The Paul McCartney Project

Boys

Written by Luther DixonWes Farrell

Album This song officially appears on the Please Please Me (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1963
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Boys” is a song by Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell, originally performed by The Shirelles and released as the B-side of their “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” single in November 1960. It was covered by The Beatles and included on their first album released in the United Kingdom, Please Please Me (1963).

The Beatles’ version

The Beatles’ version was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on February 11, 1963, in a single take, and is Ringo Starr’s first recorded lead vocals with the Beatles; and, as the fifth track on the Beatles first album, Please Please Me, represents the first time many fans heard Starr singing on a lead vocal. February 11 was a marathon day for the Beatles, as they recorded 10 of the 14 tracks they needed for Please Please Me. The band covered an additional song by the Shirelles on their first album, “Baby It’s You“.

The Beatles did not concern themselves about possible homosexual undertones that go with singing a song about boys, although they altered the gender pronouns employed on the Shirelles’ version (e.g. “My girl says when I kiss her lips…“). In an October 2005 Rolling Stone interview, Paul McCartney stated: “Any one of us could hold the audience. Ringo would do ‘Boys’, which was a fan favourite with the crowd. And it was great — though if you think about it, here’s us doing a song and it was really a girls’ song. ‘I talk about boys now!’ Or it was a gay song. But we never even listened. It’s just a great song. I think that’s one of the things about youth — you just don’t give a shit. I love the innocence of those days.” (The lyrics talk specifically about a boy kissing a girl, not another boy.)

McCartney also said: “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. From Anthology.)

Boys” had always been the Beatles’ ‘drummer’ song during their Cavern days – Pete Best sang it then. “Boys” was their main ‘drummer’ song until 1964. Coincidentally, Starr also sang this for his solo spot with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes; Cilla Black would sometimes join him on stage, sharing the microphone. Best would release his own version of the song in 1965.

Their cover of the song is playable on The Beatles: Rock Band video game.

On February 9, 2014, Ringo sang and played drums on “Boys” as part of the finale on the CBS 50th-anniversary special of the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan appearance (February 9, 1964).

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1202 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing 1963.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46435 2 Please Please Me 1987.
  • [b] stereo 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3042 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJSR 1062 Introducing 1963.
  • [b1] stereo remixed from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol ST 2309 The Early 1965.
  • [b2] mono made from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol T 2309 The Early 1965.
  • [b3] stereo remixed from [b] 1976.
    US: Capitol SKBO-11537 Rock and Roll Music 1976.

Last updated on February 7, 2016

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

Officially appears on


Please Please Me (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:24 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Please Please Me (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:24 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:27 • Studio versionB2 • Mono • Mono made from [B]

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:27 • Studio versionB1 • Stereo remix from [B] by Capitol

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl

Official live • Released in 1977

2:12 • LiveL1

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Mastering, Remix engineer
Voyle Gilmore:
Producer
Wally Traugott:
Mastering

Concert From the concert in Los Angeles, USA on Aug 23, 1964

Session Mixing:
January 1977
Studio:
AIR Studios, London, UK


Anthology 1

Official album • Released in 1995

1:50 • OuttakeL2

Terry Johnson:
Engineer
Jack Good:
Producer

Session Recording:
Apr 19, 1964
Studio:
IBC Studios, London, UK


Baby It's You

EP • Released in 1995

2:29 • Radio showL3

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jun 25, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:13 • LiveL4

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Sep 17, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

1:53 • LiveL5

Concert From "Side By Side" in London, United Kingdom on May 13, 1963


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

2:29 • Radio showL3 • The Shirelles’ original was the flip-side of the biggest of their three British hits - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". The single topped the American charts - one of 22 pop hits scored by The Shirelles in the States. This Pop Go The Beatles recording was released in 1995 on an EP of four BBC performances called "Baby It’s You".

Ringo Starr:
Vocals
Terry Henebery:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jun 25, 1963


Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:57 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:31 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:33 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 3

Unofficial album

2:29 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 7

Unofficial album

2:13 • Radio show


Live performances

“Boys” has been played in 49 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Boys” has been played


From Us To You

Aug 03, 1964 • Part of BBC Sessions


Around The Beatles

Apr 19, 1964 • United Kingdom • London • IBC Studios • TV show






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