Oh, I didn't realise that you wrote poetry , I didn't realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry

Song by The Smiths from their ground breaking The Queen Is Dead album. A silly but catchy little piece of music that some of us can relate to, wasting our lives in cubicles and hotels, meeting rooms and airports, talking to pointy-haired bosses and helpdesk

 Frankly, Mr Shankly, this position I've held, it pays my way, and it corrodes my soul

It's right in the same The Smiths genre as Unhappy Birthday and I Won't Share You; simple, clean melodies, that you'd expect some Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini kind of lyric to. Instead we get Morrisey's black cynicism and melancholy right in our solar plexus

The comical Frankly, Mr. Shankly is even more amusingly forceful when considering its placement in the track listing, in between the epic The Queen Is Dead and the bleakly beautiful I Know It's Over. His arch comments on soul-less industry types contains a mere hint of his future seeming animosity towards the mentally disabled, most notably on Kill Uncle track Mute Witness.

Rumour has it that his portrait of a righteous and holy pain in the arse was a jab at sometime manager, Geoff Travis. Geoff replied to this accusation with : "Well, it's not a particularly charming thought, is it ? There's a huge amount of humour in the song and I'm not really upset by it. Camp spite ? I think there's a lot of that there, but I don't take it too seriously. Morrissey like to have some fun and that's what rock 'n' roll is about." 

Analysis by John Levon,  moz@compsoc.man.ac.uk, republished with kind permission.

I'm working on the chords, but seriously, that's not my talent at all.

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