Morrissey and Johnny Marr Explain Scottish Independence... - Spectator Blogs

29 January 2013

There are only 600 or so days to go until Scotland has its referendum on independence. The excitement is almost palpable. Fortunately The Smiths back catalogue is all you need peruse to have a keen grip on the defining stramash de nos jours. Morrissey has always fancied himself, I think, as a kind of prophet. Johnny Marr wrote the tunes. Astonishing as it may seem, all sides in this rammy are, essentially, taking their cues from The Smiths.

A Scottish independence playlist-dialogue might run something like this:

Nationalist: Is It Really So Strange?

Unionist: Barbarism Begins At Home.

Nationalist:  London.

Unionist:  Paint A Vulgar Picture.

Nationalist: I Know It’s Over.

Unionist: I Don’t Owe You Anything.

Nationalist: How Soon Is Now?

Unionist: Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.

Nationalist: I Don’t Owe You Anything (reprise).

Unionist: Bigmouth Strikes Again.

Nationalist: Miserable Lie.

Unionist: Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before.

Nationalist: A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours.

Unionist: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.

Nationalist: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

Unionist: What Difference Does It Make?

Nationalist: This Night Has Opened My Eyes

Unionist: You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby

Nationalist: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

Unionist: Stretch Out And Wait

Nationalist: I Won’t Share You.

Unionist: Nowhere Fast.

Nationalist: These Things Take Time.

Unionist: Unloveable.

Nationalist: I Want The One I Can’t Have.

Unionist: Still Ill.

Nationalist: I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish.

Unionist: Money Changes Everything.

Nationalist: Accept Yourself.

Unionist: This Night Has Opened My Eyes (reprise).

Nationalist: The Queen Is Dead.

Everyone: Panic.

Everyone: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (reprise).

As you can see, approximately 66 per cent of Smiths songs are actually a commentary on Scottish independence. Who knew and, more importantly, whae’s like us?

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Show comments
  • Joe Middleton

    It would be amusing if this encouraged Morrissey to put out at statement in favour of Scottish independence. Ken Loach already has… I love the Smiths and I look forward to modern progressive Scotland becoming independent and not being held back by the xenophobic racist imperialist nationalism of Britain. England are welcome to UKIP, BNP etc but we Scots would prefer to not have their nutty rants ‘representing’ us in Europe. Morrissey lives in LA but I am sure he would be quite keen to see a nicer England emerge from the ashes of the British Empire which wasn’t defined by a dislike of Europe and foreigners. This post colonial drivel will be much reduced when Scotland breaks up the British state and Scotland will provide a real example of a caring country which actually wants to look after its old and sick and not spit on the poor or unemployed!

    • Shaun Walker

      hadrian stopped building the wall when he realised it didn’t keep the smell of the scots out…….and thats why they’re known as smellies/sweaties…

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Bay City Rollers – Bye Bye Baby

  • Noa

    And here’s the song that will help all youse Secessionists bear the long, dispirited journey back up North from Twickenham this weekend. 😉

  • CraigStrachan

    And then there’s Deacon Blue’s commentary:

    “Real Gone Kid”


    “Fergus Sings the Blues”

  • Spammo Twatbury

    Is this some sort of more-amusing version of Alistair Darling’s “You won’t be able to listen to British music any more if you’re independent” rubbish? I’d have thought it neutral and light-hearted until that inexplicable last sentence.

    • stuart.winton

      You mean That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore?

      Good job Alex confined himself to the titles rather than the lyrics though. But as regards the latter there’s certainly plenty of melancholy for whichever side loses in 2014.

      “…..and you go home, and you cry, and you want to die”, blah, blah.

  • Badly Done Emma

    The Smiths, sorry but I really can’t stand them. Pretentious, adolescent bollocks – ‘girlfriend in a coma’ sounds like wishful thinking to me…..’you have never been in love,until you’ve seen the sun rise over the school for the blind’……even worse. And the boys at school loved them – another good reason. Bracing myself for the onslaught Eddie……

    • Wessex Man

      I’m flabbergasted that Massie is a fan, I suppose they had to get their fans from somewhere other than schoolboys who dropped them when they found girls.

  • Eddie

    Morrisey mourns the loss of Englishness, as do many, as they have seen English cities swamped by Asians and other incomers. This got him accused of racism by the leftie music press (before it disappeared by its own fundment). But really, it’s just that same yearning as in Alan Bennett and many others troubled by the loss of their country and soul.
    It is indeed not dissimilar to the sadness and anger felt by Asian and African nationalists when they saw so many white faces in their homelands: I believe they kicked out those of a different race though, whilst we are ordered by the BBC diversity gestapo to celebrate the ethnicification of our country, and thank every inhabitant of Bradford for enriching our lives.
    Strangely, the pc pious leftie mob would call Englishmen who feel this ‘racist’ and Asians/Africans who did the same ‘heroes’.
    Ergo, they treat people differently and make differing moral judgements according to people’s skin colour.
    Ergo, they are racist.

    • Macky Dee

      WTF are you raving on about you TW*T

      • Eddie

        Hmmmm….Have supplied of Xanax run short in Glasgee, wee man?

    • J. R. Tomlin

      Nonsense. As long as the word “English” is applied to everyone who lives in England, there is nothing racist about it. You just have a problem with the fact that Scotland ISN’T racist.

      • Eddie

        Scotland isn’t racist?
        So the kid with an English accent that was kicked to death by a Braveheart fanatic (and racist) died of injuries inflicted by Scotch mist, did he?
        Scotland has a much smaller ethnic population than England, but generally in way more smallminded when it comes to how to treat people fairly and equally in terms of race, gender and differing sexualities, Scotland is decades behind England. I know several Scots who couldn;t wait to leave the racist, sexist, drunken homeland and come to London to get away from the barbaric backwardsness in Scotland.
        The idea that all Scots are non-racist and all English are is, in fact, a great examples of your bigoted silly racist opinions. Are you Alec Salmond in disguise?

        • Wessex Man

          Jim Telfer is a Saint, an illustrious Coach of Scottish Rugby and according to him the English are too arrogant, pretentious and condescending. Who appears to hate us because we are more successful than Scotland and when we beat a Southern Hemisphere side we celebrete, yet when Scotland very rarely win , they are heroic, full of Celtic iron.

          Aidan Smith, Sports Feature Writer of the Year in Scotland believes our English Football League has fallen to earth because Guardiola has chosen to go to Bayern Munich and not Chelsea. Chelsea, who just happen to be the current European Chanpion League winners, er was it 40 or 50 years ago that Celtic won it?

          Don’t even get me started on Alasidar Gray and his “Settlers and Carpets Baggers” about English people who have moved to Scotland, or the fact that the English in Scotland are subject to more racist attacks than any other race!

          • nancledra

            God knows what you’re banging on about in those first couple of paragraphs, but with regard to your final one, Alasdair Gray was roundly pilloried in Scotland (by his fellow Scots) for his wrong-headed essay – and rightly so. Also, these threads are usually full of people pouring scorn on those who cry ‘racism’ at the drop of a hat, but it seems it’s a different matter when some pillock from Surrey gets a punch up the bracket! I’ve lived in Scotland for years and have never suffered, or witnessed, anti-English ‘racist’ violence – where did you dredge up your little ‘fact’? And, if it is true, might the fact that the English vastly outnumber any other group of non-native residents go some considerable way to explaining it? Just a thought.

            • Wessex Man

              The Scottish Government web-site. The first papagraph was the charming Mr Telfer commenting on the England Players celebreting their last win and then again just in case anyone missed it in an interview with Radio 5. The second, Aidan Smith’s comments were in his Scotland on Sunday column a couple of weeks ago.

        • nancledra

          Oh, dry up you great wazzock. You’re wrong about almost everything.

          • Shaun Walker

            hate the jocks more than alqueda,who it must be said are supported by fans of a certain pub bomber worshipping team…i wont name i said i’d rather have the scots as an enemy than friend….and fancy wearing skirts and having a game called TOSSING….some very confused lads in shitland…….lol

        • Arnold

          I think you need to see someone about your inferiority complex, champ.

  • Daniel Maris

    Strangely you don’t mention National Front Disco, since the SNP has been trying to create a national front in Scotland and also a bit of a whirling lights disco at the same time.

    Here’s is Morrisey’s less than convincing defence of the song.

    “The reason why ‘The National Front Disco’ was pounced upon was really
    because – if I may say so – it was actually a very good song. And if the song
    had been utter crap, no one would have cared. I was stopped by many many
    journalists who obviously raised the topic in an accusatory way, and I would say
    to them, Please, now, list the lines in the song which you feel are racist and
    dangerous and hateful. And they couldn’t. Nobody ever ever could, and that irked
    me. Even though, simply in the voice on all of those songs, on ‘Asian Rut’ or
    ‘Bengali in Platforms’ or ‘The National Front Disco’, one can plainly hear that here is
    no hate at all.”

    • Alex Massie

      National Front Disco is not a Smiths song. That’s one of the reasons it ain’t on the list. The same, natch, could be said about Viva Hate.

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