These Charming Men

By Sophia Christensen

Although I am sure a majority of you enjoy listening to Lil Baby or Olivia Rodrigo, allow me to expand your musical horizons with a banger band: The Smiths. With such an mundane name, you might assume the band produces typical, mid-sounding songs.  However,  their songs apply to ordinary people and their experiences with despair, rejection, and death, and will touch you in unimaginable ways. Although this British 80s band purposefully chose the ordinary name,“The Smiths”, they have produced superior, groundbreaking music in the rock genre. Even the trackstar and The Smiths enthusiast, Senior Ian Grosch, agrees, stating that, “The Smiths are an amazing band that I love to listen to, the complexity and uniqueness of their music allows me to rest and relax when I am in the moment.”

The breathtaking band consists of four core members, lyricist and vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, and drummer Mike Joyce. The Smiths grew from the partnership of Morrissey and Marr, who bonded over their shared obsession of rock and punk. 

Unfortunately, The Smiths broke up in 1987 due to the extreme tension between the band, mainly between Morrissey and Marr (woah, talk about a complete 180!) Toward the end of the band’s career, Morrissey and Marr grew  apart drastically in terms of their personality, chemistry, and music preferences. They ultimately had different visions for their future and thought it would be best to split rather than continue to spit out music that they did not even enjoy or agree on.  Despite only lasting a short 5 years, The Smiths remain an  extremely influential band on numerous modern indie and alternative rock stars such as Grizzly Bear and Pulp. 

Although short lived, The Smiths managed to create meaningful and unique sounding music and lyrics. Here are a few of my favorite lyrics that have deeply touched me.

  • “I Know It’s Over”
    • “I know it’s over – still I cling I don’t know where else I can go” 

Although something so precious came to an end, Morrissey does not want to admit it to himself or he’ll truly feel lost and would have to face crawling back to loneliness. 

  • “Though she needs you more than she loves you” 

Sometimes people desperately need an escape from the aggravating feeling of loneliness even if they dont love the person or people they surround themselves with.

  • “Oh, mother I can feel the soil, falling over my head” 

I see this line as the final straw: admitting defeat, accepting the death of love, and concluding that this precious love or connection really is over. 

  • “How Soon Is Now?”
    • “I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar”

Morrissey feels trapped in this horrific state of shyness and social anxiety which prevents him from branching out and trying to find the love he desperately craves and needs. He finds himself hopeless. 

  • “I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does” 

Everytime I hear this line I feel as if Morrissey literally screams it through his desperate voice. He tries extremely hard to fill the void of loneliness by trying to find someone to love and someone who will love him.

  • “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
    • “Take me out tonight

Where there’s music and there’s people

And they’re young and alive

Driving in your car

I never, never want to go home” 

Morrissey desperately longs for the feeling of being alive and distracting himself from his isolated and depressive state which he never wants to crawl back to. 

  • “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die”

Morrissey would rather die in the moment of feeling alive and finally reaching happiness then go home, back to his lonely state.

  • “This Charming Man”
  • “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
  • “The Queen Is Dead”
  • “I Don’t Owe You Anything”
  • “A Boy With A Thorn In His Side”