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"Little Children"
Single by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas
from the album Little Children
B-side "They Remind Me Of You"
(Maxfield/McDonald) (UK)
"Bad to Me"
(Lennon/McCartney) (US)
Released 1964, October 1987 (reissue)
Label Parlophone R5105[1]
Songwriter(s) J. Leslie McFarland, Mort Shuman[1]
Producer(s) George Martin[1]

"Little Children" is a song written by J. Leslie McFarland and Mort Shuman.[1] It was recorded by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in March 1964,[1] and No. 7 in the US Hot 100 singles chart later the same year.[2] The B-side of "Little Children" in the U.S., "Bad to Me" (which had previously been an A-side in the UK which made No. 1 there in August 1963) peaked at No. 9 on the US charts simultaneously to the success of "Little Children" there.

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". As such, it was a departure from the traditional love songs previously recorded by Kramer (sometimes supplied by Lennon & McCartney).[3] When offered another Lennon and McCartney song, "One and One Is Two", for his next single by the manager of both groups, Brian Epstein, Kramer turned it down and chose "Little Children" instead, after a search for suitable material from music publishers.


  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 77. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 353. 
  3. ^ "Little Children: Song review". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
Preceded by
"Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Cilla Black
UK number-one single
March 19, 1964 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles


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