Teen Angel (song)
Teen Angel by Mark Dinning - CD cover
|Single by Mark Dinning|
|B-side||"Bye Now Baby"|
|Format||7" Single (45 RPM)|
|Writer(s)||Jean Dinning, Red Surrey|
|Mark Dinning singles chronology|
"Teen Angel" is a teenage tragedy song written by Jean Dinning (1924–2011) and her husband, Red Surrey, and performed by both Jean's brother, Mark Dinning, and Alex Murray in 1959. "Teen Angel" was released in October 1959. The song was not an instant success, with radio stations in the U.S. banning the song. Despite the reluctance of radio stations, the song continued to climb the charts. In the last week of 1959, the single jumped from #100 to #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It went on to reach #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (February 1960) and number thirty-seven in the UK Singles Chart (even though it was banned from being played by the BBC).
The song is about a girl who is out on a ride with her boyfriend. Their car is stalled on a railroad track when he pulls her to safety. But when she runs back, she gets run over by a train. When they find her corpse, the narrator's high school class ring is in her hand, apparently the reason that she ran back. The last verse ends with the lyrics: "I'll never kiss your lips again/ They buried you today." The final time in the coda asks the Teen Angel to: "Answer me, Please?"
In 1974, the Canadian band, Wednesday, released its own version of "Teen Angel" much like it had released its own version of "Last Kiss". But rather than being a remake of the original, the storyline of the 1974 version reverses the role. After losing his girlfriend some time before, the 16-year-old boy loses his life in the same manner as the girl in the 1960 song (and the song in this case is narrated by a group of the boy's friends, rather than an individual).
It was also included in a medley by John Sebastian on his ""Cheapo Cheapo Productions" album (1971), though not credited in the sleevenotes.