Lifeguard sleeping, girl drowning?

mauve21

Long time participant
Just been thinking about that song.
Is it slightly derogatory (about women) or do we think
he had a particular situation in mind when he wrote it.
I wonder if he read a news article or was watching a BBC
drama that inspired him?
It's so melancholy that line " Please don't worry, there'll be no fuss.....She was nobody's nothing...."
 

Sim Tappertit

New Member
There's a theory in the Len Brown book Meetings With Morrissey that the song might be about Jo Slee (his old assistant). A metaphor for her being frozen out by new management or something. I think Slee herself said that she thought it was aimed at her as it was around the time she was shunned.
 
Re: For your interest

Possible.

I've never seen it as derogatory perse. I've always thought of the girl drowning and being ignored by the sleeping lifeguard and dismissed by the narrator as a metaphor. That is, a symbol for those in society who struggle to get their voice heard, or have their cries for help ignored as a result of society's self-absorption and the dismissive attitude of some other individuals or groups. I have similar theories about NSAM and MW: a lot of Morrissey's songs of this type could be interpreted as an extended metaphor or allegory which can be generalised to more than one individual, at least to a degree. But hey, that's just me. The Jo Slee thing is a valid idea too. :)
 

mauve21

Long time participant
Please elaborate on "Jo Slee" thing!?

You mean from the book :_ "The Art of Peepholism".
What connection are you referring to?
 

Sim Tappertit

New Member
It's mentioned in Len Brown's book. Jo Slee was Morrissey's caretaker manager for a while in 1992-93 or thereabouts. By the time of Vauxhall she'd been "let go" in another management shake up. Slee reckoned that LSGD may be a metaphor for her (i.e. the girl drowning, out of her depth in managerial post). Purely her own theory. Len Brown was first to mention it in Meetings With Morrissey, may also be in Mozipedia. Just one of those "I think it's about me" stories that you get now and again with his songs from those who work close to him.
 
G

goinghome

Guest
Re: For your interest

Possible.

I've never seen it as derogatory perse. I've always thought of the girl drowning and being ignored by the sleeping lifeguard and dismissed by the narrator as a metaphor. That is, a symbol for those in society who struggle to get their voice heard, or have their cries for help ignored as a result of society's self-absorption and the dismissive attitude of some other individuals or groups. I have similar theories about NSAM and MW: a lot of Morrissey's songs of this type could be interpreted as an extended metaphor or allegory which can be generalised to more than one individual, at least to a degree. But hey, that's just me. The Jo Slee thing is a valid idea too. :)
This is almost the opposite of the meaning I took from the song, but it's a new interpretation I prefer! The idea that the theme allegorically runs through a number of songs is interesting as well. :thumb:
 

Scarlet1987

The sanest days are mad
This song turns me on, the venom. Nice
 

nightandday

New Member
Re: For your interest

Just been thinking about that song.
Is it slightly derogatory (about women) or do we think
he had a particular situation in mind when he wrote it.
I wonder if he read a news article or was watching a BBC
drama that inspired him?
It's so melancholy that line " Please don't worry, there'll be no fuss.....She was nobody's nothing...."
I never saw it as derogatory to the girl. If anything, it paints the 'lifeguard' in a bad light. "please don't worry, she was nobody's nothing" sounds very sarcastic and bitter. And he sings it in a very sad way.

Possible.

I've never seen it as derogatory perse. I've always thought of the girl drowning and being ignored by the sleeping lifeguard and dismissed by the narrator as a metaphor. That is, a symbol for those in society who struggle to get their voice heard, or have their cries for help ignored as a result of society's self-absorption and the dismissive attitude of some other individuals or groups. I have similar theories about NSAM and MW: a lot of Morrissey's songs of this type could be interpreted as an extended metaphor or allegory which can be generalised to more than one individual, at least to a degree.
This sounds right to me.

Also, "she was nobody's nothing" - if you are a loner without family, friends, connections, the society won't really care what happens to you.
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
An old Japanese acquaintance of mine was friends with Jo Slee and said she was still involved with Moz at least until after Southpaw's release (he got a stash of Dagenham Dave t-shirts from her). I'm sure it was in reduced capacity but it didn't seem like the kind of ostracization or falling out that would inspire a lyric that strong.

Having said that, I don't believe Morrissey ever writes a song purely on a metaphorical basis -- it all comes from real relationships/encounters, poetic as it can be.
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
I love Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning, it's always been one of my favorite Morrissey tracks because it's so perfectly ambiguous.

Sometimes it sounds spiteful, as if the girl were just another disposable pain-in-the-arse, the kind no one would miss. Sometimes it sounds mournful, as if he's bemoaning the terrible fragility of life. Sometimes the song strikes me as an existential meditation on the fact that we exist in a random, meaningless universe.

I think that ambiguity is Morrissey's greatest gift; he has the ability to sing in such a way that you cannot tell if he's heartlessly mocking or tenderly sympathetic; he somehow manages to be both high-handedly dismissive and genuinely compassionate at the same time.

Genius.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
I love Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning, it's always been one of my favorite Morrissey tracks because it's so perfectly ambiguous.

Sometimes it sounds spiteful, as if the girl were just another disposable pain-in-the-arse, the kind no one would miss. Sometimes it sounds mournful, as if he's bemoaning the terrible fragility of life. Sometimes the song strikes me as an existential meditation on the fact that we exist in a random, meaningless universe.

I think that ambiguity is Morrissey's greatest gift; he has the ability to sing in such a way that you cannot tell if he's heartlessly mocking or tenderly sympathetic; he somehow manages to be both high-handedly dismissive and genuinely compassionate at the same time.

Genius.
Well put.
 

marred

Member
Re: For your interest

Have you read Sim Tippertit's post?

Mine is a simple speculation, Morrissey hardly reveals these things.
and that's why I love him1 I don't need to know every little detail. Mystery is worth it's weight in words :)
 
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