Hang the DJWednesday, October 26, 2011
There is nothing, repeat nothing, more cringingly awful than people quoting song lyrics as if they are deeply meaningful works of literature. It is painfully, toe-curlingly embarrassing. When a friend who shall remain nameless told me that, overcome with love one day, she texted her boyfriend the lyrics to Chasing Cars, a small part of me died inside.
But if I were ever to make an exception to this rule (and I won't, but if I were), it would be for Mr Steven Patrick Morrissey. The man is a genius. He's also a bit of a pompous twat with borderline racist tendencies, but a genius nonetheless. What's more, he's the Hubster's favouritest favourite ever.
The Smiths are known for being, well, a bit glum. A bit moany. Lines like, "for once in my life, let me get what I want. Lord knows, it would be the first time," don't exactly help to alleviate that impression. But trust me, it's not all just depressive whining. Some of it's angry, some of it's thoughtful, some of it's even - whisper it - funny. ("I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now." I mean, COME ON.)
And some of Morrissey's songs are the best love songs ever written. Fact.
Not the "oh, you're so beautiful and everything's so perfect, I want to hold your hand and gaze lovingly into your eyes and frolic through soft-focus fields forever and ever" kind of love song. I'm talking about the gritty, honest, this-is-what-love-really-feels-like-and-it's-sometimes-quite-shit kind of love song.
I'm talking about lyrics like, "Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear, and don't go home tonight. Come out and find the one that you love and who loves you."
Lyrics like, "You're on your own tonight, with your triumphs and your charms, while they are in each other's arms."
Lyrics like, "I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does. 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." (Erm, okay, that one is kind of depressing.)
Lyrics like, "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-tonne truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine." (That one is so good, the awesome Celia has it framed above her bed, and Fin and I had it printed in the back of our orders of service on our wedding day, despite my aforementioned hatred of lyric-quoting.)
And then there's my favourite Smiths line. Maybe the best Smiths line ever. This line:
"It's so easy to laugh.
It's so easy to hate.
It takes strength to be gentle and kind."
Boom. Told you Morrissey was good.
Tell me I'm not the only Moz fan lurking in the blogosphere. Or tell me I'm wrong and the lyrics to Chasing Cars are in fact a sophisticated expression of the power and and simplicity of love rather than a pile of cheesy meaningless crap.
(Sorry, Nameless Friend, if you're reading this. Nothing's changed, I still love you. Only slightly less than I used to.)