Music for a Sunday: On the hill where he went when he ran from a raging storm

When this Payola$ song first came out in ’83, it was considered unusual and a bit shocking for telling what life is like for children of abusive, alcoholic parents. It was inspired by an actual story, told to one of the band members by a kid with a badly blacked eye, who was painfully frank about his alcoholic dad. After that, the song practically wrote itself; I can remember reading about how it came about, and how satisfied the entire band was with this very strong piece.

I was a little shocked at first, but I also liked it. It was courageous, and I badly needed courage. I was bullied at school a lot that year, so I could somewhat relate. A few years later, the full significance of it finally sank in. This tune saw me through a bad time, five years when I was intermittently seeing a boyfriend who drank (and whose father had also been an abusive drunk.) It gave me the strength to survive, and eventually dump the drunk.

I still consider it their strongest song, all these years later. And I absolutely love it.

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