It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when I fell in love with music, when it started to mean more to me than words could ever express. But one thing is for sure. Music saved my life. And it started with The Smiths.
The first Smiths song I ever heard was “Cemetery Gates”. Surprisingly, I had never even heard about Morrissey or Marr before, but came across it by accident (funny how they would both become extremely important to me in later years). I was listening very hard to the lyrics – they seemed absolutely unique. “There’s always someone, somewhere with a big nose who knows/And who trips you up and laughs when you fall”. I knew I had to hear more, so I bought their album “The Queen Is Dead” and was immediately hooked.
I found myself often lost in their music and Morrissey’s lyrics in particular struck a chord with me. I spent hours on end lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and doing nothing except flipping Smiths records. And then the tears would come flooding but incredibly, inexplicably, I would feel better. It was like waking up after a very long sleep. Since then, their music has remained very close to heart. I’m not sure I could have survived had I not discovered the Smiths. I still sustain the idea that Morrissey is the best lyricist out there. He may not be exceptionally poetic and he often rubs people the wrong way, but his words talk about real life, real feelings and real pain. They’re honest and people tend to not like honesty anymore…
It wasn’t only the Smiths that helped me. Bands such as Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Manic Street Preachers and Bauhaus also played a major role. Listening to these every day was like the therapy I never had and slowly I got better. But The Smiths were the first that made me understand there is a completely different side to music, if you will. One which I could actually understand and identify with. Much as I enjoy listening to a good, optimistic and carefree pop record these days, I still return to these songs that literally saved my life.
These are just a few of my favourite lyrics penned by Morrissey.