These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You

In the mid-sixties, Lee Hazlewood a thirty year old writer/producer and a performer considered retiring from the music business, that is, until he met Nancy Sinatra.  Their first string of hits (Lee writing and Nancy singing) included, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’, ‘Sugar Town’ and ‘How Does That Grab You Darlin’?’, and these songs made Nancy Sinatra a worldwide star.  Hazlewood drew inspiration for his songs from regular people and when he was in a Texas bar some patrons started razzing an older guy about his younger girlfriend and how she controlled him.  The man responded by putting his feet on a barstool and saying, “I know what you think – that she might be the boss.  But I am the boss of my house, and these boots will walk all over her the day that I’m not.”

On February 26, 1966, ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra Hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and inspired a generation of independent women.  Nancy was on the brink of getting dropped from her famous father Frank Sinatra’s record label.  When she heard ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’, she was convinced that she found the hit single she needed.  However, songwriter Lee Hazlewood did not see it as “a girl’s song.”  To promote the song, Sinatra recorded a fashion-focused music video that now remains an enduring image of the Swinging 60s.  Surrounded by a half dozen go-go dancers, Sinatra wore a very short black sparkly outfit, sheer black tights and black boots.  She provocatively delivered her song, strutting and dancing the Frug while accompanied by her backup dancers.  This song took the world of pop music to places it had only previously fantasised about before.  This oddball song was a tough-talkin’, fetish assertion of girl power anthem.  Before this song Nancy had released 11 singles which all flopped, she had always sung with a “girly” voice, but at rehearsals, Hazlewood told her to “sing like a 16-year-old who f**** truck drivers”.  The 25 year old Nancy grinned and said, “I can do that”.

You keep saying you got something for me
Something you call love but confess
You’ve been a’messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been a’messin’
And now someone else is getting all your best

These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

You keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin’ when you oughta be a’changin’
Now what’s right is right but you ain’t been right yet

These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing
And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt (HAH)
I just found me a brand new box of matches (YEAH)
And what he knows you ain’t had time to learn
These boots are made for walking,
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

Are you ready, boots? Start walkin’

Written for Song Lyric Sunday Clothing/Hat/Pants/Scarf/Shirt/Shoes/Tie.

33 thoughts on “These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You

  1. One of my favorites! What i love about it is the wordplay and also it’s really a fantasy, isn’t it? None of this is happening. A woman is imagining that she’ll do it “one of these days,” but for now she isn’t. You can just bet what her real life is like 😢

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    1. I imagine that she was spoiled getting anything that she wanted from her famous dad. He had a lot of pull back in the day and he may have had some mob connections, so he could give people in the record industry offers that they couldn’t refuse.

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  2. My mom used to sing along to this on the radio, I must’ve only been a toddler, and looking at your dates, must’ve been released about the time she got married. She was absolutely tone-deaf, but she used to sing anyway. Often we had no idea quite what! Lovely memory.

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  3. Thanks for the history Jim… I didn’t know she had all of those flops before… it is a different video…. your eyes just stick on her…. love what she was told before she sung it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’” but it is the only Nancy song I know sadly. It is a kicka~~ song though. Didn’t know the backstory of the song, it was an interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Nancy recorded Bang, Bang My Baby Shot Me Down, but I can’t remember any of her other songs. I learned a lot about this song during my research and it was fun for me. This song does kick butt and then it stomps on you after that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was wondering what ever happened to Nancy Sinatra, as I thought she pretty much faded from the scene in the early 70s, but according to Wikipedia, she was still active in music, performing, and making recordings as late as 2013. Who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

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