Oldies/60s song lyrics


QUESTION: What song from the 60s contains the words "why won't you let them be what they want to be"? Who sang it?

Could you mean "Let Me Be" by The Turtles from the autumn of 1965?
It has a lyric that is similar to what you wrote.
Here is it:


Let me know.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Lou, I am afraid this is not the one. The song was something of a protest song sung by someone like Joan Baez (I think) and was about letting teenagers grow up without being criticised all the time. Jim

Hi Jim
Once you said "protest song"...it hit me.

How about "Home Of The Brave"? It was written by Brill Building writers Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.

There are three versions that I know from 1965:

Bonnie & The Treasures, which was on a Phil Spector owned label but not actually produced by Phil...though it certain has his 'wall of sound'. The singer sounds like Ronnie of the Ronettes but is actually not her. It was a woman named Charlotte O'Hara.

Jody Miller was the bigger hit version and full of the wrecking crew players...Billy Strange arrangement, etc....she sounds like a folkie here and is likely the one you best remember.


In the UK, it was released by Katie Kissoon under the name Peanut:


The school board says he cant come to school no more.
Unless he wears his hair like he wore it before.
The PTA and all of the mothers, say he ought to look like the others.

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free.
Oh, why wont the let him be what he wants to be?

The kids all laugh at his hair and his funny clothes.
And more than once hes gone home with a bloody nose.
Hes not like them and they cant ignore it. So they all hate him for it.

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free.
Oh, why wont they let him be what he wants to be?

(Why?) He never hurt no-body.
(Why) Doesnt he belong?
(Why?) Cause hes a little bit different.
Tell my why is that so wrong?

Everybody says I shouldn't take his part.
But when they put him down how it breaks my heart.
Instead of all the trouble they hand him, why dont the try to understand him?

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free.
Oh, why wont they let him be what he wants to be?

Home of the Brave, Land of the Free.
Oh, why wont they let him be what he wants to be?

My bet....that's your song!

Thanks for asking,



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Lou Simon


I can answer questions about pop music from the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. I can help track down hard to find songs based on lyric fragments or other minimal information. I was an expert in this field but due to a family situation, was away from e-mail for a couple of weeks and forgot to put in a vacation listing with AllExperts.


I have been answering questions for this site for a few years. It would be nice to be reinstated. I have no idea how many questions I have answered but many people have written to me to say how I have touched their lives by helping them locate a song that is important to them or a loved one.

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