I Got You Babe

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"I Got You Babe"
French 7-inch single cover
Single by Sonny & Cher
from the album Look at Us
Released July 9, 1965
Format 7" single
Recorded 1965
Genre Baroque pop
Length 3:11
Label Atco
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Certification Gold (US)
Sonny & Cher singles chronology
"Love Is Strange"
"I Got You Babe"
"The Letter"
Alternative covers

"I Got You Babe" is a 1965 #1 single by the American pop music duo Sonny & Cher.

Background and composition[edit]

Sonny Bono, a songwriter and record producer for Phil Spector, wrote the lyrics to and composed the music of the song for himself and his then-wife, Cher, late at night in their basement.[citation needed] Session drummer Hal Blaine performed the drums for the song.

"I Got You Babe" became the duo's biggest single, their signature song, and a defining recording[citation needed] of the early hippie countercultural movement. In August 1965, the single spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #19 on the R&B charts in the United States[1] where it sold more than 1 million copies and was certified Platinum. The duo's single also reached #1 in the United Kingdom where it sold 1,200,000 copies and was subsequently included on their first album, Look at Us.

Allmusic critic William Ruhmann praised the song: 'Recalling Dylan's bitter 1964 song "It Ain't Me Babe" (soon to be a folk-rock hit for the Turtles), Bono wrote his own opposite sentiment: "I Got You Babe." Where Dylan was lyrically complex, Bono was simple: His lyric began with the ominous youth-versus-grownups theme of "they" who set up barriers to romance, but soon gave way to a dialogue of teenage romantic platitudes. Where Dylan was musically simple, however, Bono, without fully rebuilding Spector's Wall of Sound, was more structurally ambitious, following the song's standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus form with an ascending coda that built to a climax, then started building again before the fadeout, all in only a little over three minutes. Set to waltz time, the tune retained a light feel despite the sometimes busy instrumentation, led by a prominent oboe, and the alternating vocals of the two singers. If neither Bono nor Cher were interesting singers, their plodding, matter-of-fact performances gave the song a common-man appeal.'[2] Bruce Eder highlighted the song on the "Look at Us" album.[3] The song was placed at #444 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time.

Live performances[edit]

Sonny and Cher last performed the song together during an impromptu reunion on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman on November 13, 1987.[4][5][6] Cher performed the song with R.E.M. on February 14, 2002, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[7] It was her first performance of the song without Sonny.[8] During Cher's 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour using left behind vocals and a projection of videos of Sonny, Cher performed the song live with Sonny for the first time since 1987.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[9] 3
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[10] 6
Canada (RPM) 1
Germany (Media Control Charts)[11] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 4
Norway (VG-lista)[14] 6
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[15] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 4
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[17] 1

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"I'm Henry VIII, I Am" by Herman's Hermits
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Sonny & Cher version)
August 14, 1965 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Help!" by The Beatles
Preceded by
"Help!" by The Beatles
UK number-one single (Sonny & Cher version)
August 26, 1965 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones

UB40 feat. Chrissie Hynde version[edit]

"I Got You Babe"
Single by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde
from the album Baggariddim
B-side "Theme from Labour of Love"
Released August 2, 1985
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1984-1985
Genre Reggae, synthpop
Length 3:09
Label DEP International
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) UB40, Pablo Falconer
UB40 singles chronology
"I'm Not Fooled So Easily"
"I Got You Babe"
"Don't Break My Heart"

In 1985, UB40 (with Chrissie Hynde) covered the song on their album Baggariddim. The song also appeared on The Pretenders' 1987 album The Singles. It reached #1 on the UK charts in August 1985 and #28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Track listing[edit]


  1. I Got You Babe 3:08
  2. UB40 - Theme From Labour Of Love 3:05


  1. I Got You Babe 3:09
  2. UB40 - Red Red Wine 5:21


Chart (1985) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[18] 14
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[19] 4
Canada (RPM) 4
France (SNEP)[20] 29
Germany (Media Control Charts)[21] 15
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[22] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[23] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 15
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 28

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Into the Groove" by Madonna
UK number one single
August 25, 1985 - August 31, 1985
Succeeded by
"Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Preceded by
"Into the Groove" by Madonna
Irish IRMA number-one single
August 31, 1985 - September 7, 1985
Succeeded by
"Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Preceded by
"Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Australian Kent Music Report number one single
October 21, 1985 - November 10, 1985
Succeeded by
"Take on Me" by A-ha
Preceded by
"Into the Groove" by Madonna
New Zealand Singles Chart
17 April 1985 – 23 April 1985
Succeeded by
"Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder

In popular culture and cover versions[edit]

The song has been frequently covered and featured in film and television, including Sonny and Cher's own The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. "I Got You Babe" made a bit of a comeback when it was used repeatedly as Phil Connors' alarm clock wake-up music in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. On re-release, the single re-charted in the UK, reaching #66. The song was later covered by Cher in a music video with Beavis and Butthead as a rapt audience to her performance. In the video, the idiot pair refer to her former husband Bono as a dork and a wuss, to which Cher agrees. Allmusic reviewed this song by calling it "most interesting" and added "Throughout the song, the duo decide they need a "chick who's older, who's done it a bunch of times," then proposition Cher by making fun of her ex-husband Sonny Bono."[26]

Released covers

Movies and television

  • In a fifth season episode of the CBS sitcom Good Times, Michael Evans (Ralph Carter) and Penny Gordon (Janet Jackson) perform the song, mimicking a performance from The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.[28]
  • In The Golden Girls fifth-season episode "An Illegitimate Concern", Sophia (Estelle Getty) and Dorothy (Bea Arthur) dress up as Sonny and Cher, respectively, to rehearse for a mother-daughter talent show, singing "I Got You Babe" while Rose (Betty White) accompanies them on the piano. The episode aired February 12, 1990.[29] Bea Arthur often said later in interviews that this was her favorite moment from the series run.
  • In a Full House episode, Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) has Michelle (one or both of the Olsen Twins) sing "I Got You Babe" as they strum on their respective guitars.
  • In the Sabrina The Teenage Witch episode "What's News", Sabrina and cat Salem Saberhagen dress as Sonny and Cher to sing "I Got You Babe" in an effort to get her boss and his wife to stop fighting.
  • In Harold Ramis's film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, it is this song to which the main character awakes each repetitive morning on the clock radio.[30]
  • Britney Spears appeared on the British comedian Frank Skinner's show and performed the duet with the host.
  • In Quest for Camelot, Devon and Cornwall sang the last part of "If I Didn't Have You" and Cornwall sang "I Got You Babe".
  • Another episode of The Frank Skinner Show featured the incongruous pairing of Ron Jeremy and Mo Mowlam.
  • Then-married Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson close The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour special, already very much in the style of Sonny and Cher, singing the duet.[31]
  • The Rolling Stones donned costumes and lip synched to the original version of the song in a 1965 special taped for Ready Steady Go! .[31]
  • New York City-based television show Duets with Deni (also carried on the internet) which regularly features local songwriters and musicians, Deni Bonet and Robyn Hitchcock sing the song from Deni's apartment.[31][32]
  • In the Eli Stone episode "I Want Your Sex", in a vision of the title character, Taylor Wethersby (Natasha Henstridge) and Matt Dowd (Sam Jaeger) sing it. It is later revealed that Matt's cat was named Sonny Bono.
  • In Delta Farce (2008), Sgt. Kilgore (Keith David) is forced to sing "I Got You Babe" with the villain Carlos Santana's gay nephew, Ruben (Joe Nunez).
  • In the Boy Meets World (1999) episode "Cutting The Cord", Shawn (Rider Strong) sings the song with his new girlfriend in a karaoke contest.
  • In an episode of Blossom, Blossom dreams that she and Anthony are homeless on the street and playing the song for passers-by when Sonny Bono, in a cameo appearance, angry that they stole his song, takes away the money people tossed into their cup.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily", after Ned Flanders and wife Maude adopt the Simpson children, they sing a lyrically altered version to Maggie: "They say your folks can't pay the rent/ So we're watching you by act of government/ Well, I don't know if the allegations are true/ But you got us and baby we got you/ Babe, we got you babe."
  • In the Histeria! episode "Tribute to Tyrants", a cartoon version of Cher sings a similar song with Atilla the Hun, called "Me Got You Hun".
  • In the Ugly Betty episode "In or Out", Betty Suarez and Daniel Meade sing a karaoke version.
  • In Better Off Ted episode "Change We Can't Believe In", Ted and Veronica sing the song over the newly installed PA system.
  • In the Mad Men season 4 finale, set in October 1965, the original recording played over the final scene of Don Draper lying awake in bed in his Greenwich Village apartment with his new fiancee Megan asleep at his side and continued to play during the closing credits.
  • In series 2, episode 4, of American Dad!, Roger wakes up via his alarm clock to "I Got You Babe". He proceeds to get drunk and destroy his television.
  • Appears in the film Me Without You (2001).
  • In the Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Hot Number Affair", the song plays under the scene where Sonny and Cher appear on screen together for the first time.
  • In the episode "Chicago Hope" of Home Improvement, Tim and Jill sing "I Got You Babe" on a karaoke machine in Chicago.
  • In the Misfits episode seven of season three, Seth's alarm clock plays "I Got You Babe".
  • In the episode of House "We Need the Eggs," Park and her friend are singing the song together at the end.
  • In the episode of Step by Step, "Locket Man," Rich sings "I Got You Babe" to reclaim Dana's affections in a restaurant. As the credits roll, the two are shown dressed as Sonny and Cher singing the duet.
  • In the 2011 movie Jack & Jill, a shortened version plays over the opening credits.
  • In the American remake of Les Visiteurs, Just Visiting; Andre and Angelique drive towards Las Vegas while the song ends and cuts to black, ending the movie.
  • In the episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Love Car Displacement," Bernadette and Howard begin to sing "I Got You Babe" as a duet.[33]


Other covers


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 539. 
  2. ^ I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic
  3. ^ Look at Us - Sonny & Cher | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  4. ^ "Sonny & Cher Boost Ratings". The New Mexican. Santa Fe, New Mexico. November 29, 1987, p. 35, accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com on March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Sonny and Cher Reunited on David Letterman Show." Aiken Standard. Aiken, South Carolina. November 15, 1987. p. 3. accessed through NewspaperARCHIVE.com on March 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ "The R.E.M. Timeline". Members.iinet.net.au. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  8. ^ Entertainment Tonight, February 15, 2002
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  11. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ Search for Irish peaks
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sonny & Cher search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe". VG-lista.
  15. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe" Canciones Top 50.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Sonny & Cher – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60.
  17. ^ Billboard.com
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  19. ^ Belgian peak
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ "Charts.org.nz – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Singles Top 60.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde – I Got You Babe". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ Review by Allmusic Retrieved 15 October 2013
  27. ^ Show 44 - Revolt of the Fat Angel: Some samples of the Los Angeles sound. [Part 4] : UNT Digital Library
  28. ^ Sid Dorfman (writer); Gerren Keith (director) (September 21, 1977). "The Evans Get Involved (Part 2)". Good Times. Season 5. Episode 2. CBS.
  29. ^ "List of The Golden Girls episodes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  30. ^ Bill Murray - Best scenes from the "Groundhog Day" - 4 on YouTube
  31. ^ a b c "WFMU's Beware of the Blog: I Got You Babe". Blog.wfmu.org. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  32. ^ "Duets With Deni". Denibonet.com. Retrieved 2010-10-07. [dead link]
  33. ^ "The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Love Car Displacement"". TV Fanatic. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  34. ^ Ciccone, Christopher (2008) Life with my Sister Madonna, Simon & Schuster: New York, p.160

External links[edit]