“You’re Sixteen” is a song written by the Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman). It was first performed by American rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette, whose version peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1960 and number 3 in the U.K. in 1961.The original 1960 version of “You’re Sixteen” by Johnny Burnette is featured prominently on the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of the film American Graffiti. Ringo Starr made this song a hit in 1973, his version featuring a “kazoo solo” by fellow ex-Beatles band-mate Paul McCartney.
I have always enjoyed this ukulele version of the song, in the Key of F. Since the songs starts out low and goes up high while singing, I have found the Key of F to be the most comfortable for my singing voice. I have come across it, unfortunately in a group strum situation, in the Key of C, and found it positively unbearable to sing. It was too uncomfortable in the lower octave, and un-managable singing higher in C. My advice to those who wish to transpose the key of this song: if the Key of F is too low for you, try transposing up one Key to G, and vice versa. Another likeable thing about the Key of F, is that the chords swing around the lowest 3 frets on the neck. And also it is a great way to learn that Bb chord and really practice it: you only have to play it once per verse! Ukulele players who enjoy fancy endings will appreciate the quick down-up played on E6 followed by F6, illustrated in the PDF attached to this post.
You’re Sixteen – Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman, 1960
You come [F] on like a dream, [A7] peaches and cream,
[Bb] lips like strawberry [F] wine.
You’re six-[G7]teen, you’re [C] beautiful and you’re [F] mine. [C7 for 4 beats]
You’re all [F] ribbons and curls, [A7] ooo what a gurl,
[Bb] eyes that sparkle and [F] shine.
You’re six-[G7]teen, you’re [C] beautiful and you’re [F] mine. [F7 for 4 beats]
[A7] You’re my baby, you’re my pet, [D7] we fell in love on the night we met.
You [G7] touched my hand, my heart went “pop”,
[C7 – stop] OOO when we kissed, we could not stop!
You walked [F] out of my dreams and [A7] into my arms,
[Bb] now you’re my angel di-[F]vine.
You’re six-[G7]teen, you’re [C] beautiful and you’re [F] mine. [D7 for 4 beats]
(higher) You’re six-[G7]teen, you’re [C] beautiful and you’re [F] mine. [D7 for 4 beats]
All [G7] mine, all [C] mine, all [F-5 strums] mine! [E6][F6]-down strum on E6, up
strum on F6
(E6= barr across fourth fret, F6=barr across fifth fret)