You Don’t Own Me By Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore Sings Of Mixed Up Hearts

1963 | Pop

Spotify | Amazon

“I don't tell you what to say, Oh-h-h-h 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.”


  • The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song held for three week unable to push out I Waana Hold Your Hand by the Beatles.. at number two for three consecutive weeks on February 1, 1964, unable to overcome the Beatles' hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
  • The song was written by songwriters John Madara and David White and recorded by a 17 year old Lesley Gore in 1963.
  • The song is Gore’s last top 10 hit.


Luke Tatum

Pure individualism! Laid out in the context of a relationship for the song, but it could easily be sung to the ever-abusive Uncle Sam. It's funny to extend such a metaphor. Did the Confederacy sing this song to the brutal Abraham Lincoln? Is Texas trying to get this song going loud enough to break away from the United States? What about Catalonia and Spain? This is one of the weakest points in the argument for the exitence of a "social contract." Tell me about any other contract where one party can change the rules and abuse the other party at will, where the abusee can't just pull out of the contract. Go on, I'll wait.

Sherry Voluntary

Complete self ownership is the foundation of libertariansim, from which concept property rights extends. It seems fitting that a woman should sing this song since throughout much of history womena have been considered property. This simple principle though, is foundational to an understanding of human rights and who has the highest claim to your body.

Nicky P

This one’s all me, I’ll own it. I understand the song is about a controlling partner in a relationship but I fel as though so many of those feelings are analogous to our relationship with the state. Much like Eye In The Sky, this song represents the abusive relationship we all have with the state to a frankly uncanny degree.. Worse than any stained wife-beater bedecked subject on cops or shithead cousin Dennis with a lift kit rolling coal, the state quite literally believes it owns you. I find the shitty romantic partner angle to make even more sense if you imagine other nations as competing partners. You literally have to pay to leave your relationship. If you do make that choice and happen to be successful they’ll probably come by or pay someone to and destroy your new little island. After all it‘s logged everything you've ever said and done so it knows how to cut you the deepest. The only freedom you're allowed is the one it lets you.

Created By
Nicky P

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