Written by: Luther Dixon & Wes Farrell
Released: March 22nd, 1963
Appears on: Please Please Me
Lead vocal: Ringo
You know how when you watch an old movie and you say to yourself (or the person you're watching the movie with) "They couldn't get away with that today"? For example, you watch the greatest movie ever made, Walt Disney's Pinocchio from 1940. Now, there is no way an animated, G-rated film today could possibly get away with showing children chewing and smoking tobacco and calling themselves jackasses.
In today's music world, there is no way possible that a rock group is going to cover a girl group song like "Boys". They could get away with songs like "Please Mr. Postman", "Chains" or "Baby It's You", but a song like "Boys" is not something a group today would touch. Granted, there's nothing in the song that could be taken as homosexual or anything if a man sings it, but who listens to lyrics anyway?
The song is just about what the singer has heard about what happens "when a boy kisses a girl". So, the singer could easily be male or female.
The original song was recorded by the Shirells, who also recorded "Baby It's You", and written by Luthor Dixon and Wes Farrell (who wrote "Come On, Get Happy" and "Hang On Sloopy"). The Beatles' version, which was recorded in one take during the marathon that gave us the whole album, was Ringo's debut song. During the Cavern days, it was Ringo's song, so they figured, why not give him a shot on the album. (Pete Best sang the song before Ringo joined and Ringo had made the song his own with Rory Storm & The Hurricanes.) It's a quick song, doing nothing really interesting to distinguish itself, but it is a fun, innocent little corner of Please Please Me.