I’m over here jammin’ to “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969) by Sly and the Family Stone. That ain’t a misspellin’. The title is an intentional mondegreen for “thank you for letting me be myself again.” This song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1970.

And you can thank Larry Graham for introducing the slap technique on the electric bass. He’s been widely credited with creating it. You can hear it all up and through this song. He learned this technique when he was playing in a duo with his mother, who played the organ. He thumped the strings to make up for a lack of drummer. This bass style became popular on funk records for years to come, and was a big influence on artists like Prince and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Lyrically, this song expresses some irony and unexpected twists from the first verse to the last. In fact, the third verse contains specific references to their previous successful songs, “Dance to the Music”, “Everyday People”, “Sing a Simple Song”, and “You Can Make It If You Try”.

Here go the third verse lyrics so you can sing along:

Dance to the music
All night long
Everyday people
Sing a simple song
Mama’s so happy
Mama start to cry
Papa still singin’
We can make it if we try