ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is The Smiths best song?

Updated on April 4, 2012

There is a light and it never goes out

I listen, and listen again, to The Smiths. I sometimes voluntarily choose not to play them for months on end just so I can for in love with them again. What is my favourite Smiths song? Is it possible to narrow down so much sublime quality into one song? Always remember that this is a band whose B sides reek of genius.

There is Meat is Murder; a song which, undoubtedly more than any other, inspired people to refrain from eating meat. Then there is Paint a Vulgar picture; where the record company muse about the financial gains of having “a dead star on their hands”. And who can ever cease to be amazed by the wonderfully melancholic “I know its over” with its criminally handsome alliterations. “Shy loutish lover treat her kindly…..see the sea wants to take you, the knife wants to slit you….”

If I absolutely had to chose. If I were forced, or if an unlikely series of events unfurled and my life depended it on it, I would choose “There is a light and it never goes out”. It’s almost sad when you consider it’s about isolation, maybe even dislocation.

Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don't drop me home
Because it's not my home, it's their home
And I'm welcome no more

Morrissey seems to effortlessly make statements that are ambiguous, yet conjure a vivid story with attached emotion, simultaneously. This song could be the melodrama of a hormonal teen struggling with the home pressures and seeking escapism in a social life that still eludes him, or her. It also speaks of frustration at wanting to experience life. A thread throughout Morrissey’s work is that he can detail a moment as if he’s recollecting a memory. Maybe perhaps as a result of studiously observing life through the bedroom window. In the first verse he” wants to meet people who are young and alive”. He refers to the outside as life thus implying being inside is death.

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, the privilege is mine

The chorus has a hint of Shakespearian charm with a pinch of modern day Englishness. This is interesting as the character feels it’ll be a privilege to die “by your side” but the companion remains undescribed. All we are privy to is the fact that he, or she, has a car. Perhaps recollecting the status a young adult had when he learnt to drive with the freedoms, or escapisms, that provided when we were younger.

And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn't ask

I love the poetry in this verse. The character’s “chance had come at last” but then shyness and sensibility spawned fear and “I just couldn’t ask”. There is a strong sense of wanting to reach out, wanting to connect and always recoiling at the last moment.

Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one
No, I haven't got one

And when Morrissey sings of home one wonders if home is literal or a metaphor for kindred. The car, for the social voyeur, will allow him to see life. Whiz into one drama and onto another with the comfortable separation of the windscreen acting as cushion to real life.

It is hard to articulate how good the Smiths are. It’s hard to express how I get a real sense of old working class kitchen sink drama. Oscar Wilde said “it’s the spectator and not life that art really mirrors”. I’m naturally cautious of lavishing praise onto lyricists for I know I could be projecting my own ideas onto their work. That’s one thing Morrissey can never be accused of. He can slip into any skin and detail the beauty of their melancholy with the driest whit.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)