The Supremes You Keep Me Hangin On

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The Supremes You Keep Me Hangin On

The Supremes You Keep Me Hangin' On

Motown Soul

The song was written in 1966 by the Motown team Holland-Dozier-Holland, which consisted of the Holland brothers Brian and Eddie and Lamont Dozier, who were shapers of the Sixties Motown sound The Supremes recorded it and released it on their 1966 album The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. They also released it ass a single, and it went to #1 on the U.S. Bilboard Hot 100, U.S. Bllboard R&B Chart, and Cash Box Pop Singles chart. It went to #8 in the U.K. and #11 in Australia. It is on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” certainly describes that time in a relationship when it’s more than time to break up. Lamont Dozier got the idea for the signature guitar part from a Morse code-like radio announcement, which was used before special news bulletins. On the track were Diana Rosse (lead vocals) and Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson (backing vocals). Instrumentation was provided by The Funk Brothers, the Motown session musicians.

There have been numerous covers of the song, including versions by Vanilla Fudge, Kim Wilde, Reba McEntire, Wilson Pickett, Rod Stewart, and The Box Tops, to name a few.

Here are the lyrics to “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes:

Set me free, why don’t you, baby?
Get out my life, why don’t you, baby?
‘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 do you keep a-coming around
Playing with my heart?
Why don’t you get out of my life
And let me make a new start?
Let me get over you
The way you’ve gotten over me, hey

Set me free, why don’t you, baby?
Let me be, why don’t you, baby? (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
‘Cause you don’t really love me
You just keep me hangin’ on (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Now you don’t really want me
You just keep me hangin’ on

You say although we broke up
You still wanna be just friends
But how can we still be friends
When seeing you only breaks my heart again?
And there ain’t nothing I can do about it

Whoa-whoa-whoa
Set me free, why don’t you, baby?
Whoa-whoa-whoa
Get out my life, why don’t you, baby? (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Set me free, why don’t you, baby?
Get out my life, why don’t you, baby?

You claim you still care for me
But your heart and soul needs to be free
Now that you’ve got your freedom
You wanna still hold on to me
You don’t want me for yourself
So let me find somebody else, hey

Why don’t you be a man about it
And set me free? (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Now, you don’t care a thing about me
You’re just using me (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
Go on, get out, get out of my life
And let me sleep at night (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
‘Cause you don’t really love me
You just keep me hangin’ on

If you are interested in reading about and listening to other songs by The Supremes: “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Baby Love.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen  free to the 50+ songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes.

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