In defense of Morrissey, The Smiths and my own personal taste.
The Smiths was an incredibly personal thing to me. It was like launching your own diary to music.
As you may have guessed, this post title is a very thinly veiled reference to a Smiths classic, “This Charming Man”, possibly the most well known Smiths song and therefore the most referenced. For some reason, people take their knowledge of this song as permission to judge both The Smiths and Morrissey as miserable and unlikeable. Many of The Smiths most famous songs are in fact rather miserable to listen to, but personally, I think this is to be expected. No matter what the art form, it will be at it’s most passionate and perfect when it reflects your deepest and most honest feelings.
To me modern art means absolutely nothing, I find no emotion,no gentility, no sensitivity in modern art. For me personally all the things that are of creative value occurred a long time ago, what makes me sad is that many people don’t really consider popular music to be an art form …… I think it can be, and I think it can be the greatest art form.”
Now, as I said before I would also like to defend my personal music taste here, being 17 I often get told I have no place liking The Smiths, I direct the people who think this to the above quote, would they prefer I champion Pitbull’s deep passionate love of naked women above Morrissey’s views on equality and valuable emotion? I didn’t think so.
But back to my original point, anyone with even a basic knowledge of the band would know the song “accept yourself.” Now, this does exactly what it says, it encourages acceptance and intelectual thought.
” for heaven’s sake, anything is hard to find, when you will not open your eyes, everyday you must say, how do I feel about the past”
I challenge anyone to see that as something other than an important message.
Now even I can find gaps in my argument, but I am entitled to my own opinion and anyone can find peace and meaning in any lyrics, I just fail to understand why some people can’t see this. Being a fan, it does pain me to say that I preferred Morrissey’s work within The Smiths rather than as a solo artist. In his younger days it’s easy to see the emotion and confusion behind many lyrics (I offer serious consideration to the theory that “Hand In Glove” is a reference to Morrissey’s possible homosexuality or sexual struggle).
That was the problem with the ‘celibate’ word because they don’t consider for a moment that you’d rather not be, but you just are. I was never a sexual person.
It’s easy to look at Morrissey’s lyrics and see the irony or sarcasm in the words, a wry and intelligent realistic view of the world. It’s equally easy to take them at face value and assume Morrissey was depressed and unpleasant. The reason for this is simple, Morrissey created such deeply textured and intelligent lyrics that so many different people can find so many different meanings, hence their enduring legacy.
Even within the band, Morrissey was often left entirely to his own devices when writing lyrics, which were often seen as controversial and occasionally just plain farcical (I challenge you not to be entirely thrilled by “Vicar in a tutu” and the ensuing mental image), yet if you take a closer look at what’s being said it’s often not all that controversial, but how many people in the music industry are really tackling issues of any importance at any one time?
I’ve never intended to be controversial but it’s very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is.
If I return to my original quote in this, Morrissey makes perhaps the best defense for his music, that what he writes and sings are his own personal views, you have choice not to listen, just as you have a choice to completely ignore my opinion here). If he finds the royal family pointless (a completely valid opinion) then he does, simple as that. If you disagree, you cannot be the ‘better person’ unless you acknowledge the other side or the argument and that people have a right to this opinion. (Even then, your opinion is in no way more valid or important.) It honestly mystifies me how narrow minded people can be.
Music can also be a method of confession, the ability to hide a personal view as a creative concept is in no way new and in no way confined to just the music business. I see many of their songs as I see my blog, a way of expressing views without the often uncomfortable situation the follows where all your personal opinions are challenged and ripped to shreds before your eyes. Or often, things need to be said and have no more said about them, at least not to your face.
That’s why I do this music business thing, it’s communication with people without having the extreme inconvenience of actually phoning anybody up.
Bearing in mind my point about personal interpretation I will leave you with this, take it as you will and be inspired.
I do think it’s possible to go through life and never fall in love, or find someone who loves you.