Morning of my fifteenth birthday
Shoplifting celebratory sweets from Safeway
No sooner have I left the supermarket
I get collared
Secret door, upstairs, check out my image on the multiple screens
The manager's mean - calls the police to the scene
I come clean - to no avail
Legs between my tail
The handcuffs hurt but I remember not to wail
Then to the pig pen
With a pair of big men
Lying on a blue mat
It's juts like PE - but much rougher
Third time here and I'm still not much tougher
Watch me suffer
Till about midday
When the Head Of Year's here and I'm on my way
Three hours late for my art GCSE
My cheeks burn red as the other kids stare at my
My Auntie Lexy's boyfriend the art teacher glares at me
Feels like nobody cares for me
I think carefully
I'm like, damn
Terrified of going back home to my Dad and my Mam
I'd only just regained their trust, understand
That's when I formulate a plan
At the end of the day, hey, I'm gonna run away
It's not that I wanna, I'm a gonner if I stay
So I polish off that red letter box
Then I'm off out of school
Doobleanga down to Bangor station hit the first train to Liverpool
I'm like, fuck it
Seven pound thirty in my pocket
The ticket costs five pound something so that doesn't leave much from the deal
So on arrival I'm a steal a meal
And a bible
Don't think I've ever been to Liverpoool before
But I'm OK on my own
Wandering alone
Blood Brothers is on and I've a plan to get a job
In the Burger King and rent a bedsit
Maybe next week
First though I've gotta find a place to sleep
I walk the streets
Meet - whores, randoms, children, finally find an abandoned building
Break in through a broken window
I step inside, smells like somebody died
Climb up these rickety stairs to find
Someone'd already been there
Needles and porn everywhere
Clumps of hair and a blanket, smashed glass, blood, and a tooth
Plus the place didn't have a roof
I curl up in a ball on the ground
Dream as the rain falls down.

Wake up, shivering, shuddering,
Just in the middle of dreaming about what could have been
Should have been blowing out candles
Should have been opening bangles
Instead I've been moping with vandals
Coping with thinking
Soaked to the bone and I'm stinking
Have a little moan then an inkling
How I can have a shower, like - cool!
Walk for about a half an hour then I find a swimming pool
In Liverpool - I rule!
No need to fool the lady at reception
No deception in my conversation, I just mention my situation
And the girl's like
Hey kid, you can have a shower for free
Here's some shampoo and a towel, you don't have to thank me
So I wash, then I scuttle off, ashamed of myself
Into town where I steal myself some breakfast off the shop shelf
M & S, concerned about my dress so I plan to steal some trousers and a shirt
This one's covered in dirt
But that won't hurt for the present
I scrawl "homeless" on some paper, sit my ass down on the pavement
And it's not pleasant begging
But some people seem to feel sorry for me sitting on the ground
One lovely lady gives me twenty pounds, a note
I practically gloat
Gather up my coat, and the paper that I wrote homeless on
Then on the W.H. Smiths, I steal some books, some graphic novels and some comics
And I spend the afternoon in Maccy D's,
Drinking milk shake, reading Spiderman and Tank Girl
And the former gives me my new name
Ben Riley
I figure that I'll shave my head, and maybe one day I'll do Kylie
Yeah I'm wiley and I'm optimistic, but here's the piss take
They kick me out of Maccy D's
And bugger me, it's freezing
So I find myself a pub, in there I buy myself a coke
I sit down at the back and I take of my steaming coat
The landlord and the regulars they seem to share a joke
They all laughing in my direction as I'm scheming and I hope they fucking choke
And die, I start to fucking cry
A wrinkly old lady wonders, and she asks me why
Pick up my steaming coat, and streaming eyes I run outside
Past some children to my building
I curl up on the ground and lie

As it was, I didn't last that long in Liverpool
And that's because I made a phonecall to a friend from school
No sooner had a I hung up, than a wagon pulled up
Shouted "ADAM!" and I turned around, a pair of coppers ran me down
I said, "my name's Ben Riley", but they didn't believe it
Drove me back to the station where I played to Jesus
And for a few hours, impatiently I waited
For my folks to drive from Anglesey to Liverpool to strangle me
I was as scared as I'd ever been
But my Mam and Dad cared, so I shouldn't have been
And that's the thing.

Published by BMG Music Publishing. Lyrics reprinted with permission.

Lyrics submitted by DaniC

Liverpool song meanings
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    General CommentThe first time I heard this, the lyrics just took my breath away.

    I'm not from Liverpool, but it's my spiritual home and I honestly felt like I was there with Akira as he told his story.
    What's more, he tells the story with a lot of honesty, humour and warmth. It's not a very cheery story, but the fact that such a bad situation can be turned into something of beauty... wow.
    selbydate16on June 28, 2012   Link

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