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" single
Recorded 1963
Genre Pop
Length 2:31
Label Mercury
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 number 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 number 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 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] In Gore's obituary, The New York Times referred to "You Don't Own Me" as "indelibly defiant".[4] It was featured in the television show American Horror Story.[citation needed]

Grace featuring G-Eazy version[edit]

"You Don't Own Me"
Single by Grace featuring G-Eazy
Released March 17, 2015
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015
Length 3:19
Label RCA
Grace singles chronology
"You Don't Own Me"
"Dirty Harry"
G-Eazy singles chronology
"Fuck with U"
"You Don't Own Me"
"You Got Me"

A 2015 remake by Australian recording artist Grace (Grace Sewell) featuring G-Eazy was produced by Quincy Jones[5] and released on 17 March 2015.[6] It peaked at number 1 on the ARIA charts and was later certified Platinum by ARIA (for sales of more than 70,000). It has also been a huge success in New Zealand, peaking currently for two consecutive weeks at number 5 for the charts dated July 28 and August 4, 2015.

The song was used in television advertisements promoting the drama series Love Child on the Nine Network.[7]


Chart (2015) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 1
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[9] 45
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 5
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[11] 50


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[12] 2× Platinum 140,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[13] Platinum 15,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

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, The Blow Monkeys on Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Jack Killed Jill on their album Hello Neighbor, by Poliça on their Raw Exit EP, and by Quintron on The Unmasked Organ Light-Year of Inifinity Man.

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 and 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.[14]

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.

German countertenor Klaus Nomi included the song on his self-titled debut album in English, emphasizing the song's original gender and, with a few minor lyric adjustments, gave the song a gay theme. The song, like most of Nomi's recordings, was fairly obscure in Nomi's lifetime, but it later gained exposure through posthumous airplay on The Rush Limbaugh Show as the theme to Limbaugh's "Gay Updates."

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 US 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.[15] The online video included spoken commentary by Gore.

In 2015 the song was covered by Grace Sewell (stage name "Grace") with some success.

The song was covered by Gail Page on The Voice Australia 2015.

Filipina singer Lani Misalucha covered the song as the theme song for the upcoming movie Etiquette for Mistresses in 2015.


  1. ^ Allmusic song info
  2. ^ "You Don't Own Me Song Facts". 
  3. ^ "Biography - Lesley Gore". 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Harr, Dan (18 March 2015). "Grace Teams Up With G-Eazy and Quincy Jones to Recreate Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”". Music News Nashville. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "You Don't Own Me - single Grace feat. G Easy". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Grace Inbound". 13 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  8. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  9. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  10. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  11. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201539 into search.
  12. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "The First Wives Club: Music From The Motion Picture: Various Artists: Music". Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  15. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (October 23, 2012). "The Best Lady GOTV Video of 2012, Starring Lena Dunham and Lesley Gore". The Atlantic. 

External links[edit]