"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.
The Beatles version
The Beatles covered "Boys" on their first album released in the UK, Please Please Me. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on February 11, 1963 in a single take, and is Ringo Starr's first recorded lead vocal with the Beatles. February 11 was a marathon day for the Beatles; they recorded 10 of the 14 tracks they needed for Please Please Me. The Beatles included two songs by the Shirelles on their first album, "Boys" and "Baby It's You."
In the early 1960s, the Beatles didn't concern themselves about the possible homosexual connotations in singing a song about boys, although the Beatles altered the gender pronouns employed on the Shirelles' version (i.e. "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."
"Boys" had always been the Beatles' 'drummer' song during their Cavern days, the drummer then being Pete Best. 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 same microphone.
* Ringo Starr – drums, lead vocal
* John Lennon – rhythm guitar, backing vocal
* Paul McCartney – bass guitar, backing vocal
* George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocal
Album: Please Please Me
Released: March 22, 1963 (mono), April 26, 1963 (stereo)
Recorded: February 11, 1963
Writer: Luther Dixon/Wes Farrell
Producer: George Martin