Replacements – Sixteen Blue

Sixteen Blue was inspired by bassist Tommy Stinson. Tommy played his first gig with the Replacements in June of 1980 when he was just 13. The other members were 5-6 years older than Tommy.

Westerberg had witnessed how Stinson had been forced to grow up way faster than most kids, yet still faced the typical teenage issues and doubts. Westerberg also said it was about his lonely teenage years.

The song is on their Let It Be album released in 1984. Let It Be was the first of a three album stretch (Let It Be, Tim, Please To Meet Me) that they are probably best remembered for today.

Peter Jesperson (manager): “Hearing it the first time they did it, at a sound check in Boston, I thought, Jesus, he’s written a song about Tommy.”“Tommy was kind of the mascot of the band, and Paul had written about him in songs before. But this wasn’t just some goofy thing. This was serious and tender.”

Paul Westerberg on why they named the album Let It Be

“We were riding around . . . kicking around silly [album] names and we thought, ‘The next song that comes on the radio, we’ll name it after that.”

“We peed our pants [laughing], and Peter (manager and Beatles fan) is at the wheel, silent as hell, thinking, ‘They’re not going to do this, ““We did it pretty much to piss him off and pretty much to show the world, in a Ramones kind of way, how dumb-smart we were. . . . Just to figure how many feathers we can ruffle.”

Sixteen Blue

Drive yourself right up the wall
No one hears and no one calls
It’s a boring state
It’s a useless wait, I know

Brag about things you don’t understand
A girl and a woman, a boy and a man
Everything is sexually vague
Now you’re wondering to yourself
If you might be gay

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
One day, baby, maybe help you through
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue

Drive your ma to the bank
Tell your pa you got a date
You’re lying, now you’re lying on your back

Try to figure out, they wonder what next you’ll pull
You don’t understand anything sexual
I don’t understand
Tell my friends I’m doing fine

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You’re looking funny
You ain’t laughing, are you?
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue