♫ I’m Your Puppet ♫

I wonder how many of you will remember tonight’s song, I’m Your Puppet, from way back in 1966?  Heck, about half of my readers weren’t even born back then, else were still toddling around trying to learn to ask for a cookie!

Written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, the best known version is the one recorded by James & Bobby Purify which reached #5 on the US R&B chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.  James & Bobby Purify were an R&B singing duo that originally comprised cousins James Purify and Robert Lee Dickey. It was these two who recorded their biggest hit, I’m Your Puppet in 1966. Dickey retired because of health problems at the end of the decade and James Purify re-recorded the song with a new “Bobby Purify,” Ben Moore in 1976. This time, it was a hit in the UK peaking at #12 and also charting highly in The Netherlands.

According to Robert Dickey, he hated the song …

“I hated it.  It was originally intended to be the B-side. But things got changed … I sang it for 23 hours straight (in the studio), that’s why I hate it.”

As to the origins of the song, songwriter Dan Penn recalls …

“We ate dinner at this barbecue place across from Fame studio and then went back. I broke out, this cheap 12–string, cooked up the rhythm, Spooner got behind the piano and the magic happened. Who knows where it came from, but I was walking around singing, ‘The Puppet,’ and we cut the demo right then and there.”

The original James & Bobby Purify followed up this song with three more Hot 100 Top 40 entries, Wish You Didn’t Have to Go, Let Love Come Between Us, and a cover of the Five Du-Tones’ Shake a Tail Feather. After Moore replaced Dickey they had no other big hits, but remained popular on the tour circuit in the 1980s. After Purify retired, Moore went solo but in 1998 he went blind from glaucoma. However, with the encouragement of Ray Charles, he continued performing and recording before joining the gospel band Blind Boys of Alabama in 2005.

I’m Your Puppet
Song by Ben Moore and James

Pull the string and I’ll wink at you
I’m your puppet
I’ll do funny things if you want me to
I’m your puppet

Mm, I’m yours to have and to hold
Darling, you’ve got full control of your puppet

Pull them little strings and I’ll kiss your lips
I’m your puppet
Snap your fingers and I’ll turn you some flips
I’m your puppet

Mm, your every wish is my command
All you got to do is wiggle your little hand

I’m your puppet
I’m your puppet

I’m just a toy, just a funny boy
That makes you laugh when you’re blue
I’ll be wonderful, do just what I’m told
I’ll do anything for you

I’m your puppet
I’m your puppet

Just pull them little strings and I’ll sing you a song
I’m your puppet
Make me do right or make me do wrong
I’m your puppet

Mm, treat me good and I’ll do anything
I’m just a puppet and you hold my string
I’m your puppet

Your walking, talking, kissing, loving puppet
I’m hanging on a string
I’ll do anything, love you ‘n’ kiss ya

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Dan Penn / Spooner Oldham
I’m Your Puppet lyrics © Fame Publishing Co., Inc.

18 thoughts on “♫ I’m Your Puppet ♫

  1. I remember the song, but probably from the 1976 version that was a hit here – but maybe the original was played on the pirate radio stations. To be honest, I never liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the song when I was younger, because that was how I lived my love. I thought I was there to keep my girl happy, and laughing.
    It didn’t take too much too long to discover women did not want puppets, but neither did they want overbearing control-freaks.
    Be real. Be yourself. (Don’t worry? Be happy? Yech.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, same here … I actually knew many of the words to this one! Was Reggae around in the mid-60s? I don’t really remember hearing of Reggae until sometime in the 70s, but then I never kept up with music trends, just knew what I liked and what I didn’t. I’m so glad I made your day! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • This song seems to have been covered by every artist in the 20th Century! I didn’t realize Donny O had covered it, though! But then, I wasn’t a fan of Donny & Marie! My parents loved them, watched their show every week … that’s probably why I never cared for them … I was a rebellious teen!


      • Ha! First of all, I meant the 70’s. In the 60’ I was enjoying my older sisters and parents’ music. I used to watch Donny and Marie with my folks, thankful they like it. But it was really Donny who had my heart. When you’re a fifteen year old dreamer and romantic…David Cassidy, Rick Springfield, Bobby Sherman and so many others. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.