Alain Whyte FB "Your Arsenal" listening party via Mozarmyquiz Twitter: April 26, 2020 (12 PST / 8 pm UK time)

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I agree. He's both the "child in a curious phase and the "man with sullen ways". To me that was always very obvious.
And the "first love" he refers to is commonly believed to be Marr (as mentioned here before) which makes a lot of sense considering the time of this recording and the fact that a lot of songs from the Viva Hate era seem to deal with the break-up of The Smiths and his feelings about that and towards Johnny.

I might just be connecting it to Reel Around The Fountain & Handsome Devil.

Also I read an interview where he said he lost his virginity at 13 & the useless hack didn't ask who to.
 

MozIsGod

Active Member
Thanks! Excellent insight from Alain as always. I can't wait for the Vauxhall one.

I'd love to hear Alain's thoughts on those Arsenal-era b-sides. Was "Pashernate Love" his first co-write with Morrissey? I'm also curious to learn his thoughts on Morrissey's decision to abruptly end "There Speaks A True Friend." I always liked that one but hated the cut off.
 

marred

Member
HIAQM? Someone send him LIHS pronto. Makes me wonder if that was penned some time ago, way before LIHS. Or maybe AW has got confused?
I think the only connection to Alain's song and the one on LIHS is the name and nothing else.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Straight from the horse’s mouth. Melvis orders up a song “that sounds like...” and his lackeys go to work. He doesn’t write music. Never has. ...and now that he’s unable to cop a decent lyric, what’s left?

He’s become a bitter, old scraper with 14 fans, no sales, no record deal and no prospects.

It’s kind of sad but also genuinely amusing to watch! ;)

Ah, the joys of being an internet troll. I hope your mother's proud.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
But which songs do you think are about the break-up? I can only imagine that people might lazily assume that “I don’t mind if you forget me” is.
The ones most certainly about Marr / the break-up of the Smiths are Break Up the Family, Angel Angel Down We Go Together, He Knows I'd Love to See Him and Billy Budd.
 

billybu69

Junior Member
Subscriber
Just tried to see this to find I've been blocked? cheaky bollocks.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
But which songs do you think are about the break-up? I can only imagine that people might lazily assume that “I don’t mind if you forget me” is. But I hear a lot of those songs ideas pulled from memories before the Smiths, from when he was a child and teenager.
Again, the person he’s singing about in I Know Very Well could be about anyone and no one, a fiction or a composite of loves that have ‘come and gone’.

I agree but I think Moz often pulls from different time periods to illustrate a continuing theme - similar to Friday Mourning where he starts off bemoaning a failed relationship and then flashes back to all the teachers, bosses etc who never liked him either. Or even "Hand in Glove", which is a mixture of "This is gonna be great" and "I'll probably f*** it up, like I f*** up everything else.."

Viva Hate was written 'too soon' after the split. How could he not write about the break-up? It's a cycle of mixed up, pent up emotions that everyone goes through when somebody leaves - f*** off then (I Don't Mind...), in time you'll come to regret it (Disappointed) I'll be there when you change your mind (Angel, Angel) but in the meantime you've left me feeling like shit. (I Know Very Well).

If "Break up the Family" is about The Smiths/Johnny, this is harsh - essentially saying "You're as miserable as me, deep down."

"Yes, you found love, but you weren't
At peace with your life
Home late, full of hate
Despise the ties that bind."
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The ones most certainly about Marr / the break-up of the Smiths are Break Up the Family, Angel Angel Down We Go Together, He Knows I'd Love to See Him and Billy Budd.

And in more recent years, "Forgive Someone".
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Viva Hate was written 'too soon' after the split. How could he not write about the break-up? It's a cycle of mixed up, pent up emotions that everyone goes through when somebody leaves - f*** off then (I Don't Mind...), in time you'll come to regret it (Disappointed) I'll be there when you change your mind (Angel, Angel) but in the meantime you've left me feeling like shit. (I Know Very Well).

If "Break up the Family" is about The Smiths/Johnny, this is harsh - essentially saying "You're as miserable as me, deep down."

"Yes, you found love, but you weren't
At peace with your life
Home late, full of hate
Despise the ties that bind."


I’m thinking because Viva Hate was written ‘too soon’ after the split which makes it even more plausible that most of those ideas & lyrics ( maybe not completed) were written before the split.

Yes of course his emotions of the split may shape what was written but I don’t feel the split was the main catalyst behind the subject of those songs.

Everyone thinks oh poor Moz what’s he gonna do now? how’s he gonna survive? But the split just made him stronger to move forward and put out an album that would be more successful than any Smiths release.

Yes he’s talked about having doubts in interviews, but I don’t think anyone can be that full of doubt or depressed about the split and then have the strength and vision to move forward and create an album as beautiful as Viva Hate.


Also Break up the family ....

“ In an interview published in Melody Maker in 1988, Morrissey said "The song 'Break Up The Family' is strongly linked with 'Suedehead' and 'Maudlin Street', that whole period in 1972, when I was 12, 13. 'Break Up' is about a string of friends I had who were very intense people and at that age, when your friends talk about the slim separation between life and death - and you set that against the fact that this period of your youth is supposed to be the most playful and reckless - well, if you utilised that period in a very intense way, well, that feeling never really leaves you. (...) The family in the song is the circle of friends, where it almost seemed, because we were so identical, that for anybody to make any progress in life, we'd have to split up. Because there was no strength in our unity. And that's what happened, we did all go our separate ways, and quite naturally came to no good. I saw one of them quite recently, and it was a very headscratching experience."

 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I’m thinking because Viva Hate was written ‘too soon’ after the split which makes it even more plausible that most of those ideas & lyrics ( maybe not completed) were written before the split.

Yes of course his emotions of the split may shape what was written but I don’t feel the split was the main catalyst behind the subject of those songs.

Everyone thinks oh poor Moz what’s he gonna do now? how’s he gonna survive? But the split just made him stronger to move forward and put out an album that would be more successful than any Smiths release.

Yes he’s talked about having doubts in interviews, but I don’t think anyone can be that full of doubt or depressed about the split and then have the strength and vision to move forward and create an album as beautiful as Viva Hate.

Thank you for the snippet about "Break Up", very interesting. Morrissey goes back to that early 70s period so often, it's almost like he's still there in his head - even recently with "Once I Saw the River Clean". I wonder what it is that keeps calling his mind back to it, after so long away from home.

I'm afraid I don't agree about VH, though - even Morrissey was thinking, "How am I going to survive?" at that time. He was still under contract with EMI and was essentially pushed into the studio for VH. Many of the best albums come from anger and heartache though...it's good fuel.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Ever heard of a double entendre? Morrissey changed the title of the album to Viva Hate (from Education in Reverse) to reflect his feelings after the breakup. Though "Break Up the Family" may reference teenage experiences, its title and lyrical thrust is certainly no accident within the context of his post-Smiths mindset. Ketamine Sun is so convinced of the veracity of his interpretation of things that he has to spell it out for us over and over again in 30-point colored font.
 

marred

Member
The ones most certainly about Marr / the break-up of the Smiths are Break Up the Family, Angel Angel Down We Go Together, He Knows I'd Love to See Him and Billy Budd.
Well you're certain about those songs but what about the rest of us? You could make a case that every song is about the split and Marr with this logic.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Well you're certain about those songs but what about the rest of us? You could make a case that every song is about the split and Marr with this logic.
Given your status as one of the resident bootlicking sycophants, I assume you'd know what the songs were about.
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
And in more recent years, "Forgive Someone".
I'm still struggling to understand how 'Forgive Someone' is about the Smiths when he explicitly writes about his school days. I always thought it was about that Jon Daly chap. Possibly his first homosexual encounter, but I am just speculating here.
 

marred

Member
I'm still struggling to understand how 'Forgive Someone' is about the Smiths when he explicitly writes about his school days. I always thought it was about that Jon Daly chap. Possibly his first homosexual encounter, but I am just speculating here.
A lot of people just want these songs to be about the Smiths. I understand why. If they can't have Morrissey and Marr reunite in physical form then there's a temptation to imagine them meeting in a song. This suggests Morrissey pines for the good old days of The Smiths which is a fallacy anyway because anytime he mentions The Smiths in interviews all he says is they did not get along at all and hated each other.

I think you can listen to Morrissey sing about forgiveness, grief and longing to meet lost soul mates with out it applying to The Smiths. It's not as if that's the only canon of history Morrissey has to draw from, being an all but brief period of time in a band that totalled roughly five years. Re Forgive Someone, Billy Budd, He Knows I'd Love to See Him, etc... being about Marr is a bit obvious and Morrissey doesn't do obvious.

Point me to the interviews where he said all these songs are about Marr and I'll scrap what I just wrote. The great thing about Morrissey's songs and his style of storytelling is he leaves plenty of room for the listener to paint their own picture in the song. One could interpret that these songs are about Marr but stating they are verbatim, I don't think so. There's enough curve balls in these songs to throw you either way.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I'm still struggling to understand how 'Forgive Someone' is about the Smiths when he explicitly writes about his school days. I always thought it was about that Jon Daly chap. Possibly his first homosexual encounter, but I am just speculating here.

Well, here's how I see it:

"The black peat of the hills
When I was still ill
See this mess and forgive someone"

Morrissey loves self-referencing - when was he 'still ill', well, that's obvious but I think "the black peat of the hills" refers to Saddleworth Moor. In Autobiography, he writes about going to Saddleworth with Johnny after the split and trying to talk things over - a time 'where the coffin lifted shifted and the old spark rose like a small miracle.' They reconciled for a period, then fell out again - he references it again after the court case.

"And then recall if you can
How all this even began
Forgive someone"

"Recall.. how all this began" - 'this' being, to my ears, his music career rather than his life. "I know you're pissed off with me but remember when we were starting out?" It's not unusual to appeal to old feelings when you've fallen out with someone.

The stuff about track and field - it's just a strange little verse that doesn't seem to fit it in with the rest of the song. What Mancunian uses a word like 'bleachers'? And Jon Daly - well, Jon was gay, right? But the song says "Here's one thing you'll never have" - which gives me the impression the person knew he liked them but wouldn't/couldn't reciprocate.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I think you can listen to Morrissey sing about forgiveness, grief and longing to meet lost soul mates with out it applying to The Smiths. It's not as if that's the only canon of history Morrissey has to draw from, being an all but brief period of time in a band that totalled roughly five years. Re Forgive Someone, Billy Budd, He Knows I'd Love to See Him, etc... being about Marr is a bit obvious and Morrissey doesn't do obvious.

Point me to the interviews where he said all these songs are about Marr and I'll scrap what I just wrote. The great thing about Morrissey's songs and his style of storytelling is he leaves plenty of room for the listener to paint their own picture in the song. One could interpret that these songs are about Marr but stating they are verbatim, I don't think so. There's enough curve balls in these songs to throw you either way.

I don't think 'Billy Budd' is up for debate but people will see whatever they want in the lyrics ultimately. I think he does 'do obvious', though, especially in recent years.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I agree but I think Moz often pulls from different time periods to illustrate a continuing theme - similar to Friday Mourning where he starts off bemoaning a failed relationship and then flashes back to all the teachers, bosses etc who never liked him either. Or even "Hand in Glove", which is a mixture of "This is gonna be great" and "I'll probably f*** it up, like I f*** up everything else.."

Viva Hate was written 'too soon' after the split. How could he not write about the break-up? It's a cycle of mixed up, pent up emotions that everyone goes through when somebody leaves - f*** off then (I Don't Mind...), in time you'll come to regret it (Disappointed) I'll be there when you change your mind (Angel, Angel) but in the meantime you've left me feeling like shit. (I Know Very Well).

If "Break up the Family" is about The Smiths/Johnny, this is harsh - essentially saying "You're as miserable as me, deep down."

"Yes, you found love, but you weren't
At peace with your life
Home late, full of hate
Despise the ties that bind."
It's interesting we all have different takes on this. For me Break Up The Family resonated as growing up, finding love, yet still wanting to be friends/familiars with the folk who didn't come with you on that journey, yet are still held in affection.
 

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