As a footnote, legendary DJ John Peel rates this as his favourite song, and indeed 'probably the best record ever made'. Apparently, he cried when he first heard it.

Sharkey's desperate vocal delivery is part of the song's appeal; a second component is the fact that, apart from the squalling punk guitars, 'Teenage Kicks' could have been released at any point in the last half-century without sounding out of place. It could have been written by Buddy Holly, and has a deceptive simplicity to it that grows with time.

The well known lyrics:

I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

were originally slightly different...

I wanna hold it, wanna hold it tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

In the original version, the song suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. The guy is lusting after some young woman, but the desire is more hopeless than we realised. He is not really looking forward making sweet lurve with her, but to going home and masturbating.

The lyrics were, sadly, changed to the version we all know and love, reflecting the delicate sensibilities of the public.

Teenage Kicks is NOT a song about masturbation. John O'Neill, who wrote the song, is adamant that that is not the subject matter and to say it is derogatory. There has only ever been one version; what you hear is the original and only version. The lyrics were never changed. Sorry to spoil your illusion.

Andy Ferguson - Manager - The Undertones


Editor's note: This has been left here, despite its writeup-as-reply composition, as a fact check against TallRoo's writeup above.

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