Famous when dead
Performed once by The Smiths and never by Morrissey.
The Ritz '82 performance has never surfaced.
The subject matter has always been a raw topic and The Sun going after The Smiths via interviewing people like John Kilbride or Ann West (Morrissey "must be as sick as the killers") was probably inevitable.
Morrissey would subsequently meet Ann West.
"Ann West also calls at Hornton Court, and we sit and talk of her tireless campaign to keep Myra Hindley and Ian Brady incarcerated (both had sexually tortured and then murdered Ann’s daughter Lesley Ann in 1964). Ann is Chorlton working class, now living at Grindley Avenue, just across the road from Southern Cemetery, where Lesley Ann is buried. Ann is frequently interviewed on current affairs programmes, where the depths of her feelings are often constricted by her cross-examiners (who of course have never been in her position), and this is curious treatment for a woman who has endured so much but who has never once shrunk back from her duty to her daughter."
And further met Winifred Johnson:
"I am contacted by Winifred Johnson, whose son Keith was buried on Saddleworth Moor by Brady and Hindley. Keith’s body was never found, and Mrs Johnson asks me for support with her struggle to persuade the police to resume the search for Keith’s body. Of course, had Keith been a child of privileged or moneyed background the search would never have been called off. But he was a poor, gawky boy from Manchester’s forgotten side streets, and minus the blonde fantasy-fetish of a cutesy Madeleine McCann."
In December, 1984's Jamming Magazine, Morrissey stated:
"There was all that fuss about 'Suffer Little Children' in the newspapers, all these comments and opinions from people who knew nothing about the group and nothing about music. I felt very sad and angry about that, so much just being headlines. Nobody had approached me and there were long, inflated comments, "Morrissey says this..." and "Morrissey wrote it for this reason...". All of it was totally untrue and I couldn't understand why nobody had asked me. At one point, someone from The Daily Mail rang up, giving me the chance to give my side of the story. Of course, they weren't interested that I got on famously with the parents of the victims. So, they wouldn't print the story. Well, that really upset me."
For Dale Hibbert's notes about the track parts he shared (2018), see here.
A powerful song that sits quietly on an album waiting to hit you...