"Local Boy In The Photograph" as written by Kelly Jones, Stuart Cable and Richard Mark Jones....
There's no mistake
I smell that smell
It's that time of year again
I can taste the air
Clocks go back railway track
Something blocks the line again
And the train runs late for the first time

A pebble beach, we're underneath a pier, just been painted red
Where I hear the news for the first time
And all the friends lay down the flowers
Sit on the banks and drink for hours
Talk of the way they saw him last
Local boy in the photograph
He'll always be twenty three
Yet the train runs on and on
Past the place they found his clothing

There's no mistake
I smell that smell
It's that time of year again
I can taste the air
The clocks go back railway track
Something blocks the line again
And the train runs late for the first time

And all the friends lay down the flowers
Sit on the banks and drink for hours
Talk of the way they saw him last
Local boy in the photograph
Today, is gone away


Lyrics submitted by Nelly

"Local Boy In the Photograph" as written by Richard Mark Jones Kelly Jones

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Local Boy In The Photograph song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentye one of their friends killed himself by jumpng infront of a train. my fave stereos song, awesum.
    x
    Chad_Is_Godon June 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah I think somebody died, and it wasn't suicide. All of the friends gather round every year to think about all the good times that they had with the lad that died. 'He'll always be 23' kinda sums up that he'll always be the same to his friends and beacuse he's dead he can never get older. Kinda sad, but such a fantastic song nevertheless :)
    butterflykiss84on August 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyes this is about a local boy from cwmaman who everybody knew. kelly told him the train times when he was working on the market and the next he knew his body was found on the train line. its basically an elegy to him and the boys parents place high regard for the song. a wonderful song and a beautiful tribute.
    johnson1506on June 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the song's about Richie Edwards, former guitarist of the manics. The train is the manics, the friends are the fans. It makes much more sense than Kelly's tale re a train victim, why the line "the place they found his clothing"?!
    Tomaszon October 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about a lad being killed, possibly due to a suicide.

    I think what is more important about this song is that it shows that even in death, there is some kind of joy. A sense of hope... of the human spirit. In that this lad died, but his friends can remember all the good things about him. That's what makes this one of the greatest songs' ever written in my opinion. The lyrics and the melody are just amazing.

    Truly the Stereophonics at their best.
    IrisOfFireon February 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is about a suicide not an accident, hence the line "Past the place they found his clothing".
    I remember reading that this was about a local 22 year old, though 23 obviously fitter better. Incredibly powerful line "He'll always be twenty-three / Yet the train runs on and on", but the song is full of them.
    I also remember reading that the pier had been repainted, so I'm not sure if that's a reference to his blood or not.
    "Local boy in the photograph" is a reference to his picture in the papers after his death.
    It must have happened at the end of BST in late October as "Clocks go back".
    Awesome song that always gives me goosebumps.
    PeterPumkinheadon March 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomebody died here, suicide or accident? one of stereophonics' best. Sad lyrics, great music made by the best band ever!
    desperado_88on July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit is about suicide, its about a guy kelly actually knew, he jumped infront of a train. it was from when kelly worked on a market stall and the guy came to ask if he knew the train times. its the body blocking the train lines and the blood is whats painting the everything red. quite a morbid sad song, but still brilliant, an anthem of life.
    flapdoodleon September 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with "flapdoodle"and is definatly about an unfortunate suicide about a popular local boy who was always in the photograph
    songbirdon September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI doubt every story he tells was true..because that little town seems to be more happening than anywhere else i've heard about!
    But true of not, it's a sad song and i agree with them all.
    TheHappiestColouron July 22, 2003   Link

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