The close out of the ‘60s era ended with the release of a song that examined the experience of trying to fit in to a society that struggled to accept individuality to say the least. Sly And The Family Stone released “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” in December 1969.
“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” became a hit and remained high on the music charts for the first half of 1970. Sly And The Family Stone was famous for pushing social and cultural messages through their songs. They forced the listener to bop their head, snap their fingers, and stomp their feet to the most current social concerns of that era. “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was indeed such a song. Filled with personal experiences from Sly, the song created an image of a person struggling with overzealous authority, the awkwardness of high society, and the price to be paid for being different all the while being both thankful and resentful for the experience as ones true self. If you can get past the funkiest of grooves provided by the band (take note of Larry Graham’s ground breaking thumb slapping technique) the message in the lyrics are loud and clear.
Just to mention–upon listening to the first verse, one will notice a seemingly prophetic image of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman take shape:
Lookin’ at the devil, grinnin’ at his gun. Fingers start shakin’, I begin to run. Bullets start chasin’, I begin to stop. We begin to wrestle, I was on the top.
However, this is not prophetic in the least; this type of imagery has been a constant in American society before Sly’s era, during Sly’s era, and sad to say, certainly since Sly’s era.
Take a listen.