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
Length 2:31
Label Mercury
Producer(s) Quincy Jones
Lesley Gore singles chronology
"She's a Fool"
"You Don't Own Me"
"That's the Way Boys Are"

"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.


The song expresses a 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, 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 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".[1] In Gore's obituary, The New York Times referred to "You Don't Own Me" as "indelibly defiant".[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song reached number two on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart in the United States. The song remained at number two for three consecutive weeks on 1 February 1964, unable to overcome the Beatles' hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and it became Gore's second most successful hit, next to "It's My Party". The song was Gore's last top-ten single.[3][4]


Grace version[edit]

"You Don't Own Me"
Single by Grace featuring G-Eazy
from the album FMA
Released 17 March 2015 (2015-03-17)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015
Length 3:19
Certification 3× Platinum (ARIA)
Grace chronology
"You Don't Own Me"
"Dirty Harry"
G-Eazy chronology
"Fuck with U"
"You Don't Own Me"
"You Got Me"

The song is also the debut single by Australian singer and songwriter Grace. 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.[5] It was released on 17 March 2015 one month after Lesley Gore died, and peaked at number one on the ARIA charts, later being certified 3× Platinum by the ARIA.[6] 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."[7]

The song was released worldwide on 17 March 2015. It grew to prominence in the UK when it was used in the 2015 House of Fraser Christmas advert.[7] It was also performed by The X Factor contestant Lauren Murray on 28 November 2015. 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,[8] and will appear on the film's soundtrack album.[9]

A music video directed by Taylor Cohen was released on 1 June 2015.[10]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]
Chart (2015–16) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[12] 55
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[13] 42
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[14] 46
France (SNEP)[15] 182
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 13
Italy (FIMI)[17] 89
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 5
Portugal (AFP)[19] 64
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[20] 3
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[21] 50
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[22] 80
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23] 19
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 60
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 57
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[27] 22
Year-end charts[edit]
Chart (2015) Position
Australia (ARIA)[28] 26
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[29] 43
Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[30] 3× Platinum 210,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[31] Platinum 15,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[33] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

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, Elaine Paige on her album Love Can Do That, Joan Jett on her debut album Bad Reputation, The Blow Monkeys on the 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. 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.

André Hazes 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 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."

American rapper Eminem sampled this song for his song "Untitled" as a hidden bonus final track from his 2010 album, Recovery.

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.[34] The online video included spoken commentary by Gore.

Filipina singer Lani Misalucha covered the song as the theme song for the movie Etiquette for Mistresses in 2015. Selena Gomez covered the song during her 2015 Revival World tour.

Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton covered the song in the movie The First Wives Club in 1996.

It was also covered by Arielle Dombasle on the album French Kiss, released in 2015 with The Hillbilly Moon Explosion.


  1. ^ "Biography - Lesley Gore". 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ AllMusic song info
  4. ^ "You Don't Own Me Song Facts". 
  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 15 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "iTunes Store (AU) - Music - Grace - You Don't Own Me (feat. G-Eazy) - Single". iTunes Store (AU). 17 March 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Grace - The Voice Behind our Christmas Avert". House of Fraser. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "This is who covers Lesley Gore's You Don't Own Me in the Suicide Squad trailer". Metro. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Kaufman, Gil (June 17, 2016). "'Suicide Squad' Soundtrack: Skrillex & Rick Ross, Panic! at the Disco Cover 'Bohemian Rhapsody' & More". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Grace - You Don't Own Me ft. G-Eazy". YouTube. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  11. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  12. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  13. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Grace – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Grace. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 32, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "Chart Track: Week 2, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 34" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  18. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  19. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart: 2015-12-10". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  21. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201539 into search.
  22. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201631 into search. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  23. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  24. ^ " – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  25. ^ "Archive Chart: 2015-12-18" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Grace – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Grace. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  27. ^ "Grace – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Grace. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  28. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2015". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  29. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2015". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2016 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  31. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 January 2016.  Enter You Don't Own Me in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  33. ^ "American single certifications – Grace feat. G-Eazy – You Don't Own Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 10 July 2016.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (October 23, 2012). "The Best Lady GOTV Video of 2012, Starring Lena Dunham and Lesley Gore". The Atlantic. 

External links[edit]