You Don't Own Me

Album: Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts (1963)
Charted: 2
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • You don't own me
    I'm not just one of your many toys
    You don't own me
    Don't say I can't go with other boys

    And don't tell me what to do
    Don't tell me what to say
    And please, when I go out with you
    Don't put me on display 'cause

    You don't own me
    Don't try to change me in any way
    You don't own me
    Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay

    I don't tell you what to say
    I don't tell you what to do
    So just let me be myself
    That's all I ask of you

    I'm young and I love to be young
    I'm free and I love to be free
    To live my life the way I want
    To say and do whatever I please

    And don't tell me what to do
    Oh, don't tell me what to say
    And please, when I go out with you
    Don't put me on display

    I don't tell you what to say
    Oh, don't tell you what to do
    So just let me be myself
    That's all I ask of you

    I'm young and I love to be young
    I'm free and I love to be freeWriter/s: David White, John Madara
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 13

  • Stephen W from Spring Hill, FloridaI'm partial to Pamela Smith's version on Pamela - I Love You . I am a bit prejudiced - she's my daughter 1
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, OkI still love this song & Lesley Gore after all these years. When it was #2 in Dec. '63, I was in high school & having difficulties with a boyfriend who was trying to be domineering with me. Well, anyone who knew me back then knew I was NOT the type of gal to be toyed with!! In short, he tried to dominate me so I just set him straight and left him with two black eyes & bruised ribs! Back then, I was 200 lbs. at 6' 3" tall and not a girl to be trifled with. Haaa! Go Lesley Gore, Go!!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 22nd 1963 "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on January 26th, 1964 it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    Talk about bad timing; the three weeks she was at #2 some new group named the Beatles were at #1 for their first time with "I Want To Hold Hand" ("You Don't Own Me" had jumped from #13 to #2, the Beatles moved from #3 to #1)...
    Between 1963 and 1967 she had nineteen records make the Top 100; with four reaching the Top 10 and one peaking at #1 ("It's My Party" for two weeks in 1963, and it was also her debut record on the Top 100)...
    Ms. Gore, born Lesley Sue Goldstein, will celebrate her 68th birthday come next May 2nd.
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkBack in 1963, I was a pre-teen when this hit was in the Top Ten, but I knew that the lyrics message was unusual for the chart hits of the times. Back then, I recall that some of my buddies thought that it took guts for a girl to take such a stand with her boyfriend. You Don't Own Me!! The song was so catchy----how could you not like it! I still love to hear it on the oldies stations. Since Lesley Gore still tours from time to time, I want to go see her show. Solid hit. Fabulous star!!!
  • Sal from Greasefalls, IdFrom a guys POV. I saw the TAMI show when Lesley Gore sang this song live. I was 13 then and, although a kid, her 'performance' stuck in my head. It both scared the hell out of me and made me think. She was just so, how do you say it, sweet yet to the point. Sort of telling you where to go but in a polite way. Guys back then were still in controlling women mode, so this song probably had more influence on girls and women than us guys. A personal note. Six years later I was in the Army, in Vietnam, and heard this song in a local off post club. It made me homesick. Great song, and message.
  • Joan Cole from Lima, OhI grew up listening to WAEB (not WAAB) in Allentown, PA...remember Gene Kaye and the dances he would show up at in the sixties.
    Joan, Lima,OH
  • Farrah from Elon, NcVery feminist indeed!!!
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesHeh, Fyodor from Denver, maybe visa-versa: the Beatles' "You Can't Do That!" as a response to Leslie Gore's "You Don't Own Me!". I don't know, though. I do know, however, that the tension in those two couples - or same couple, whatever it is - is quite extreme. A coming breakup? Probably.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyThis is a striking contrast to the "meek little girl trying to accept her man even though he is a jerk" mentality of "It's my Party" and "Judy's Turn to Cry". Leslie also recorded "That's the Boys Are", again defending macho idiocy. This may be to first "feminist" rock hit. And a damn good song it is!
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoFunny, I was just reading up on The Beatles' "You Can't Do That," and this would have worked perfectly as an answer song, although it couldn't have cause it came first! Ah, the war between the sexes...
  • Billy from Atlanta, GaThe Klaus Nomi version has been used on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiaalso a family group by the name of the Ormsby Brothers covered it , here in Australia, think it got to number 1 ..good version
  • Frank from Westminster, ScThere was a cover version of this song by a very strange German fellow named Klaus Nomi. It has to be heard to be disbelieved.
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