Fab Social Links

by Pat Matthews

I was trying to come up with a more interesting title to this piece….to no avail. So, I think I’m going to run with the one I have. Hopefully, I have your attention by now. I received several e-mails here at the Beatles-A-Rama!!! studios pertaining to a song we play, “You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful And You’re Mine)”. The people who wrote were complaining about the lyrics pointing to the current controversy in Alabama regarding Senate candidate Roy Moore. Hmmmmmm….I thought about it for a second. Indeed, Ringo was 33 years old when he recorded it…and he is sining about a 16 year old girl. The similarities are stunning! So, then I thought there is a lot more to this and I’ve only scratched the surface.

 

Not since his Beatle band mate, Sir Paul McCartney penned “I Saw Her Standing There” or “Seventeen” as the group referred to it in the early days, had there been such controversy. However, if you look at the date of when the song was written (October 23, 1962) when Paul was 20 years old…it would not have seemed so scandalous for a man/boy his age to speak spouting about a teen aged lassie. But, Ringo at 33 and even the late Johnny Burnette, the song’s composer at 26, must have been a little bit red-faced to be singing about some girl so many years their junior! Take a look at the lyrics and let us know what you think.



 

You come on like a dream, peaches and cream
Lips like strawberry wine
You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine
You’re all ribbons and curls, ooh, what a girl
Eyes that sparkle and shine
You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine
You’re my baby, you’re my pet
We fell in love on the night we met
You touched my hand, my heart went pop
Ooh, when we kissed I could not stop
You walked out of my dreams and into my arms
Now you’re my angel divine
You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine



I mean…REALLY! Can you imagine if that song were just written and released today? The discs that would “get out” before the recall would have truly been collector’s items! Now, on to another song that would make the hand-wringers squeamish. It’s “Only Sixteen” by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show from 1976 (boy something about those Seventies to allow such inappropriateness!). Take a look at these lyrics:
She was only sixteen, only sixteen
But I loved her so
But she was too young to fall in love
And I was too young to knowWe’d laugh and we’d sing, and do funny things
And it made our hearts glow
But she was too young to fall in love
And I was too young to knowSo why did I give my heart so fast, it never will happen again
But I was a mere child of sixteen, I’ve aged a year since thenShe was only sixteen, only sixteen
Ooh with eyes that would glow
But she was too young to fall in love
And I was too young to know

So why did I give my heart so fast, it never will happen again
But I was a mere child of sixteen, I’ve aged a year since then

Now she was only sixteen, only sixteen
Ooh but I loved that girl so
But she was too young to fall in love
And I was too young to know

Yes she was too young to fall in love
And I, I was too young, I was much too young to know

 

     Now what’s that about? Ray Sawyer, lead singer of Dr. Hook, was born in 1933! Man, he was almost as old as the actor who played Paul McCartney’s grandfather in A Hard Day’s Night. That was way too old to be singing about chaste love. He was forty-three! Yikes!
The man who penned the song, Sam Cooke, was born in 1931. The song was released in May of 1959. Man oh man! He was 28 at the time. That’s pushing the envelope. By the way, to make it all more creepy, “Only Sixteen” was inspired by the sixteenth birthday of Lou Rawls‘ stepsister, Eunice. What’s goin’ on there?
      So I hope you get the point. And I’d like to thank the two ladies who sent the e-mails to bring this all to my attention. Most of all, I’d like to thank them for being regular listeners of beatlesarama.com. You should, too!
     Next time we’ll dig deeper into Neil Sedaka’s timeless classic “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen”.

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Posted by ffrannkk