SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN

Over the moor, take me to the moor
Dig a shallow grave
And I'll lay me down

Over the moor, take me to the moor
Dig a shallow grave
And I'll lay me down

Lesley-Anne, with your pretty white beads
Oh John, you'll never be a man
And you'll never see your home again
Oh Manchester, so much to answer for

Edward, see those alluring lights ?
Tonight will be your very last night

A woman said : "I know my son is dead
I'll never rest my hands on his sacred head"

Hindley wakes and Hindley says :
Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, and says :
"Oh, wherever he has gone, I have gone"

But fresh lilaced moorland fields
Cannot hide the stolid stench of death
Fresh lilaced moorland fields
Cannot hide the stolid stench of death

Hindley wakes and says :
Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, Hindley wakes, and says :
"Oh, whatever he has done, I have done"

But this is no easy ride
For a child cries :

"Oh, find me ... find me, nothing more
We are on a sullen misty moor
We may be dead and we may be gone
But we will be, we will be, we will be, right by your side
Until the day you die
This is no easy ride
We will haunt you when you laugh
Yes, you could say we're a team
You might sleep
You might sleep
You might sleep
BUT YOU WILL NEVER DREAM !
Oh, you might sleep
BUT YOU WILL NEVER DREAM !
You might sleep
BUT YOU WILL NEVER DREAM !"
Oh Manchester, so much to answer for
Oh Manchester, so much to answer for

Oh, find me, find me !
Find me !
I'll haunt you when you laugh
Oh, I'll haunt you when you laugh
You might sleep
BUT YOU WILL NEVER DREAM !
Oh ...
Over the moors, I'm on the moor
Oh, over the moor
Oh, the child is on the moor


In the 60's, Myra Hindley and lover Ian Brady abducted and murdered several small children in and around Manchester. They buried several bodies on Saddleworth Moor, north of Manchester; when they were found out, the case became known as the Moors Murders. Steven Patrick Morrissey was the same age as several of the victims, like Lesley Anne Downey and John Kilbride. In interviews years later, he revealed the deep impression the murders had left on him as a child - a feeling of an intense malevolent spirit around Manchester that never really left him.
This experience was to turn into the lyrics for this evocative and highly moving song, with surely the best lyrics on the first album. The image of the children's ghosts clamouring to be buried in the Moors, their promise of retribution, and the stern reminder "Manchester, so much to answer for" all add to the deep sadness of this tune, backed by Marr's plaintive guitar parts.
Months after the release of "The Smiths", a relative of the murdered John Kilbride heard this song on a jukebox in a pub. Incensed by what he saw as a taking advantage of the murders, a chance hearing caused yet another scandal to hinder the rising career of The Smiths. After several communications from Morrissey himself, the relatives soon realised the sincerity of the song. In its early stages, this song was titled "Over The Moors".
This song was only played live once, at The Smiths' first gig, The Ritz, 4th October 1982.

 Visit Troy Tate Sessions version of this song

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