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Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

To your soul
To your soul

[Verse 1]
You leave in the morning with everything you own in a little black case
Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain on a sad and lonely face

[Verse 2]
Mother will never understand why you had to leave
But the answers you seek will never be found at home
The love that you need will never be found at home

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

[Verse 3]
Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy
You were the one that they'd talk about around town as they put you down

[Verse 4]
And as hard as they would try they'd hurt to make you cry
But you never cried to them, just to your soul
No, you never cried to them, just to your soul

"Smalltown Boy" is the debut single by British synth-pop band Bronski Beat, released in May 1984. It is from their debut album, The Age of Consent, released in December 1984. The song was a big commercial success, reaching number 3 in the band's native UK. It was also a number one hit in the Netherlands and Belgium, and hit the top 10 in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and West Germany. The track reached number 48 in the US pop chart and was a number one US dance hit. A remix of the song by Stephen Hague was released as a single on 24 December 1990. The song was released again in December 2013 after featuring in a Christmas advertising campaign for Boots UK. "Smalltown Boy" was also re-recorded by Jimmy Somerville and released as "Smalltown Boy Reprise" (2014) for the 30th anniversary of its initial release. An official music video made by Bernard Rose was shot and released later in 1984. The narrative video features band member Jimmy Somerville as the boy who has experienced the issues described in the lyrics. Seen on a train, he is contemplating his childhood through flashbacks and the events that have caused him to leave his parents' home. At a swimming pool, his friends (played by band members Larry Steinbachek and Steve Bronski) dare him to approach a boy that he is attracted to, for which he is later attacked in an alley by an anti-homosexual gang led by the young man he had approached at the swimming pool. A police officer takes him back to his home. It is implied that the boy's parents learn of his homosexuality for the first time through this incident and are shocked, but only the father seems unsupportive. The boy is then shown hugging his mother goodbye and getting some travel money from the father. The boy reaches his hand out to shake his father's but his father does not return it. After, the boy catches a train to London, on which he is reunited with his friends. Time Out ranked "Smalltown Boy" number 12 in their list of The 50 Best Gay Songs to Celebrate Pride All Year Long in 2022. They added, By incorporating unapologetic LGBTQ themes into their sleek synth-pop hits, Bronski Beat were true pioneers – and this 1984 classic is their most transcendent moment. Frontman Jimmy Somerville, in a sensitive falsetto, sings about a lad who flees hometown bullying — 'Run away, turn away' is the recurring refrain — against a steady, reassuringly numb background of rhythm and synthesiser. This song takes the pain of rejection and makes it danceable. "Smalltown Boy" peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart in the Winter of 1985.

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