Big Boys Don’t Cry

I’m not in love: 10cc

This is a wonderful love song full of understatement and pathos. Love songs don’t have to be sloppy and sentimental. The build up in the song is tremendous and the way they produced with the multi layered voices makes this an absolute classic. If you want to know how it was done check out this video.

One of the lines in the song is a woman’s voice saying “Big Boys don’t cry” which is 10ccrepeated several times. In the video the band explain that they got the receptionist in the studio to come in and say the line. 

We Geordie boys were brought up to be tight lipped and stoical rather than being open about our feelings. I often saw my Father angry in my youth but didn’t see much of his tender side. I was the rebellious teenager and he was the ex-soldier who was used to people obeying his orders. When I was much older and he was in his eighties my Mother was struck down with Motor Neurone Disease and my Father became her carer. She could not speak and her movements were very restricted. He cared for her with great tenderness and affection. I have a very fond memory of the two of them watching TV one night and my Father stretching across to my Mother’s chair and taking her hand. Although this seems like a very slight thing to me, it summed up the over fifty years of their marriage. 

For the poem I took the line “Big Boys Don’t Cry” and imagined that hard northern boy who thinks expressing your emotions is wrong. It is a stereotype that hopefully is dying out.

Big Boys Don’t Cry

Hard as nails me, not some soppy girl like you

You’ve gotta suck it up mate , push it down

What ever you do, don’t let her get under your skin

Once she thinks she’s got you, you’re done

She’ll take you for everything you got, believe me

I’m a lone wolf, no woman tells me what to do

Except me Mother, she’s a diamond, know what I mean

Worked hard all her life, brought me up single handed

Yeah, still living there, she wouldn’t know what to do without me


© Jeff Price October 2017


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