Boys

Please Please Me album artworkWritten by: Luther Dixon/Wes Farrell
Recorded: 11 February 1963
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 22 March 1963 (UK), 22 July 1963 (US)

Ringo Starr: vocals, drums
John Lennon: backing vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar

Available on:
Please Please Me
Anthology 1
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2

Boys was Ringo Starr’s vocal spotlight on the Please Please Me album. It was recorded in a single take on 11 February 1963, and marked the drummer’s first recorded lead vocal.

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The song was written for the US girl group The Shirelles, and was originally the b-side of their November 1960 single Will You Love Me Tomorrow. The Beatles also recorded The Shirelles’ Baby It’s You for Please Please Me.

Boys was part of The Beatles’ live set from 1961. It had been performed by Pete Best prior to Ringo joining, and remained the band’s main ‘drummer spot’ until 1964.

That the song was knocked off so quickly in the studio is testament to The Beatles’ tightness as a live act – little preparation was needed, since Ringo had performed Boys during his time with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

The Beatles apparently didn’t consider the lyrical connotations.

Ringo always used to do a song in the show. Back then he had Boys. It was a little embarrassing because it went, ‘I’m talking about boys – yeah, yeah – boys’. It was a Shirelles hit and they were girls singing it, but we never thought we should call it Girls, just because Ringo was a boy. We just sang it the way they’d sung it and never considered any implications.
Paul McCartney
Anthology

A version of Boys, recorded for the April 1964 TV special Around The Beatles, appeared on the Anthology 1 album.

The Beatles also recorded Boys seven times for BBC radio, none of which were included on Live At The BBC. All bar one of the versions was performed in 1963; the other was from 17 July 1964.

Lyrics

I been told when a boy kiss a girl
Take a trip around the world
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m’bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m’bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m’bop bop shuop)
Yeah, she say ya do (Bop shuop)

My girl says when I kiss her lips
Gets a thrill through her fingertips
Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey, yeah, she say you do

Well, I talk about boys (yeah, yeah, boys)
Don’t you know I mean boys (yeah, yeah, boys)
Well, I talk about boys, now (yeah, yeah, boys)
Aaahhh, boys (yeah, yeah, boys)
Well, I talk about boys, now (yeah, yeah, boys)
What a bundle of joy! (yeah, yeah, boys)
Alright, George!

My girl says when I kiss her lips
Gets a thrill through her fingertips
Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey, yeah, she say you do

Well, I talk about boys
Don’t ya know I mean boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
Aaahhh, boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
What a bundle of joy!

Oh, oh, ah yeah boys
Don’t you know I mean boys?
Ooh, boys
Ah ha
Well I talk about boys now
Ah, boys

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6 Responses to “Boys”

  1. M. Whitener

    Good energy track, which strangely, it seems only Ringo could do (no disrespect to Ring, lol). Not sure why this obvious lyrical flub wasn’t changed, but man, he was really confident delivering this one. I wonder what guys in the crowd were thinking, or if this was some early Beatle hazing too.

    Reply
  2. FrankDialogue

    Ringo was a fine lead singer when given the spotlight.

    Not a writer, but definitely underrated as a singer.

    Yeah.

    Reply
  3. Bill

    Hope Ringo doesn’t still do this song with his All-Star Band. Sorry, but there’s something really creepy about a 72-year old man with an earring, flashing a peace sign (seriously!) & talkin’ ’bout “Boys”…

    Reply
    • jenny wren

      i always think the same about paul mccartney and “i saw her standing there”… “she was just seventeen, you know what i mean” !?!?!? he maybe should change it into “seventy” ;)

      Reply
    • Darrin J. King

      Man Bill. . . you are too funny. I know, Huh? I always thought the words were just a little
      “uneasy” . . . I think Of Herbert from Family Guy as he looks at Chris. Lol.

      Reply

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