Just happened to stumble across this song in an 80’s music video montage. The lyrics describe a young man who leaves home because he’s unhappy with his life. He’s an outcast who gets beaten up and ridiculed. His parents don’t understand his pain. Therefore, he decides to runaway from everything with just a suitcase in hand and hopes to find an answer to the emptiness he feels.
The official video (shown above) illustrates the lyrics well and that’s why it got my attention. I wondered if the singer wrote it about himself or about someone else. Is he the one in the video? Time for research…
Smalltown Boy was released in June of 1984 from the band’s debut album, The Age of Consent. The single spent 16 weeks on Billboard making #48 on the Hot 100. After the release of this album, lead singer, Jimmy Somerville left the band in 1985.
This lyrics address key issues in the LGBT culture in the 1980’s. It’s touches on family rejection, loneliness, and bullying due to an unacceptance and fear from society.