When You Were Sweet Sixteen

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"When You Were Sweet Sixteen"
Cover, sheet music, 1898
Written by James Thornton
Published 1898
Language English

"When You Were Sweet Sixteen" is a popular song. It was written by James Thornton. The song was published in 1898. Its chorus:

I love you as I never lov'd before,
Since first I met you on the village green.
Come to me, e'er my dream of love is o'er.
I love you as I lov'd you
When you were sweet, when you were sweet sixteen.

The song was inspired by Thornton's wife, Bonnie, when she asked her husband if he still loved her. Thornton replied, "I love you like I did when you were sweet sixteen."[1]

The original sheet music attributed Bonnie Thornton, Raymon Moore, Helene Mora, and others as having sung the song with "great success"; however, the song has been recorded by many artists. One of the best-known versions of the song was made by Al Jolson in 1929. In 1938, it occurred in the movie Little Miss Broadway with a short solo by Shirley Temple. In 1946 it appeared in the film The Jolson Story, where Rudy Wissler's voice was used as young actor Scotty Beckett lyp-synched on screen as the young Al Jolson (though in the film's later scenes, Jolson was his own voice-double for actor Larry Parks). The song was changed to a different format and became the version that most people remember.[citation needed] The song was then recorded by Perry Como in 1947 and was a hit.

Recorded versions[edit]

Early recordings[edit]

After 1946[edit]

The 1947 revival of the song led to a number of artists recording it that year, including Jolson:


  1. ^ Jasen, David A. (2003). Tin Pan Alley: an Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song. Taylor & Francis. p. 389. ISBN 0-415-93877-5

External links[edit]

Lyrics with guitar chords and video http://unitedireland.tripod.com/id147.html