How Do You Interpret "Driving Your Girlfriend Home"

!Viva Hate!

Well-Known Member
Pretty sure you've summed up everything since Refusal...

I’d honestly go back even further to Vauxhall. I love some of the albums after that, but I haven’t cared as a whole for the tone of the music since then. Everything is harder, louder, less subtle.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Do you think the narrator is falling in love with the titular girlfriend and is confessing this in song, ever so cryptically, to his friend/her lover, or is he in a secret gay relationship with the friend and the conflict causes him unease during the drive with the girlfriend?

This one has always confused me. I would have said the latter - the fact that it's confessing to the man - 'Driving your girlfriend home' - suggests they have some closeness that goes beyond that of the driver and the girl (who is just 'your girlfriend'). Yet the shaking hands business at the end suggests a different kind of awkwardness - that he's attracted to her and can't act. But let's face it, it wouldn't be the first Morrissey song with mixed messages.
 
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Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I’d honestly go back even further to Vauxhall. I love some of the albums after that, but I haven’t cared as a whole for the tone of the music since then. Everything is harder, louder, less subtle.

You may wanna start with Arsenal, his desire to make the listening experience more physical and the choice of not including the lyrics.


Agree with the idea that it’s a conscious decision of his to not write the way he once wrote. As if to not be the person he once projected to be, and a refusal to continue to be the person fans thought he was.

Think most people don’t see this, or refuse to.

I believe a subject worthy of its own thread.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
i don't drive so I have no contribution to this thread,what about cycling your girlfriend home.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
This one has always confused me. I would have said the latter - the fact that it's confessing to the man - 'Driving your girlfriend home' - suggests they have some closeness that goes beyond that of the driver and the girl (who is just 'your girlfriend'). Yet the shaking hands business at the end suggests a different kind of awkwardness - that he's attracted to her and can't act. But let's face it, it wouldn't be the first Morrissey song with mixed messages.
I couldn't be trusted with driving anyones girlfriend home, it would end up with a bun in the oven nine months later.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I just take it that he’s in the middle of his friend and his friends girlfriends dispute. Maybe they had a fight and that’s why the boyfriend isnt driving her home himself and he’s being forced to politely listen to her complaints about said friend even though he’s, morrissey or the narrator, isn’t really on her side
 

markem41

Member
To me it sounds like someone offered a friend's girlfriend a lift home (innocently, no ulterior motive) and she starts confiding intimate details of her relationship and how she is very unhappy but won't do anything about it. This all feels rather uncomfortable and the person doing the driving doesn't offer any response or advice, just drives her home and politely says "f*** Off". I sense the relief at the end as she gets out.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
To me it sounds like someone offered a friend's girlfriend a lift home (innocently, no ulterior motive) and she starts confiding intimate details of her relationship and how she is very unhappy but won't do anything about it. This all feels rather uncomfortable and the person doing the driving doesn't offer any response or advice, just drives her home and politely says "f*** Off". I sense the relief at the end as she gets out.
I hadn't thought of it that way. It makes a lot of sense - not least because he's disparaging the woman (rather than fancying her), which is much more in keeping with his other lyrics/statements on women.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
Blimey, Gordy. Are you going for the M-Solo Weinstein Award? :lbf:
this was in my younger days when both parties were willing and able,ahh those were the days my friend I thought theyd never end.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
A couple of lines from Late Night Maudlin Street come to my mind when listening to this song
"the last bus I missed to Maudlin Street so he drove me home in the van complaining "women only like me for my mind"
Which sort of takes us back to the theme of unrequited love, or at least the theme of not being physically attractive to anyone.
But one could also see a reference to the recurrent theme of possibly both the driver / narrator and the girlfriend being unable to change anything to their current, unwanted situations (staying single in the case of the narrator, and staying stuck in a bad / abusive relationship in the case of the woman).
I feel both sadness and tenderness when listening to that song.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I always thought the first interpretation. He's had a ban on playing Kill Uncle songs since the Your Arsenal tour - this is one I'd love to see him resurrect. The live version had an even greater beauty than the album version - which was true for many songs on KU.

I wouldn't mind him resurrecting Sing Your Life, Mute Witness or There's a place in hell… Even better would be the return of I've changed my plea or My Love Life, i my opinion the best songs of that period.
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
Do you think the narrator is falling in love with the titular girlfriend and is confessing this in song, ever so cryptically, to his friend/her lover, or is he in a secret gay relationship with the friend and the conflict causes him unease during the drive with the girlfriend?


I always took this as one of Morrissey's few 'straight' lyrics. The 'goodnight so politely' suggests a loss for the driver as the girl exits the car.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If it was about the girl he would sing "driving you home" but he's singing to the guy.
This kind of reminds me of The Smiths' cover of "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame"
I heard The Smiths' version before I heard Elvis'. When Morrissey sings it, it's about his friend talking about a girl he is infatuated with. In the context of Morrissey's many other songs from the time about longing for some guy who is straight, it seemed to me that the song was about that. Hearing this guy talk about Marie, who is just the "latest flame" shows that the guy "falls in love" regularly. But there has to be more to the song. What is the point? This would have probably been a bigger hit except that it doesn't spell out what it's really about. Why does the singer care so much about his friend having a new girlfriend?
When you hear Elvis' version the idea seems to be that the singer had his eye on Marie but now his friend, who moves much faster, has taken her and soon she'll be on the long list of ex-girlfriends.
When you hear Elvis sing the same words, because the context is different it seems that the problem is that his friend is infatuated with someone that isn't him.

So now Morrissey somehow winds up driving this girl home and he gets to hear her complain about whoever he is actually addressing in the song. If he felt like this girl he cares about was in a bad relationship it would be a different song.

But that's just one possibility. I think Amy's explanation was probably the best one. The singer is looking at these people and possibly seeing that even though he doesn't have anyone himself he doesn't envy them their relationship. You probably know people who are always in a relationship. The way the girlfriend keeps asking how she ended up in this situation seems to show that there is no logic and not very much passion either. It seems random like relationships do.
 

!Viva Hate!

Well-Known Member
You may wanna start with Arsenal, his desire to make the listening experience more physical and the choice of not including the lyrics.


Agree with the idea that it’s a conscious decision of his to not write the way he once wrote. As if to not be the person he once projected to be, and a refusal to continue to be the person fans thought he was.

Think most people don’t see this, or refuse to.

I believe a subject worthy of its own thread.

I don’t think Arsenal counts as the change. Even Arsenal’s idea of “physicality” is more subtle, delicate, and melodic than anything on Southpaw Grammar. The sound as a whole changed with that album. Songs became louder and distorted and for the most part had remained that way until Jesse Tobias came along and devolved the sound even further. He’s only now getting back into a more mild tone but Tobias has to go before the true change can come.
 

!Viva Hate!

Well-Known Member
I always thought Southpaw Grammar was your favorite of his.

It is...and it is fine as long as it is a one-off experience. It works for that album and it’s songs. It doesn’t necessarily work trying to replicate its “roughness” for the next 25 years worth of albums.
 
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