In 1965, Lee Hazlewood was producing the debut album of Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of one of my favorite singers (despite myself). And he thought she would be perfect to record his song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” He reportedly told her to sing it like she was a teenager who had sex with truck drivers. But not in those words.
I know that the song is supposed to come off as dangerous. And maybe in 1966 it did. But all my life, the song has seemed sweet — like the singer is bluffing. It does sound like a teenager is singing it. I find far more true female strength in “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” or pretty much any Édith Piaf song.
But there is no doubt that “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” has broad appeal. My parents loved the song and owned the album. My older sister loves the song. And so do I. Although it is probably the case that we all get different things from it.