Hmm. What makes you think so? I read reviews where people say something similar, but I see no evidence in his lyrics, and even less so in his interviews. Could you show me the interview where he acknowledges a successful relationship? I can only think of a few there he denies there are any and repeats his old attitudes about relationships. While in the past, there were interviews where he has acknowledged some sort of relationships he had had in the distant or recent past (maybe not exactly 'successful', but what's a 'successful relationship' anyway?)But never did he really acknowledge any sort of successful relationship, either in his music or in his interviews, until recently.
All I see is that his attutides towards life and towards himself have changed (although that's probably the most important change there can be for a person).
I guess I'm not helping the cause of proving that Morrissey is not all 'negative', but the thing is: there is, in fact, nothing substantially new in either Morrissey's lyrics or his interviews that wasn't there before; but what people seem to be missing is that there was a lot more than unfulfilled desire and misery in the old songs as well.
I think you might have known it since mid-90s, since he said in 1997 that he had had some (pleasant, I assume) relationship for the previous two years, even though he said it was over by then.But merely to know that Morrissey has spent a number of nights in some sort of pleasant relationship, no matter how odd it may look to outsiders, validates all his lamentations about empty beds in "I Know It's Over" and "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me".
Really?His recent solo work, beginning with "Quarry" and especially with "Ringleader", redeems all those early songs because that "could be" has become an "is". (Open to qualification, perhaps-- a Clintonian "is"-- but an "is" nonetheless.) I wouldn't for a moment suggest that Morrissey is riotously happy now, or even that he ever could be happy in the way that many people consider "normal". However, for Morrissey to sing about being in love or having sex has now filled the aforementioned hole-- wink wink-- that had existed since the early days of The Smiths.
What were these lines about then (--wink wink--):
"My eyes have seen the glory of sacred wunderkind
you took me behind a dis-used railway line
and said: 'I know a place where we can go
where we are not known'
and you gave me something that I won't forget too soon"...
I really don't understand people who seem incredibly surprised that 'oh, Morrissey is singing about sex!!!' I can only laugh at that. Have they missed Reel Around The Fountain, Handsome Devil, These Things Take Time, i Want The One I Can't Have, Alsatian Cousin, Suedehead... etc.? I get a sense of deja vu with people making all the fuss over a few lines in Dear God Please Help Me... 'explosive kegs', wow! 'spreading your legs with mine in between' - wow!... What year was it when people were going nuts over the line
"It was a good lay, it was a good lay"? Oh, yes, it was 1988.
As Morrissey himself has said in recent interviews, his lyrics were always very sexual, but for some reason or other, reviewers have only now decided to take notice. I'm also wondering why.
As for happiness - isn't Cemetry Gates about happiness? Now My Heart Is Full is about being happy. As for being in love - he mentions it a lot of times throughout his career, and it's true that it's mostly in connection with negative emotions, but not always. (I might naming them one by one, for instance, there's an off-remark about love even in Disappointed, he mentions a past love in The Public Image, there is nostalgia connected to a past love in Come Back To Camden, and so on...). Found Found Found - that one was about a (possible) successful relationship (or whatever sort), wasn't it? From his last 2 albums, I'd say the happiest song is I Like You. I don't think that the happiest songs on the new album (which would be, I guess, In The Future When All Is Well... and... well, maybe To Me You Are A Work Of Art, but not entirely) are happier than some of his earlier songs. (I don't consider At Last I Am Born such an incredibly happy song as everyone seems to think.)
You mention There Is A Light That Never Goes Out as an example of a a love that's doomed in some mysterious way. I think of it as a song of hope - just as Ask is. The only thing that prevents the relationship to be fulfilled is narrator's fear ("And a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask"). Songs like Ask and Sheila Take A Bow are basically clarion calls to shed all fears and inhibitions and find love (Stretch Out And Wait expresses the same idea, but in its own detached and passionless way, which makes it less appealing). Actually, we might be agreeing on this point, since you said he has always expressed some sort of hope even in his bleakest moments.