10 of the best Smiths lyrics

Credit: Kevin Cummins

Credit: Kevin Cummins

1. ‘Frankly, Mr. Shankly:

“Frankly, Mr. Shankly, this position I’ve held 
It pays my way, and it corrodes my soul
I want to leave, you will not miss me 
I want to go down in musical history”

Everyone who has worked in retail or property administration knows the feeling of hating their mundane job and boss. We should all take a leaf out of Moz’s book and become pop stars.


Credit: johnny-marr.com

 2. How Soon is Now:

“There’s a club if you’d like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die” 

Expectations are often different to realities.

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

3. Panic:

“Burn down the disco 
Hang the blessed dj 
Because the music that they constantly play 
It says nothing to me about my life “

Probably one of my favorites, this one epitomizes my frustration with mainstream radio ‘DJs’ (I use the term loosely) who constantly push the same manufactured pop acts and fawningly declare ‘love’ for their boring, uninspiring music every single day (I’m looking at you, BBC Radio One).

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

4. The Queen is Dead:

“I said Charles, don’t you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your Mother’s bridal veil?”  

This is one of the funniest lyrics ever written and needs little explanation. For me, honesty and humor are the fundamentals of good songwriting and Morrissey captured them perfectly.

Credit: johnny-marr.com

Credit: johnny-marr.com

5. The Headmaster Ritual:

“Belligerent ghouls
run Manchester schools
spineless bastards all”

My dad also went to school in ’60s/ ’70s Manchester and echoes this sentiment.


Credit: Wikipedia

6. Paint a Vulgar Picture:

“Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package! 
Re-evaluate the songs 
Double-pack with a photograph 
Extra track (and a tacky badge)” 

I could have picked any verse from this witty attack on record company greed. In ‘Autobiography’, Moz makes no secret of his disdain for Rough Trade.


Credit: johnny-marr.com

7. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now:

“In my life
why do I give valuable time
to people who don’t care if I live or die/ smile at people who I’d much rather kick in the eye” 

This was perhaps a comment on the fakery that exists in modern social interaction.

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

8. Accept Yourself: 

“And there’s no-one left to blame 
Oh, tell me when will you…
When will you accept your life? 
(The one that you hate) 
For anything is hard to find 
When you will not open your eyes”  

This entire song appeared to be a letter from Morrissey to himself; about being too shy to conquer your dreams. Of course, Moz arguably did.


9. Still Ill: 

“Does the body rule the mind 
Or does the mind rule the body ? 
I don´t know…” 

Morrissey took us deep here! I don’t know either…

Credit: 45cat.com

Credit: 45cat.com

10. Shoplifters of the World Unite: 

“Shoplifters of the world 
Unite and take over 
Shoplifters of the world 
Hand it over 
Hand it over 
Hand it over”

In 1987, Morrissey said of this song: “I often wonder why shoplifting can be such a serious crime when making nuclear weapons isn’t. That should really be a crime, I think, but it isn’t. We live in a very twisted world, with a very twisted morality.”

Was this, then, a jibe at governments who punish the simple ‘petty thief’ but build weapons behind the scenes?

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

What are your favorite Smiths/ Morrissey lyrics and songs? Comment below.


Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’ to finally be published


              Image, Penguin Classics.

These days, it seems that ‘celebrities’ are releasing books left, right and centre. Whilst some are brilliant, many are churned out by egotistical (and often quite boring) people who are shamelessly eager to further cash in on their short time in the spotlight. However, these were not my thoughts upon hearing that, after being cancelled in September due to “a last-minute content disagreement“, Morrissey’s book, simply titled ‘Autobiography’, will be released on October 17th.

This is extremely exciting news for me, and any other Smiths/ Morrissey fan who is forever intrigued by this mysterious and eternally controversial icon. The hugely saturated selection of Morrissey books currently available, particularly the fawning ‘Meetings with Morrissey‘, have sparked more questions than answers; lacking a genuine first-person account of his life. The opportunity to read this in ‘Autobiography’ is thrilling beyond words.

For many, (myself included), Morrissey is so much more than just the former frontman of their favourite band, or their favourite solo artist. He is a character, an enigma. The Smiths, inspired by Morrissey and Marr, offered welcome respite from a tirade of monotonous ’80s synthpop, and spoke honestly and humorously (“I said Charles, don’t you ever crave. To appear on the front of the Daily Mail. Dressed in your Mother’s bridal veil?”).

According to the publisher, Penguin, “Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day”. This frustratingly vague, concise description doesn’t reveal a great deal of information. However, it suggests that Morrissey may discuss his life chronologically. Therefore, he could make reference to his youth in Manchester. It would be fascinating to read about the events which inspired the lyrics for songs such as ‘The Headmaster Ritual‘, which describes his unhappy school life. In a 1985 video feature, Morrissey describes his secondary school as “sadistic” and “barbaric”.

The Smiths dramatically split up in 1987 after Marr left the band. Stories about the real reason for this are murky and contradictory, so I look forward to reading Morrissey’s take on this matter, and the rise and the fall of this unique and brilliant band. However, I expect the inevitable section on the royalties dispute, which concluded in the judge calling Morrissey “devious, truculent, and unreliable” to make for uncomfortable reading. You only have to look as far as the lyrics to 1994 single ‘The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get‘ for confirmation of this (Beware. I bear more grudges. Than lonely high court judges. When you sleep. I will creep. Into your thoughts…).

As I was born in 1993, 6 years after their split, I never actually got to see the Smiths live. Despite this, Morrissey’s lyrics, Marr’s guitar, and Rourke’s powerful (and often sadly overlooked) bass have captivated me in a way that no other band probably ever will. Love him or hate him (he doesn’t care), Morrissey is without a doubt one of our great artists and lyricists. He is a musical icon, and I can’t wait to (hopefully) find out who he really is. ‘Autobiography’ is published on October 17th, and is available to pre-order now on Amazon.