Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Morrissey and The Smiths; Writing About Tottenham Hotspur All These Years?


For the first time since the Champions League was introduced in 1992, Tottenham Hotspur stand on the verge of qualification. Just three games remain, Bolton, Manchester City, and Burnley

Win all three and Spurs will be entering virgin territory. Lilywhites fans can be forgiven for uttering a few words while looking to the skies above. It would seem that Steven Patrick Morrissey had already written the very prayer that most Tottenham fans will be uttering over the next ten days.

For those of you who don't know, Steven Patrick Morrissey is better known as Morrissey, or the lead singer to The Smiths if you will. The Manchester based band were, and still are, one of the most important and influential bands of all time.

That's not just my opinion, it is the opinion of respected magazines like Rolling Stone, NME, Q, and even the BBC.

BBC said the Smiths were "one of the most influential figures in the history of British pop", NME went one further by declaring Morrissey the "most influential artist ever" in a 2002 poll, topping The Beatles, while Rolling Stone stated that his "rejection of convention" in his vocal style and lyrics is the reason "why he redefined the sound of British rock for the past quarter-century". 

In short Morrissey was a genius when it came to writing Lyrics. 

For those of you who don't know, The Smiths were formed in 1982 when the 23 year old Morrissey met John Maher for the first time. A prodigious guitar player and songwriter in his own right, Maher and Morrissey instantly hit it off. 

Friends were added to the lineup and in 1983 they released their first single, Hand in Glove.

It was not a commercial success but it did garner the attention of one John Peel. The highly respected BBC Radio 1 DJ championed the cause of the young outfit and from there they went from strength to strength.
Being a Spurs fan you can look back and see the irony in their song titles, and one would think they were almost written directly for the North London side.

"This Charming Man," ignoring it's original intent, could refer to the endless succession of managers and next big things that have walked through the doors at White Hart Lane over the years. "What Difference Does It Make" is an obvious one for the end of almost every season.

"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" needs no explanation...

Before we come to "That Joke Isn't Funny Any More" and the iconic "Panic".

Each one an anthem for Spurs in it's own right, before we finally come to the 1984 classic..."William, It Was Really Nothing"...yes you're reading that right.

In case you're wondering, "William, It Was Really Nothing" is about a man who becomes involved in a loveless marriage, something every sports fan can attain to at one time or another...

But that's not the song I want to talk about. No the song I'm referring to was the B-Side to that very single.
Before we go on I must explain to our younger readers that before CD's we used to have something called Cassette Tapes, and before that we had Records.

Large black things that were about the same size as dinner plates with around five or six songs on each side. Singles were smaller and only had one song on each side, they were about six inches in diameter and were the backbone of the charts.

The A-Side was the real single which received all the airplay, but the B-Side was, if you were lucky, a little gem of a song that was often better that the main one.

The B-Side to "William, It Was Really Nothing" is one of those classics. A beautiful little song called "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want."

It's the perfect song for every fan who has pleaded with the sporting God's to give their team a break. So for once in my life, Lord knows that this would be the first time, please, let me get what I want...

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want , by The Smiths
Good times for a change
see, the luck I've had
can make a good man
turn bad

So please please please
let me, let me, let me
let me get what I want
this time

Haven't had a dream in a long time
see, the life I've had
can make a good man bad

So for once in my life
let me get what I want
Lord knows it would be the first time
Lord knows it would be the first time

I guess if Spurs fans gain Champions League qualification, and it's a big if, then "Everyday Will Be Like Sunday" for a while.