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Bad Boy by The Beatles

Album: Beatles VIReleased: 1965
  • This song was written and originally recorded by Larry Williams, a black Rock singer who John Lennon admired. The song is about a rebellious kid who love Rock And Roll. The Beatles chose the song because they thought it fit them very well. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Gordo - hershey, PA
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Comments: 12

One of the two songs they recorded that always reminded me of John. It's my second fav vocal of his, Leave My Kitten Alone is the first. Only problem I ever had with it was understanding some of the words.Jennifur Sun - Ramona
Some serious rock n roll guitar there!! Between George's guitar and John singing, they played the hell out of this one!Stevie - Weehawken, Nj
Can we fix some problems with the lyrics, please?

Here's Larry Johnson's original:

A bad little kid moved into my neighborhood.
He won't do nothing right, his report card don't look so good.
He don't want to go to school and learn to read and write.
Just sits around the house and plays that rock and roll music all night.
Well, he put thumb tacks on teacher's chair,
Put chewing gum in little girl's hair.
Now, junior, behave yourself!

He buys every rock and roll book on the magazine stand.
Every dime that he gets, he's off to the jukebox, man.
Well, he worries his teacher till at night she's a-ready to poop.
From rocking and a-rolling, spinning in a hula hoop.
Well this rock and roll has got to stop,
Junior's head is hard as rock,
Now, junior, behave yourself!

Gonna tell your mama you better do what she said:
Get to the barber shop and get that hair cut off your head.
He took his pet canary and he fed it to the neighbor's cat.
You gave the cocker spaniel a bath in mother's laundromat.
Well, this modern mess has gotta stop,
Junior's head is hard as rock.
Now, junior, behave yourself!

The clarifications:

Of course, it's thumb tacks!

He's off to the jukebox with those dimes, not losing them to
a "jukebox man" -- something that doesn't exist! lol

Poop, as in "pooped out" I believe. Tired. Worn out, even!

No canaries were thrown! He took it and fed it to the neighbor's cat is all.

Lastly, "Well, mama's head has got to stop" doesn't even make sense!

You can hear Larry's original version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQRbeunfbDE


Lennon's mistakes:

Since John often muffed the lyrics to his own songs, I think he does that a couple of times here.

Sounds like he just loses his way on the second line, and muddles through it, but gets back on track by the end. "just sitting down and looks so good"??? I don't think so. I mean, he isn't clear, and people at least tried to figure out what he said, but with every other line copied from Larry Williams' original, I don't think he sang, "just sitting down and looks so good" instead. I believe he blew it! And they didn't bother to fix it.

And he stumbles at the start of the line about the pet canary.

I hope you like this. At least you can stop singing about mama's head at the end! Haha!
Cachiva - Houston
Also, I have read that this song and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" were recorded by The Beatles in May 1965 for the U .S. market, apparently for the upcoming album "Beatles VI" in the U.S. But then "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" also went onto the British "Help!" album, and "Bad Boy" wasn't released in England until the Christmastime 1966 "oldies" album.Carl - Apg, Md
Yes, there was a Beatles "oldies" album in the UK in Dec. 1966; it was apparent there would be no new Beatles album out then. That was the 1st BRITISH appearance of Beatles' version of "Bad Boy", after "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" (also a Larry Williams song) had appeared on British "Help!" album. Both songs had already been on U.S. "Beatles VI" album.Carl - Apg, Md
I just LOOOOVE John's vocals in this song. Like Bianca said, I love it how he says 'Now Jr. BE-HAVE yourself'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Julia - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Even though it wasn't written by any of the Beatles,their version of it is phenominal,they put their own stamp on it.This sounds like real rock and roll the way it was intended to be,and the sound of Lennon's voice makes it all work out right.George - Belleville, Nj
I didn't know whether John actually said "poop" or not. So I had to come on here just to make sure... I found out he acutally said "poop" and, well, I laughed. The ONLY Beatles song to have the word "poop" in it... wow.Chanel - Somewhere, Wa
Bad Boy is the only Beatles song that includes the word "poop". Look it up.Forrest - Rochester, Mn
Finally someone who agrees!!!!!!!Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
I lOVE when John at the end say "now Jr. BE-have yourself"
LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IR LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
I heard this on the "Oldies but Goldies" album, from 1966, and it's one of my favorite Beatles cover. I like especially Lennon's voice.Eduardo - San Jose, Other
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