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"This Boy"

Categories: Beatles songs

"This Boy" was on the UK B-Side of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and was recorded during the same session, but is a different kettle of fish entirely. Far from the rollicking onslaught devised to wake up the U.S. of A, here we have a pensative acoustic ballad; laden with double-tracked doo-wop-cum-barber-shop harmonies.

And that's about it, really. As writer-in-chief John Lennon would later reflect, "Nothing in the lyrics... just a sound and a harmony". Very nice sound, very nice harmony, but — yes — very naff lyric!

This boy would be happy
Just to love you, but oh my-y-y-y,
That boy won't be happy
Till he's seen you cry-y-y-y...

Perhaps they should've just done a sex-change op on "to know, know, know him is to love, love, love him" by the Teddy Bears, which Paul cited as a big influence on the track, like they'd done for the Decca audition tape. Or perhaps George Martin's orchestral version, as heard in the A Hard Day's Night movie (subtitled "Ringo's Theme") would've sufficed...

Though not included on the single in America, where "Saw Her Standing" provided a feistier flipside, they were soon reunited on Meet The Beatles.
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