♫ I’ve Gotta Be Me ♫

Recently, a friend and I were discussing our childhoods, and I confessed that I was a disappointment to both of my parents, though in different ways.  My mother wanted a little girl that she could dress up as a doll in frilly, lacy dresses, and instead she got me, who would much rather play in a mud puddle or climb a tree than sit and sip tea in a dress so starched that it whispered.  My dad, on the other hand, always wanted a boy, and instead he got me, who had zero interest in sports and took nearly 90 swings to hit a single golf ball!  Anyway … long story short, I was never the person either of them envisioned, but instead I grew up into … ME.  Complete with flaws and human frailties, I never aspired to be anybody other than who I am.  Or, as Popeye used to say, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.”   Unlike so many people, I am comfortable in my own skin and care little whether I meet the expectations of others or not.

And now that I have bored you to tears … that story was a lead-in to tonight’s music post, I’ve Gotta Be Me, sung by Sammy Davis Junior.

I’ve Gotta Be Me is a popular song that appeared in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow, which starred Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé.  The music and lyrics for the musical were composed and written by Walter Marks in 1967; the production featured a book by Ernest Kinoy. This song was listed in the musical as “I’ve Got to Be Me”, and it was sung by Lawrence’s character Larry Davis at the end of the first act. Lawrence released the song as a single in 1967, and the following year it hit number six on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.

And then came Sammy Davis Junior, who recorded the song in 1968 while the musical was still running on Broadway.  This version of the song was a surprise hit for Davis, since the musical was not among the more successful shows on Broadway that season. Produced by Jimmy Bowen, Davis’ cover of the song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1969 and remained in the Top 40 for 11 weeks.

This is Davis’ third highest charting single on the Hot 100 in his career; Something’s Gotta Give had reached number nine in 1955, while The Candy Man hit #1 in 1972.

Other artists who have recorded or performed I’ve Gotta Be Me include Ella Fitzgerald, John Davidson, Michael Jackson, Della Reese, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, and The Temptations.

I’ve Gotta Be Me
Sammy Davis Jr.

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I’ve gotta be me

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Walter Marks
I’ve Gotta Be Me lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

20 thoughts on “♫ I’ve Gotta Be Me ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ I’ve Gotta Be Me ♫ | The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

    • Thank you, Simon! I always think when I share bits of my personal life that it’s probably boring to many, but perhaps you are right … we all have something of interest in our past.


  2. “I am what I am, and that’s all what I am.” Popeye was never known for his English grammar.
    Sammy Davis Jr. was always known for being great. Love the little anti-smoking dig long before being anti-smoking was cool. He always did it his way! As do you, Jill, and as does rawgod.

    Liked by 1 person

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