Ask any queer person to name their favorite pride anthem and they’ll rattle off countless songs recorded by artists ranging from Judy Garland to Lady Gaga, plus you’ll likely hear the title of virtually every song recorded during the disco era. Then there’s “Smalltown Boy,” the Bronski Beat’s 1984 plaintive wail against bullying and homophobic oppression. Except for The Smiths’ entire library, has any song ever encapsulated the loneliness felt by LGBT teens as they’re trying to make their way to adulthood? The band’s vocalist Jimmy Somerville recently recorded a reprise of the 1984 classic and his beautiful, soaring tenor is still intact.
Listen to Somerville’s remake below and then scroll down for other versions.
Here’s the original video, which makes the queer-themed storyline crystal clear.
Last October, Somerville surprised a busker in Berlin by joining him for an acoustic rendition of the song.