person could never be
Love runs deeper than any ocean
It clouds your mind with emotion

Everybody plays the fool sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby
It may be factual, may be cruel
I wanna tell you that
Everybody plays the fool

[Verse 2]
How can you help it when the music starts to play
And your ability to reason is swept away

Oh, heaven on earth is all you see
You’re out of touch with reality
And now you cry, but when you do
Next time around someone cries for you

Everybody plays the fool sometime
They use your heart just like a tool
Listen baby
They never tell you so in school
I wanna say it again
Everybody plays the fool

Listen to me, baby
Everybody plays the fool sometime
(There’s no exception to the rule)
No exception to the rule
It may be factual, may be cruel sometimes
Everybody plays the fool

Listen, listen, baby
Everybody plays the fool

Why not join in on this Sunday blogging ritual. Head over to Jim Adams blog to check out the rules and read some of the great responses to the weekly prompt.


22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – Everybody Plays the Fool”

  1. I remember this from The Main Ingredient very weel. I preferred tthe Aaron Neville version though. Talking of Aaron…Here is one of the best soul ballads of all time!

    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. For a song with that contains one of those key words, if it was Oct I would have to pick ‘The Monster Mash’ by Bobby Pickett; but right now I would pick ‘I Want To Be Evil’ by Eartha Kitt, except it’s Sunday, so I will go with a song from my salad days, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ by Mr. Presley.

    Liked by 1 person

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