It's My Life

Album: The Best Of The Animals (1965)
Charted: 7 23
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  • You'll want your daughter to stay away from the guy in this song. He's a big talker, explaining how he's down on his luck, but about to go from "Rags to Sable," meaning he'll do what it takes to make it. He's looking for some sugar mamas to take care of him so he can "live on their money," and he's proudly pigheaded: "It's my life and I'll do what I want."

    Despite all this, he expects the girl he's after to believe him when he says, some day I'll treat you real fine. Let's hope she doesn't fall for it.
  • This was written by Carl D'Errico (music), and Roger Atkins (lyrics) specifically for The Animals. The duo were at the time working for Screen Gems Music, part of the New York City music scene that included the Brill Building. "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" (Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) and "Don't Bring Me Down" (Gerry Goffin and Carole King) were also hits for the Animals, which originated from the Brill Building songwriting scene.
  • Animals lead singer Eric Burdon said he "detested" this song and didn't want to sing it (producer Mickie Most pushed it through). Perhaps in protest, Burdon changed some of the lyrics. He sang:

    Sure, I'll do wrong
    Hurt you sometime
    But someday I'll treat you so fine

    But the lyrics was written as:

    Show me I'm wrong
    Hurt me sometime
    But some day I'll treat you real fine
  • The song's co-writer Carl D'Errico said: "'It's My Life" came about when Mickie Most, the producer of The Animals, said he was looking for songs for the group. The writers got busy writing and then handed in their acetates and there was a tall stack of them waiting for Mickie when he came in from London. Three of the songs in that stack were 'We Gotta Get Out of This Place,' 'Don't Bring Me Down' and 'It's My Life.' Actually, the melody for 'It's My Life' was the second one that I wrote for it. When I played the first one for Emil, he said that it didn't have enough punch and it was the wrong groove, so I rewrote it. After the rewrite everyone knew it was a hit. Some of the writers would play their songs for one another to get feedback - we used these small rooms with pianos in them, so people would hop around and check out what was happening next door." (Courtesy: Spectropop.)
  • The Animals recorded this when they were touring America in 1965.
  • Eric Burdon recorded a new version of the song as a solo artist in 1974.

Comments: 18

  • Melissa from York,paThe line that always gets me is : I'm gonna ride this serpent", oh yea, Eric!
  • Prim from California"Though I'm dressed in these rags, I'll wear sable some day" should be "Though I'm dressed in these rags, I'll wear SILK some day"
  • Jennifur Sun from Ramonainteresting to know that Eric didn't like the song.
  • Larry from Peoria, IllinoisI was 14 years old when I heard this song being played on WLS radio, Chicago. I loved the song but paid no attention to the lyrics except for the melody. Today I am 67 years old and watching the old grainy Hullabaloo video on Utube and trying to make sense of the words. I read the string of comments and the lyrics interpretation from this website. My question is why would Eric purposely sing incorrect lyrics if the writers had other intentions?
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaTom what amazes me is he is one of those professional singers who has suffered from asmha, don't know how they do it cause I have it as well.
  • Dennis B from Near IndianapolisSummer of '66, and I was working at a radio station about 140 miles from the big amusement park in Salt Lake City, where The Animals were opening for the Hermits. A buddy and I went there to get station liners ("Hi, this is Peter Noone and you're listening to...) and arrived hours early, before security set up. We went back stage and stayed as the bands arrived to the screams of delirious teenagers. Eric and Company played, then sat on the steps while the Hermits performed. Somebody produced a sixer and they offered a brew to my friend and me (we were only 17). The Animals talked about the movie they'd just done (now long-forgotten), and even listened as my friend and I made a few comments. BTW: the station liners were sh*t, because the musicians were all sh*t-faced, even before the concert. But boy, was it fun!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 31st 1965, "It's My Life" by the Animals entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #87; and eight weeks later on December 26th, 1965 it peaked at #23 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1964 and 1983 the British quintet had nineteen* Top 100 records; three made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "The House of the Rising Sun" for 3 weeks on August 30th,1964...
    Sadly, originally bassist Chas Chandler passed away on July 17th, 1996 at the young age of 57...
    * For the last eight of their Top 100 records the group went by the name 'Eric Burton and the Animals'.
  • Roger from Thousand Oaks, CaI must set the record straight about 2 lines of the chorus. Eric, and almost everyone since, has sung lines that make no sense,"Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime, but someday I'll treat you so fine.." The correct lines are, "Sure I'll do wrong, hurt you sometime, but someday I'll treat you so fine.." Also, in the first verse Eric sings, "Though I'm drssed in these rags I'll wear sable someday." The correct line is, "Though I'm dressed in these rags I'll flash labels someday."
  • Ross from New York, NyBravo Ivy in Valinda, CA! It took years for my friends and I in Chicago in the 70's to figure that final line, "So girl throw out any doubt" (musicians, teachers, a journalist and a musicologist now).
  • Don from Pittsburg, CaI was wondering if this song was in response to a movie script. It's about a gigolo. The lyrics are brutal. I saw a lot of that while working security in Tiffany's and other jewelry stores in San Francisco. Some young guy with some old cow. Money blinds everybody.....
  • Ben from Whittier, Cawhat a great sing along song !
  • Cameron from Irvine, CaI've seen Eric in concert twice in my life. He rules!
  • Ivy from Valinda, CaOh' one more. The phrase "And leave only money"

    Is "And live on their money"

    I hope this helps : )
  • Ivy from Valinda, Ca"There'll be women and their fortunes/Who just WANT TO MOTHER ORPHANS/Are you going to cry/When I'm SQUEEZIN' THEM DRY/Taking all I can get, no regrets, when I openly lie..

    Indeed, this is the correct phrase : )

    Also the last phrase of this verse is incorrect
    " So girl go out Hand it out"

    Should read, "So girl throw out any doubt"
    I turned in these corrections about three weeks ago?
  • Joe from San Diego, Ca"There are women and their fortunes who just won't do"(?) Try singing that. It doesn't even rhyme! Eric actually says: "There'll be women and their fortunes/Who just WANT TO MOTHER ORPHANS/Are you going to cry/When I'm SQUEEZIN' THEM DRY/Taking all I can get, no regrets, when I openly lie..."
    - Joe, San Diego, CA
  • Tom from Fillmore, CaI met Eric Burdon Backstage in Ventura Calif. One big acid trip but the dude could still wail.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InOMG I loved this song when I was 16
  • Sharon from Daytona, FlTeenybopper Truth is Stranger than Fiction Tale- The Animals were the "warm up band" for Herman's Hermits on US tour in the sixties!!!!!! YOIKS! I saw them perform in Chicago together... possibly at McCormick place--- I mean this is going waaay back to my very first concert. I was amazed how short Eric Burdon is- but he can belt it out, for sure. Big sound... regardless. Sharon - now in Florida
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