The Supremes, 1968. From left, Diana Ross, Cindy Birdsong, and Mary Wilboy. They wear dresses offered during their European tour dates of that year. (Photograph by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

You are watching: Set me free why don t you babe lyrics

"Set me totally free, why don"t you babe / Get out my life, why do not you babe" -- so begins the Supremes" 1966 chart-topper "You Keep Me Hangin" On." For mid-"60s commercial pop, this is a desperate, raw and also also scary track. Our narrator is at the finish of her rope, having actually lost all firm in her life and begging for her tormentor to cut her loose bereason she can"t bring herself to carry out it. Unlike previous Supremes hits, this one is propelled by a relentmuch less rock drumbeat, offering us hardly a minute to catch our breath between verse, chorus and verse -- despite the always sugary-sweet vocals from Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilkid, this is a swirling, disorienting song. If you uncover yourself a little emotionally drained by the time its three minute are up, you"re not alone.


The writers of the song. Source: (REBEAT Magazine).

“You Keep Me Hanging On” was written by the song creating team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and also Brian Holland, or Holland-Dozier-Holland also, the team who composed a number of songs for the Supremes. With “You Keep Me Hanging On,” they collection out to create a rock song for the team. Late in 1966, the song went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.


Initial Supremes lineup of Florence Ballard, Mary Wilboy, and also Diana Ross. Source:



Set me totally free, why don"t cha babe?

Get out my life, why don"t cha babe?

"Cause you don"t really love me

You just keep me hangin" on

You don"t really need me

But you keep me hangin" on

Why perform you save a comin" around

Playin" via my heart?

Why do not you gain out of my life

And let me make a brand-new start?

Lettin" me gain over you

The means you"ve acquired over me


You say, although we damaged up

You still wanna be simply friends

But exactly how can we still be friends

When seein" you only breaks my heart again?

And tbelow ain"t nothin" I can execute about it

Woo, collection me free, why don"t cha babe?

Woo, gain out my life, why don"t cha babe?

Set me cost-free, why don"t cha babe?

Get out my life, why don"t cha babe?

You claim you still care for me

But your heart and also spirit requirements to be free

And now that you"ve obtained your freedom

You wanna still organize onto me

You do not want me for yourself

So let me find somebody else, hey

Why don"t you be a male about it and also set me free?

Now you do not treatment a thing around me, you"re simply usin" me

Go on, get out, acquire out of my life

And let me sleep at night

"Cause you do not really love me

You just keep me hangin" on

Origins And Meaning


Source: (uDiscoverMusic)

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Vanilla Fudge extended the song the year after the Supremes’ release and it was a peak 10 hit in Britain. The Vanilla Fudge variation was even more than seven minutes lengthy. They also tried to capture the emotions of the lyrics, as the Supremes’ version sounded happier than the message the lyrics were conveying. Their version was used in 2016 in the film War Dogs and also in the videogame Mafia III and also was provided on an episode of Mad Men. It was the basis for Rod Stewart’s later on cover also.