When You Were Sweet Sixteen
|"When You Were Sweet Sixteen"|
Cover, sheet music, 1898
|Written by||James Thornton|
- I love you as I never lov'd before,
- Since first I met you on the village green.
- Come to me, or 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."
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. The song was then recorded by Perry Como in 1947 and was a hit.
- George J. Gaskin (1900)
- Jere Mahoney (1900)
- Henry Macdonough (1901)
- J. W. Myers (1901)
- Al Jolson (1929)
- Perry Como's recording of April 10, 1947 was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-2259. The record first reached the Billboard magazine charts on August 16, 1947 and lasted 12 weeks on the chart, peaking at #2. The song was one side of a two-sided hit; the flip side, "Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)," reached #1. The record was also released, with the same flip side, in the United Kingdom, by HMV with catalog number BD-1180. It was re-released in the USA in 1949 as a 78rpm single (catalog number 20-3300-A) and a 45rpm single (catalog number 47-2888), with the flip side "Song of Songs."
The 1947 revival of the song led to a number of artists recording it that year, including Jolson:
- Al Jolson (re-recording June 18, 1947, Decca Records, catalog number 24106)
- The Mills Brothers (1947)
- Dick Jurgens and his Orchestra (vocal: Jimmy Castle) (1947)
- Steve Conway (April 5, 1948, released by UK Columbia as catalog number FB-3398)
- Josef Locke (April 16, 1948, released by UK Columbia as catalog number DB-2409)
- Joe Loss and his Orchestra with vocal by Howard Jones. Recorded in London on March 11, 1948. It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label BD 6007.
- The Chordettes (1950)
- The Ink Spots (1959)
- The Fureys with Davey Arthur, who took it to number 14 in the UK in October 1981
- Glen Campbell on his 1985 album It's Just a Matter of Time
- Barry Manilow, on his 2010 album The Greatest Love Songs of All Time
- Daniel O'Donnell, on his 2011 album Moon Over Ireland
Lyrics with guitar chords and video http://unitedireland.tripod.com/id147.html