Boudewijn De Groot — “Een Meisje Van 16/(A Young Girl of 16)”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 1, 2022

305) Boudewijn de Groot — “Een Meisje Van 16/(A Young Girl of 16)”

On the first day of this new year, I’d like to remind everyone that here at Off the Charts/Brace for the Obscure, it is always Groundhog Day, always the Sixties. So, on to our first song of the year, an oft-covered morality tale about an impressionable girl of 16 led astray by a seductive vagabond. This great song has a long pedigree beginning in 1951 as a French chanson. What I think is really interesting is that it was covered so often back in an era when rock stars notoriously had underage girlfriends or groupies. Didn’t it hit a little close to home? (see It is also strange that the song hasn’t experienced a resurgence of popularity in this era of Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

In any event, “Une Enfant” was written in French by the legendary Charles Aznavour and Robert Chauvigny, and the equally legendary Edith Piaf released its first recording in ‘51. Aznavour himself released a version in ‘55. The Dutch version was written by Lennaert Nijgh and the great Boudewijn De Groot (see #107, 161) was the first to release it (as a single in ‘65 and as a track on his first album in ‘66). The English version — ‘Young Girl” — was written by Oscar Brown, Jr. He released a recording in ‘63. Glenn Yarbrough and Noel Harrison (son of Rex) each released versions in ‘65. Harrison’s reached #51 on the Billboard pop chart in December of that year. Cher released a version the following year. Peter and Gordon had a version in ‘67 (which I don’t think is very good). (

I think De Groot’s infectious (yes, I know, a strange word for this song, but listen) version is the best of the 60’s.

Here is Edith Piaf:

Here is Charles Aznavour:

Here is Oscar Brown, Jr.:

Here is Noel Harrison:

Here is Cher:

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