I also dedicate today’s song to Nathan Mitten who also celebrates his birthday today. Nathan lives in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Have a nice birthday, Nathan.
Also, the life of my best friend Tony Walsh, who died a few days ago, will be celebrated when he is buried in Carrick-on-Suir this morning. I will put up a separate post for Tony this evening, but for this morning we celebrate the birthdays of Julie, Deborah, and Nathan.
My song today is ‘Little Children’. This song was written by J.Leslie McFarland and Mort Shuman. It was recorded by ‘Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas’ and reached Number 1 iun the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in March 1964, and Number 7 in the ‘US Hot 100 Singles Chart’ later the same year.
The lyric concerns a man's entreaties to his girlfriend's young siblings not to reveal his courtship of their elder sister and to leave them alone, at some points, even bribing them with things like ‘candy and a quarter’ and ‘a movie’, on the condition that they ‘keep a secret’.
When I was growing up during my romantic teenage years, all the things we got up to with our girlfriends (or should that be what we got down to?) were no different in essence than what young men and young women get up to today. The only difference today would be that whatever our girlfriend showed us in private would stay in our own minds alone and wouldn’t be stored in the memory bank of a mobile phone for private titillation at a later stage. Also, as mobile phones did not exist in the late 1950s and 1960s, there were no such things as ‘sex texting’ (sending sex messages to each other by mobile phones). Whatever secret message a young man and young woman communicated non-verbally was done by the written note or posted letter.
Once young teenage boys and girls start to physically develop, they soon advance beyond the exploratory stage of self-gratification and move towards the phase of forming emotional attachments. I never quite knew why teenagers feel things far more intensely than more mature adults, but I do know that unrequited love hurts all ages. Teenagers tend to fall in love more easily, and they also tend to fall harder. Consequently, should their romantic relationships break up, they hurt more than mature adults do. Their hearts are more fragile and are less able to withstand emotional disappointment and personal rejection. Young hearts break more easily and more often, as they are either living in raw despair or are floating on cloud nine.
In my courting days of the 1960s, there was little opportunity of courting indoors, unless it was done on the back row of the Picture House (that is the cinema for you young whippersnappers) where all manner of sexual exploration was concealed by pitch darkness, with the possible additional safeguard of a coat strategically positioned across the courting couple’s knees (in the event of the lights coming back on unexpectedly).
It was generally left to courting couples to find their own love nests somewhere outside. Locations of love often depended on the season of the year and the prevailing weather conditions. If it was a warm summer’s day, a couple’s first preference would be going a walk down the fields to examine nature close up. This might involve a closer examination of the soft ground in the long grass. During colder climate, young couples were often found sitting on a park bench or seen within a covered and isolated bus shelter, giving one’s breathless girlfriend a heart massage or rubbing Vic on her cold chest to make her feel warmer. One might sleepover at a friend’s house if your friend was of the same sex, but the only way an unengaged courting couple could stop in their parent’s house when mum and dad were out, would be if they asked their oldest daughter to babysit her younger siblings while the parents enjoyed much-needed time out together. Sometimes, a brave boyfriend would ‘call around’ ten minutes after her parents had gone out for a few hours, on the off chance his girlfriend would let him in.
In such circumstances where your girlfriend was supposed to supervise her younger siblings, or when they were proverbial pests and were requiring lots of attention, all that could be enjoyed between the courting couple was a snatched kiss when younger eyes weren’t watching, and were out of the room or engaged elsewhere. Of course, all boyfriends wanting more ‘time alone’ with their girlfriend in this situation would resort to the traditional bribe of sweets or the odd sixpence or shilling for younger children to play quietly in their bedroom for ten minutes.
As a rule though, when younger siblings were present, the courting couple would feel more frustrated than satisfied with having had their daily fix of teenage love put on hold.
Love and peace Bill xxx