You Better Sit Down Kids

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"You Better Sit Down Kids"
Single by Cher
from the album With Love, Cher
B-side "Mama (When My Dollies Have Babies)"
alternate "Elusive Butterfly"
Released 1967
Format Vinyl
Recorded 1966
Genre Pop
Length 3:42
Label Imperial
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Cher singles chronology
"Hey Joe"
"You Better Sit Down Kids"
"The Click Song"
Alternative covers
Norwegian Single
German Single

"You Better Sit Down Kids'" is a major hit single release by American singer/actress Cher in 1967 from her fourth studio album With Love, Chér, released on November 1967 by Imperial Records. The song was written by her then-husband, Sonny Bono, and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 in Canada.[1]

Song information[edit]

The song dealt with divorce, a somewhat taboo subject in the 1960s, and garnered much attention in the media. Predating Sonny & Cher's divorce by 7 years, this song written by Sonny Bono is a heartrending story of a broken home. Back in the 1960s divorce wasn't a common topic for popular songs and this was possibly the first ever popular song to deal with divorce. As a result the song achieved plenty of attention in the media, which boosted its sales and chart success.

Despite being sung by a female singer the lyrics identify the singer as a father advising his children that he and their mother are separating. The song starts slow, then, after a few stanzas, a fast bridge section has the father giving some orders to the kids, including to "Say your prayers before you go to bed, and be sure to get to school on time". The song starts in the key of B, and goes up a half step on each stanza, except during the Bridge section, which is in the key of B-Flat. The last stanza and the Coda are done in the key of F. Also, at the end of the song, the wild, fast sounds of a jazz saxophone playing were reminiscent of a Spike Jones recording, suggesting the fussing that the kids would be doing as a result of the separation and the divorce of the couple. This was one of several releases on which Cher's music touched on difficult areas. Two other singles, which had been released the previous year, "I Feel Something's in the Air," which dealt with unwanted pregnancy, and "Mama (When My Dollies Have Babies)", had proved less successful due to the subjects they dealt with. Another song "With Pen in Hand", released the following year, dealt with separation and divorce.

Along with the likes of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" and "Where Do You Go" this song was one of many solo hits for Cher in the 1960s to be written by Bono and it became Cher's second solo top ten of the decade. Along with the Sonny & Cher hit "The Beat Goes On," this was a temporary comeback to the U.S. top ten for Cher and neither she nor the duo would reach those heights again until 1971.

Toward the end of Sonny & Cher touring together, Sonny Bono performed You Better Sit Down Kids live in 1973. A studio version with Sonny on lead vocals is available on "All I Ever Need: The Kapp/MCA Anthology", a 1996 compilation album released by MCA label.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmusic reviewer wrote a favorable review of the single, calling it "the moment in the sun" of the album, describing it as a "tremendous performance".[3]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Singer Roy Drusky brought the song to country music audiences in 1968. His version peaked at #28, spending 10 weeks on the Billboard country chart.
  • American singer-actress Liza Minnelli covered "You Better Sit Down Kids" on her self-titled first studio album for A&M Records, released on February 9, 1968, which contains the covers of pop/rock and singer/songwriters songs.
  • The song is included on the 1968 album "Feelin'" by a jazz group "The Raymonde Singers Etcetera".[5]
  • The song was covered by a British pop singer Julie Rogers, it was track 1 on the flipside of Julie's 1971 Maxi Single with "Where Do You Go' on the A Side.
  • Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken (as "What Else") covered the song on a tribute album to Sonny Bono on a 1991 album "Bonograph (Sonny Gets His Share)".[7]