Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Album: Greatest Hits (1970)
Charted: 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Sly Stone wrote "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" because he felt listeners were not hearing the messages in his songs even though the band was more popular then ever. Sly & the Family Stone were an integrated band and tried to spread the message of racial harmony, but Stone thought that message was getting lost:

    Thank you for the party but I could never stay
    Many things is on my mind, words in the way


    The lyrics are scathing and mostly directed at Sly himself, but once again, many lost the meaning in the powerful groove.
  • Larry Graham played the innovative bass line using a technique where he thumped the strings. He learned this technique when he was playing in a duo with his mother, who played the organ - with no drummer, he had to create the percussion with his bass. This style became very popular on funk records for years to come and was a big influence on artists like Prince and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • The title is a funky way of spelling "Thank you for letting me be myself again."
  • The lyrics include references to some of Sly & the Family Stone's earlier hits, including "Dance To The Music" and "Everyday People."
  • Janet Jackson sampled the bass riff on her 1989 hit "Rhythm Nation." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Carlos - Brooklyn, NY
  • In 2008, Brooke Hogan, the daughter of wrestling star Hulk Hogan, released a version of this song called "Thnku4lettinmebmahself," where she sings about the trappings of fame. Her cover, which strips all funk from the original, was released ahead of her second album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 16

  • Randy Mask from HawaiiI was going thru the comments and alot say it's about a cop chasing someone, maybe the artists said that somewhere, so it more concrete than what I think. But when I hear the song my interpretation is the devil is chasing this person and mid way thru the person remember who they are and face the devil head on, after beating him he thanks him for awakening that that good part of them, the part that believes they can beat the devil. After this life is great, it's like a party, mommas so happy she's crying, papa's singing, everyone's in peace, when you put that good part of you in charge it resonates and everyone around you can benefit from it.
  • Rachel from Phoenix, AzI have a slightly different interpretation since I first became familiar with the song about 2 years ago. As told in the first verse, the thank you for letting me be myself to me means that running from the cops is “typical” or “expected” of a young black man at the time. So the young man is living up to society’s expectations, thus “being himself”.
    The second verse is what some of the comments alluded to: in a social or work situation, black men could not be themselves. It also broke my heart because the line “I could never stay” reminds me of the atrocious sign posted in my husband’s town growing up that said “you better get your black ass out of town before dark”. And this was in 70’s-80’s Ohio. Makes me sick.
    The line that speaks to me the most (and is on my notable quotables list) is “Dying young is hard to take, selling out is harder”. I can’t imagine having to make that choice…
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyExactly fifty years ago today on February 1st, 1970 "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"/"Everybody Is a Star" by Sly & the Family Stone peaked at #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart...
    And one week later on February 8th, 1970 it also reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    The rest of the Hot Soul Singles Top 10 on February 1st, 1970:
    At #2. "I Want You Back"/"Who's Loving You" by Jackson 5 {The previous week's #1 record}
    #3. "The Thrill Is Gone" by B.B. King
    #4. "Psychedelic Shack" by the Temptations
    #5. "Hey There Lonely Girl" by Eddie Holman
    #6. "Someday We'll Be Together" by the Supremes
    #7. "Rainy Night In Georgia" by Brook Benton
    #8. "Love Bones" by Johnny Taylor
    #9. "Do The Funky Chicken" by Rufus Thomas
    #10. "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" by the Delfonics...
  • Markantney from BiloxeAug 15,

    One of the Great songs from my youth. Read somewhere SATFS were one of the first prominent/commercial integrated group? I do remember (as a kid) seeing them on Soul Train and noticing that? But same for War and a little later, KC and the SunShine Band.

    That bass guitar playing should be in the GEEETar HOF.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 15th 1970, Sly & the Family Stone appeared in concert at the Constitution Hall in Washington, DC...
    After the show more $1,000 in damages were discovered; as a result the Daughters of the American Revolution imposed a ban against any further rock concerts being held at the venue...
    At the time the groups' "Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)" b/w "Everybody is a Star" was in its second and final week at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    Earlier in the month on February 1st the song also reached #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 28th 1969, "Thank You (Falettin Me Be mice Elf Agin)" by Sly and the Family Stone entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #59; and six weeks later on February 2nd, 1970 it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    And the week before it peaked at #1 on the Top 100 it reached #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    The group had two other records peak at #1 on the Top 100 chart; "Everyday People" for 4 weeks on February 9th, 1969 and "Family Affair" for 3 weeks on November 28th, 1971...
    They just missed having a fourth #1 record when "Hot Fun in the Summertime" peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} on October 12th, 1969...
    * The two weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "I Can't Get Next to You" by The Temptations.
  • Donna from Ft. Lauderdale, FlSly & The Family Stone were guests of the Dick Cavett show in 1970 and performed this song. Fun to watch them strut their stuff! In contrast Sly was very soft-spoken when then interviewed by Cavett.
  • Gary from Los Angeles, CaOkay, many may dismiss this, but read along with the lyrics while you listen. I sang this repeatedly, and it's as if Sly composed this first person dream story about Trayvon 43 years ago....Sly stone me...
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdSeal covered this on his Soul album. It can also be heard on the OST of Shrek the 3rd as sung by Eddie Murphy and Antonio Bandereas.
  • John from Eugene, OrSylvester Stewart (Sly) is quite a guy. He was a disc jockey for KDIA in the Oakland area. Sly was the A&R man and producer for most of the groups on Tom Donahue's Autumn Records. Sly & the Family Stone was the house band at the Whiskey A Go-Go in Sunnyvale, California performing on a VERY small stage playing R&B/Soul classics like Mustang Sally, Baby, Do the Philly Dog, The Duck, Shake Your Tail Feather,etc. til one in the morning while we danced. At one time he drove an XKE,wore silk suits with a diamond pinky ring and Miles Davis wrap-around shades. Inaword, Slick. When Sly played Stanford the crowd torn down the fences to get in and watch him & the Family Stone (an integrated band) play "Higher", "Stand" and "Dance To The Music". Check out those songs, they're monsters (Turn it UP and dance!). By the way, this song is based on one chord.
  • Eric from Los Angeles, NvThank you fa lettin me be myself is a timeless song that emphasizes the life, spirit and love of the era...all through high school my class mates at school played this song..it was even greater when the school band plaed this!!!!!!!!! I say the line "Thank you fa lettin me be myself" at all my speeches and seminars. People in the audience ALWAYS cherr and say it right along with me.....
  • Paul from Croydon, PaThank you Sly Stone for letting me be myself. I'm a 51 year old white dude that is just beginning to understand the true beauty and magnificence of your music. This song f'n rocks - I mean I've heard it so many times in my life growing up, but thanx to the internet and lyrics sites, and sites like Songfacts - they have helped me understand what fantastic things you were saying all along man. Sly, you bring it all to life - the cop chases, life in the ghetto with the good the bad and the ugly. It's all here. See it. Live it. And like your daddy (and mine) said "press on brother" 'cause it's 2009, Sly and yes, truth and youth are makin' love man - what a GREAT starter. God Bless you man. Peace! Paul White - Croydon, PA
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesIn Australia they tried not to promote music that black skinned people were involved in. So it was decades later that I managed to here this song.The Jackson 5 and the Supremes were also avoided in australia.Right to this day no one in Australia knows anything about this song.Was it because of racism in 1970? It just saddens me to think of all the wonderful music I missed back then.
  • Johan from Oslo, NorwayThis is the first real funk song - up to this, only proto-funk. Thank you is hard, funky, ambitious and extremely well done.
  • Barry from New York, NcSly Stone played guitar to this song during the early seventies like at the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970. However most critics disliked his playing!
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaAlso includes a "sly" reference to "Sing a Simple Song," which was the B-side of "Everyday People" and got some airplay as a result.
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