You Don't Own Me

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"You Don't Own Me"
Single by Lesley Gore
from the album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
B-side "Run Bobby, Run"
Released December 1963
Format 7"
Recorded 1964
Genre Pop
Length 2:31
Label Mercury
Writer(s) John Madara
Dave White
Producer(s) Quincy Jones
Lesley Gore singles chronology
"She's a Fool"
"You Don't Own Me"
"I Don't Know Anymore"

"You Don't Own Me" is a popular song written by the Philadelphia songwriters John Madara and David White, and recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963, when Gore was 17 years old. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart in the United States (just behind The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand"). The song remained at #2 for three consecutive weeks, unable to overcome the Beatles' hit, and became Gore's second most successful hit next to It's My Party. It was Gore's last top ten single.[1][2]

The song is an example of threatened emancipation, as the singer tells a lover that he does not own her; that he is not to tell her what to do or what to say; that he is not to put her on display. The song's lyrics became an inspiration for younger women and played in a major factor in the rise of the second wave feminist movement. Gore, in her own opinion, said "My take on the song was: I'm 17, what a wonderful thing, to stand up on a stage and shake your finger at people and sing you don't own me".[3]

Other versions[edit]

The song has been covered by The Tremeloes, Dusty Springfield on her debut album, A Girl Called Dusty, cello rock group Rasputina on their album How We Quit the Forest, Joan Jett on her debut album Bad Reputation, Klaus Nomi on his self-titled debut album, The Blow Monkeys on Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Jack Killed Jill on their album Hello Neighbor, and by Poliça on their Raw Exit EP.

At the time the song was originally released, versions were recorded in several other languages, both by Lesley Gore herself, and by other artists. The German version was "Goodbye Tony", recorded by Lesley Gore. The Italian version was "Va... Tu Sei Libero", recorded by Lesley Gore, Isabella Iannetti, and Dalida. The French version was "Je Ne Sais Plus", recorded by Lesley Gore, Dalida, and Jacqueline Boyer. An alternate French version, "Je Suis Libre", was performed by the Canadian singer Michèle Richard.

Filipino singer, now an actress & TV host Jeanne Young (daughter of Mila del Sol) covered this song under Vicor Records.

It was also recorded in Swedish, as "Jag Vill Ha Dig" by Marianne Kock, and in Dutch, as "Ik Wil Vrij Zijn", by Liliane Saint-Pierre, as the B-side to her first hit record, "We Gotta Stop", as well as having been recorded in Japanese by Mieko Hirota.

"You Don't Own Me" was sung by Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn in the 1996 movie The First Wives Club.[4]

Andre Hazes recorded a Dutch-language version of the song in 1981 for his album Gewoon Andre; "Zeg Maar Niets Meer" was popular in Europe, and reached No. 2 in the Dutch charts in early 1982. In 1998, Eva Pilarová sung a Czech version under the name "Cesta končí" on the album Requiem.

On the finale night of The Sing-Off in 2009, Nicole Scherzinger performed "You Don't Own Me" accompanied by the Beelzebubs.

In 2000, the song was featured on the original soundtrack of The Convent, a horror movie by Mike Mendez. American rapper Eminem sampled this song for his song "Untitled" as a hidden bonus final track from his 2010 album, Recovery. The song was later featured in another horror film, The Woods directed and written by Lucky McKee. The song was also featured in the film Hairspray.

Pop singer Michelle Branch performed "You Don't Own Me" on the U.S. television series American Dreams, acting in the role of Lesley Gore.

In 2010 and 2011, NFL Women's Wear features the song in their commercial. The song was performed by April Smith and the Great Picture Show.

In 2012, Tavi Gevinson and Petra Collins, along with many other celebrities, starred in a music video lipsynching to the song. These videos were later made into a public service announcement (PSA) addressing Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and his intentions regarding abortion and Planned Parenthood. The PSA was directed by musician Sarah Sophie Flicker of The Citizens Band and filmmaker Maximilla Lukacs, and produced by Rebecca Fernandez. Other celebrities in the video include Carrie Brownstein, Alexa Chung, Karen Elson, Zoe Kravitz, Natasha Lyonne, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lena Dunham, Sia Furler, Becky Stark and Miranda July.[5] The online video included spoken commentary by Gore.

Gore's original recording was also featured in the television show American Horror Story.[citation needed]


External links[edit]