Local Boy In The Photograph

Album: Word Gets Around (1997)
Charted: 14

Songfacts®:

  • The song originated from a newspaper article about a boy from Flint in North Wales, who committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. Lead singer Kelly Jones, who knew the boy, was moved by the news and the picture that appeared on the front page of the local newspaper and turned the story into a song. Speaking on the UK program Songbook, Jones explained: "I used to play county football, and there was a kid that used to play right back. I got to know him pretty well - he was a good looking kid who had it all. A few years later we found out he jumped in front of a train. There was a picture of him in the local paper, it was a picture of him smoking a joint, actually. That's the picture they used and he was the local boy in the photograph. I'd never known anybody our age to do that, to end his life.

    It was more about celebrating his life than his death, really, about the kid sitting on the bench drinking, with the imagery of the seasons and the clock going back and I think that descriptive writing is what people would stop and listen to." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Fintan - Manchester, England
  • The song has been a fan favorite for many years. Kelly Jones told HMV.com: "When I wrote 'Local Boy In The Photograph' sitting on my bedroom floor when I was 18 years old I didn't imagine I'd have 50,000 people singing it back to me."

Comments: 6

  • Paul from Aberdare, United KingdomPaul was in fact my best friend. He lived with myself and my mum for months although we had drifted apart. That day I was in a queue for dole, I turned to leave and there was bunter (that's my pet name for him) "Beam", he says,"Can you wait for me?". I said "no probs bud" deep down it was great to see him. Long story short he had to go to police station, a certain person playing mind games with him and we had a chat and I went to police station and promised I'd wait til he came out. After arguing with police officers who said they weren't going to leave him out I left after a couple of hours. Later finding out he was left out 10 minutes after I left. That night a friend told me Boggis had been hit by a train and the irony is, it was the train my mother was on coming home from Cardiff. I miss him.
  • Sarah from Aberdare, United Kingdomthat song fact is wrong this song was written about my cousin paul boggis who was killed by a train between aberdare and cwmbach in south wales and was not suicide.
  • Karl from Ingatestone, United KingdomI'm pleased that Kelly Jones turned that story into a song, i mean that'll be like Zach De La Rocha turning the Teletubbies song into a political rock anthem
  • Becky from Coventry, EnglandActually this song was written about a friend of the bands who killed himself on a train track. we were at the V Festival on the 10th anniversary of the guys death and the 'phonics played this track and announced the anniversary. it was so moving!
  • Derek from Bridgeport, WvThe thing I really like about this song is the narrative of the boy's friends' memorials and actions in regards to him. It's what gives the song depth, and I still think it's one of their very best.
  • Mia from Wellston, MiThat is so sad. i am i love with this song . and when i hear it i cry.
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