"I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.


 [hide*1 Original version

Original version[edit]Edit

"I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" was first recorded by Tommy Hunt in a session produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, with Burt Bacharach arranging and conducting. It was released as single Scepter 1236 (B-side "And I Never Knew") in May 1962, but did not chart. The song served as the title track for Hunt's sole album release on Scepter released in April 1963. The success in the UK of the Dusty Springfield version of "I Just Don't Know..." in the summer of 1964 led to Scepter's re-releasing the original, at which time it reached the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart inBillboard with a #119 peak. It would appear however that the first version of this song to be recorded was not by Hunt but by Chuck Jackson also in 1962. Jackson's version was shelved and remained un-released until it appeared on a 1984 compilation on the Kent record label called "Mr. Emotion". According to the sleeve notes of that album, Tommy Hunt's vocals were substituted for Jackson's whilst the original backing track was retained.

Dusty Springfield[edit]Edit

Dusty Springfield recorded "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" in a session at Olympic Studios in Westminster with production credited to Philips Records owner Johnny Franz - although Springfield later stated her solo Philips tracks were self-produced - and arranged by Ivor Raymonde who conducted his orchestra; personnel on the session included Big Jim Sullivan on guitar and Bobby Graham on drums. Springfield, whose first solo recordings had included covers of the Bacharach/David compositions "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Wishin' and Hopin'" - had brought back "I Just Don't Know..." from an overnight trip to New York City where she met up with Bacharach in February 1964.

The third UK single release of Springfield's solo career - following the "Brill Building" Sound-alikes "I Only Want to Be With You" and "Stay Awhile" - "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was Springfield's first UK single release to display her signature vocal style; rising to #3 in the summer of 1964 the track remained Springfield's highest charting UK hit until she reached #1 in 1966 with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" which would remain Springfield's only UK solo hit to chart higher than "I Just Don't Know...".

A concurrent US release of Springfield's "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was preempted by the presence of Springfield's "Wishin' and Hopin'" in the US Top Ten over the summer of 1964. Springfield's "I Just Don't Know..." received a belated US release in October 1965 featured on a single with Springfield's current UK hit "Some of Your Lovin'"; that month Springfield made a promotional junket to the US which included performances of both of the single's tracks on the TV shows Hullabaloo and Shindig but neither side reached the Billboard Hot 100.

Dionne Warwick[edit]Edit

Dionne Warwick recorded "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" at Bell Sound Studios in August 1966 with Burt Bacharach producing; released that September the track was a moderate success reaching #26 on the Hot 100 (#20 R&B) with its strongest evident regional success in Detroit going Top Ten there. After "Message to Michael" and "Trains and Boats and Planes" Warwick's "I Just Don't Know..." was her third consecutive single release comprising a previously recorded Bacharach/David song and Warwick's next Top 40 single "Alfie" would also fit in this category; all four of these tracks were featured on Warwick's Here Where There Is Love album release of 1967.

White Stripes single track listing[edit]Edit


  1. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (BBC Radio 1 Evening Session) (Burt Bacharach, Hal David)
  2. "Who's to Say" (Dan Miller)
  3. "Lafayette Blues" (BBC Radio 1 Evening Session)
  4. "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman "(Live on the John Peel Show)


  1. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (BBC Radio 1 Evening Session)
  2. "Who's to Say"


  1. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (BBC Radio 1 Evening Session)
  2. "Who's to Say"
  3. "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman" (Live on the John Peel Show)


  1. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (audio only)
  2. "Lafayette Blues" (BBC Radio 1 Evening Session) (audio only)
  3. "Black Math" (Masonic Temple Theatre, 16 April 2003)

Other versions[edit]Edit

In October 1970 a Richard Perry-produced version of "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was released as the first solo single by Gary Puckett; primarily supported by Easy Listening radio, the track reached #61 on the Hot 100 in Billboard magazine whose Easy Listening chart afforded Puckett's "I Just Don't Know..." a #14 peak.

Marcia Hines reached #6 on the Australian Pop chart in 1976 with her recording of "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" produced by Robie Porter.

"I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" has also been recorded by Cissy Houston (1968), Isaac Hayes (1970), the Dells (1972), Elvis Costello & The Attractions(1978), Demis Roussos (1978), The Photos (featuring Wendy Wu) (1980), Linda Ronstadt (1994), the Stylistics (1991) and Steve Tyrell (2003). Trijntje Oosterhuis andTina Arena both released versions in 2007.

A French version of the song by Michèle Vendôme and Claude Carrère, "Oui, il faut croire", was released by yéyé-singer Sheila in 1964. An Italian translation by Franco Migliacci, "Se mi vuoi bene", has been recorded by Patty Pravo in 1968.

Although the recording year is unknown, a 2002 release of Smokey Robinson and the MiraclesAway We a Go-Go includes their version of "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself".

Also in 1997, the soundtrack to My Best Friend's Wedding included a version by Nicky Holland. In the film, Cameron Diaz sings the song in a karaoke scene.

In 2003, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was released as a single by the American alternative rock band The White Stripes. It was the second single from their album Elephant. The video for the White Stripes version is a black-and-white video featuring Kate Moss pole dancing and was directed by Sofia Coppola.

In 2006, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was performed and included in the soundtrack for Shout! The Mod Musical.

In 2011, Ronan Keating recorded the song for his album "When Ronan Met Burt".

In 2012, Melanie C recorded the song for her musical-theatre-inspired album Stages.

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