I’ve been listening to Moz for about 7 or 8 years now. I’m not his biggest fan nor his most loyal…those titles are reserved for those who have loved him since 1982 when he first formed The Smiths along with Johnny Marr. I maybe several decades late but boy I sure am glad that someone was kind enough to bring him into my life.
Listening to Morrissey (whether as frontman of The Smiths or as a solo artist), especially when you’re just starting to try him out, can be both easy and difficult. Easy, because the melodies are always pleasant on the ears. They can be haunting and romantic or fun and whimsical. Difficult because though the melodies may reel you in, once you start listening to his words, they’re a complete 360 degree turn.
Most of the time his words are depressing and sad. He sings about being alone and not being understood. A complete and honest picture of himself—he has never denied that fact. Of course, being the smart & witty man that he is, he may also sing about gruesome murders (Suffer Little Children), psycho serial killers (Jack The Ripper), getting mugged at the fair (Rusholme Ruffians), animal rights (Meat Is Murder) and the arrogance of the only remaining superpower on earth (America Is Not The World). (mental note: we shall not discuss recent lyrics because from what I’ve heard, he’s quite happy with himself now)
But the most common theme in his songs is love…or the lack thereof. Could this be the reason why I’ve grown to embrace his songs? That in my personal search I have identified myself with him? Perhaps. But the music is also good company when you just want to be in a dark room, lie down in a fetal position and just cry your heart out (for whatever reason it maybe).
You see, when I listen to him (and you can call me psycho on this one) I truly and honestly feel that someone “gets me”; that in your heart you realize that you are not alone and that there’s someone else out there that’s just like you. It doesn’t matter that after those 3 or 4 minutes of listening to one song you still don’t have the answers…but it’s ok. It’s going to be ok.
Now don’t think that he’s all doom and gloom. He does have some nuggets of positivity in his music too. Lyrics like:
“I may walk home alone but my faith in love is still devout” – Rusholme Ruffians
“My love wherever you are, don’t lose faith. I know it’s gonna happen someday to you” – I know it’s gonna happen someday
“So yes there are things worse in life than never being someone’s sweetie”- That’s How People Grow Up
“There is a light that never goes out”– There is a light that never goes out
The songs are so honest and real that’s why people love them still.
I hope you’ll indulge me now as I share with you my Top 10 favorite Moz songs. The list should be longer but against my will I’ve tried to trim it down. Here goes:
1) There is a light that never goes out – “And if a double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side well the pleasure and the privilege is mine.”
2) How soon is now? – “I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does”
3) Jack the ripper – “Crash into my arms, I want you.”
4) The boy with a thorn in his side – “The boy with a thorn in his side, behind the hatred there lies a murderous desire…for love”
5) Please, please, please let me get what I want – “So for once in my life let me get what I want. Lord knows it will be the first time.”
6) Cemetry Gates – “So we go inside and we gravely read the stones. All those people, all those lives, where are they now? With loves and hates and passions just like mine, they were born and then they lived and then they died. Seems so unfair, I want to cry.”
7) The more you ignore me, the closer I get – “Take the easy way and give in. Oh let me in.”
8) Now my heart is full – “Tell all of my friends, I don’t have too many.”
9) Shoplifters of the world unite! – “Tried living in the real world instead of a shell but before I began … I was bored before I even began.”
10) It’s a tie!
a) That joke isn’t funny anymore –“When you laugh about people who feel so very lonely, their only desire is to die. Well, I’m afraid it doesn’t make me smile. I wish I could laugh but that joke isn’t funny anymore. It’s too close to home and it’s too near the bone. More than you’ll ever know.”
b) Stretch out and wait – “Will the world end in the night time? I really don’t know. Will the world end in the day time? I really don’t know. What I do know is we’re here and it’s now. So stretch out and wait.”