You Don't Own Me
|"You Don't Own Me"|
|Single by Lesley Gore|
|from the album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts|
|B-side||"Run Bobby, Run"|
|Lesley Gore singles chronology|
"You Don't Own Me" is a popular song written by Philadelphia songwriters John Madara and David White and recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963, when Gore was 17 years old. The song was Gore's second most successful recording and her last top-ten single. On November 27, 2016, along with 24 other songs, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced its induction.
The song expresses emancipation, as the singer tells a lover that he does not own her, that he isn't to tell her what to do or what to say, and that he is not to put her on display. The song's lyrics became an inspiration for younger women and are sometimes cited as a factor in the second wave feminist movement.
Gore 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." In Gore's obituary, The New York Times referred to "You Don't Own Me" as "indelibly defiant".
The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The song remained at number two for three consecutive weeks on February 1, 1964, unable to overcome the Beatles' hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand". It became Gore's second most successful hit after to "It's My Party". The song was Gore's last top-ten single.
|US Billboard Hot 100||2|
Later comparative criticism
After the success of "You Don't Own Me", many of Lesley Gore's other songs, including "That's the Way Boys Are", were eventually compared to it and criticized for not coming up to feminist expectations. Of "That's the Way Boys Are", author Richard Aquila noted that the lyrics "voice the era's acceptance of sexual double standards," in contrast with the theme of Gore's previous single, "You Don't Own Me". Aquila regards "That's the Way Boys Are" as one of several examples of Lesley Gore songs that regard women as dependents or passive objects, along with earlier singles "It's My Party" and "Judy's Turn to Cry." Musicologist Walter Everett described "That's the Way Boys Are" as one of the many 1960s sexist songs that "perpetuated a boys will be boys tolerance for male but not female infidelity." Music critic Greil Marcus also remarked on the way "That's the Way Boys Are" backs off from the "proto-feminist manifesto" of "You Don't Own Me" to a message of "he may treat you like garbage, but they're all like that, and we love 'em for it!"
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Michèle Richard version
Dusty Springfield version
Ormsby Brothers version
Klaus Nomi version
Klaus Nomi version was his first released studio single and was included on his self-titled album released in 1981.
Joan Jett version
Joan Jett released a cover of the song on her debut album, originally titled Joan Jett, but re-released as Bad Reputation. The first recording of her well-known cover of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" was a Europe-only release double A-side with "You Don't Own Me" released in 1979. Joan's version is fairly true to the original; the level of defiant independence remains in the vocals although with Joan's distinct vocal style.
The Blow Monkeys version
The Blow Monkeys covered the song for the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. The song is sung in a similar fashion to the original but from a male perspective. The lyrics are unchanged from Gore's version. The song was recorded as an RB song rather than as a straight Pop song.
André Hazes version
André Hazes (Dutch folk singer) recorded a Dutch-language version of the song in 1981 for his album Gewoon André; "Zeg Maar Niets Meer" was popular in Europe, and reached number 2 in the Dutch charts in early 1982.
Eva Pilarová version
The First Wives Club - 1996 film
The song provides a key moment at the end of The First Wives Club (1996). The three "first wives" -- Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn—break into song and dance, exulting in triumph over their selfish ex-husbands. Keaton had sung in Annie Hall (1977) and Hawn had released an LP in 1972, but neither were known for their voices. This version was commercially released in 1997 on Columbia Records: XPCD842.
Maxine Linehan version
Irish singer and actress Maxine Linehan's first single was a cover entitled "You Don't Own Me (featuring Phlaymz)" released May 1, 2011 on ℗Honey Bun Records.
Kristin Chenoweth version
Mie Nakao version
Under the name of 恋と涙の１７才 (romanji/english version: Koi to Namida no 17sai (You Don't Own Me)), this japanese version appeared on the Uniqlo teaser "Finally Free" in 2018, by Marco Prestini (Flash Factory). Mie Nakao's album 可愛いベイビー～中尾ミエ アーリー・ヒッツ was released in 2017, with a series of covers of classical american movies soudtracks.
|"You Don't Own Me"|
|Single by Grace featuring G-Eazy|
|from the album FMA|
|Released||March 17, 2015|
|Grace singles chronology|
|G-Eazy singles chronology|
The song was covered by Australian singer and songwriter Grace and was released as her debut single. It features American rapper G-Eazy. Grace's version was produced by Quincy Jones, who also produced the original recording by Lesley Gore, and Parker Ighile. It was released on March 17, 2015 one month after Lesley Gore died, and peaked at number one on the ARIA Charts, later being certified 3× Platinum by the ARIA. The song was also a success in New Zealand, peaking at number five for two consecutive weeks, and in the United Kingdom, peaking at number four.
In an interview with House of Fraser, Grace said "[Quincy Jones] told me how the song came out during the feminist movement and how it was such a strong statement. I loved the song, started researching Lesley Gore and fell in love with her as an artist. [You Don't Own Me] really inspired me."
The song was released worldwide on March 17, 2015. It grew to prominence in the UK when it was used in the 2015 House of Fraser Christmas advert. It was also performed by The X Factor contestant Lauren Murray on November 28, 2015 and Matt Terry on October 8, 2016. The increased exposure for the song helped it rise to a peak of number four on the UK Singles Chart. The song was featured in the third trailer for the 2016 film Suicide Squad  and appeared on the film's soundtrack album.
A music video directed by Taylor Cohen was released on June 1, 2015.
Charts and certifications
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||55|
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||42|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||45|
|Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)||52|
|Hungary (Single Top 40)||32|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||5|
|Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)||50|
|Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)||38|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||60|
|UK Singles (OCC)||4|
|US Billboard Hot 100||57|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||22|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||43|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||87|
|Australia (ARIA)||4× Platinum||280,000|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||80,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000*|
|Poland (ZPAV)||2× Platinum||40,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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