I first knew this song from the limited edition Big Star/Teenage Fanclub single released by the NME in 1991. Given Alex Chilton’s alleged predilection for under-age girls, it seems creepily appropriate that he chose to cover it.
This version, from 1967, was the B-side of Gary and The Hornets’ last single, Hi Hi Hazel. At the time of its recording, the three brothers who made up the group (Gary, Greg and Steve Calvert), were, respectively, eleven, fourteen and seven years old. So they were, unlike Chilton, perfectly within their rights to declare their love for Patty, the twelve-year-old girl of the song’s title.
It’s a very sweet, meandering recording that wears its naivete on its sleeve, sounding like a group of young kids trying to be The Monkees. Perfect.