Patches (Dickey Lee song)

"Patches" is a song written by Barry Mann and Larry Kolber[1] and performed by Dickey Lee. The song was produced by Bill Hall and Jack Clement.[2] It was featured on his 1962 album The Tale of Patches.[3]

Single by Dickey Lee
from the album The Tale of Patches
B-side"More or Less"
ReleasedMay 1962 (1962-05)
GenrePop, teen tragedy song
Songwriter(s)Barry Mann, Larry Kolber
Producer(s)Bill Hall, Jack Clement
Dickey Lee singles chronology
"Life in a Teenage World"
"Walkin' Through a Cemetery"


The song tells the story of teenage lovers of different social classes whose parents forbid their love. The girl drowns herself in the "dirty old river." The singer concludes: "It may not be right, but I'll join you tonight/ Patches I'm coming to you." Because of the teen suicide theme, the song was banned by a number of radio stations. However, it sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[4]

Chart performanceEdit

It reached #6 on the U.S. pop chart and #10 on the U.S. R&B chart in 1962.[5] The song ranked #74 on Billboard magazine's Top 100 singles of 1962.[6]

Other versionsEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Dickey Lee, "Patches" Single Release". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Dickey Lee, The Tale of Patches". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 147–148. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^ "Dickey Lee, "Patches" Chart Positions". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1962", Billboard, Section II, December 29, 1962. p. 82. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "Browning Bryant, Patches". Retrieved March 6, 2019.