Lifeguard sleeping, girl drowning?

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2010 (read-only)' started by mauve21, May 21, 2010.

  1. mauve21

    mauve21 Long time participant

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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...."
     
  2. Kewpie

    Kewpie Member Moderator Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    35,407
  3. mauve21

    mauve21 Long time participant

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey thanks for that, Kewpie.
    Very interesting.:thumb:
     
  4. Sim Tappertit

    Sim Tappertit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    The Other Side
    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.
     
  5. Kewpie

    Kewpie Member Moderator Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    35,407
    Re: For your interest

    Have you read Sim Tippertit's post?

    Mine is a simple speculation, Morrissey hardly reveals these things.
     
  6. Girl-with-the-Thorn

    Girl-with-the-Thorn If you hit me it's murder

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,515
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    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. :)
     
  7. mauve21

    mauve21 Long time participant

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Please elaborate on "Jo Slee" thing!?

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

    Sim Tappertit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    The Other Side
    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.
     
  9. mauve21

    mauve21 Long time participant

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for that!:)
     
  10. goinghome

    goinghome Guest

    Re: For your interest

    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:
     
  11. Scarlet1987

    Scarlet1987 The sanest days are mad

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,329
    Location:
    London, England
    This song turns me on, the venom. Nice
     
  12. nightandday

    nightandday New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    behind a dis-used railway line
    Re: For your interest

    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.

    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.
     
  13. King Leer

    King Leer Leering since '97

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    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.
     
  14. Anaesthesine

    Anaesthesine Angel of Distemper

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    2,511
    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.
     
  15. CrystalGeezer

    CrystalGeezer My secret's my enzyme.

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    33,579
    Location:
    Azusa Adjacent
    Well put.
     
  16. mauve21

    mauve21 Long time participant

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Food for thought that's a banquet!!!:guitar:
     
  17. Frankly Vulgar

    Frankly Vulgar Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    London, UK
    can anyone tell me what does he say (if in fact he says anything at all) right at the ending of the song when he's singing what may resemble the shouts for help of the girl?

    like starting at 3:10


    Thank you
     
  18. Kewpie

    Kewpie Member Moderator Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    35,407
    According to http://www.passionsjustlikemine.com/lyrics/moz-w-lsgd.htm the sample is an actress Kay Walsh's voice from 1942 British film 'In Which We Serve'.
     
  19. marred

    marred Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,338
    Location:
    Oz For Moz
    Re: For your interest

    and that's why I love him1 I don't need to know every little detail. Mystery is worth it's weight in words :)
     
  20. Frankly Vulgar

    Frankly Vulgar Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    London, UK
Loading...

Share This Page