Morrissey A-Z: "Because of My Poor Education"


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Today's entry in the A-Z is this, originally the B-side of "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" and then included on the Swords compilation. (Also on a version of Years of Refusal? I get muddled with some of these things.)

What do we think of this song?


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Both lyrically and musically this comes across as a bit uninspired to me. All of the -ation rhymes feel rather forced and lazy and, while a piano ballad is a nice change, it's by no means a standout piece of music.

The vocals are ok and the "ship lost inches away from the bay" line appeals.

It's not a song that I rush back to listen to and had it been recorded by another performer, I would probably ignore it entirely.

In the poll on the other board this ranked 179 from 264 solo songs.

(Not that it matters, but I forgot to post yesterday that Back on the Chain Gang ranked 122 in the same poll)

Deleted member 29417

There's a 70s song it reminds me of - but I can't remember it's name. Or maybe it's like a lot of glam ballads???????

I quite like how twee he is about a bad education.

Worse things happen at sea.


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Because of My Poor Education...explains a lot about Morrissey's foibles with spelling and what-not.

As for the song, its another in a long-line of - as I put it - songs seemingly built around the title first. I like the piano arrangement and the lyrics (as they are written). Somewhere between the two though, it doesn't quite hit as I would like. (But my expectations are always high!)

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The song inspired this photograph by Kevin Trinh, yours for just $1,710 via the Saatchi website!


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I really love the piano on this, but the lyrics never quite add up to much and Morrissey's vocal melody (although his voice sounds lovely here) just has no hook to it at all, like he's literally making up the tune on the spot.

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Always liked this one. Sweet, earnest, and with great gallows humor. Moz the outsider, ever at odds with society’s institutions.


I think this is a great one. The piano and vocal remind me of classic 1970's Queen. "Kindhearted view me and say, 'Thank God, that's not me'," is a really great line. This one was buried on a b-side like a lot of his best songs from earlier in his career. It's also a great addition to his songs about unrequited love which is something he'd quit singing about as much.
I like that it's a pretty simple arrangement compared to something like "At Last I Am Born," but it's still an interesting sound and could have been recorded live with everyone in the same room. No tricks, just a really solid song. It's one of my favorites and renewed hope that he could always come up with more classics.


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Another track with a maritime/water reference - imagery that clearly interests him.
This makes me wish he'd cover "Cut Copy Me" by Petula Clark - what a song!

Cut copy me I'm all yours
You're the shoreline I see when I'm off course
I want you to hold me forever, make it last
Forget the others from my past


New Membrane

It’s a nice one to stumble upon
when almost forgotten.

When he sings ‘Reality is not real to me’ has a Lennon vibe about it.

glad it was given to us.


My feelings echo most of those who have already commented. Not much to say about this one. An alright lyric

The Wild Turkey

Wild T!
Never did get a chance to hear this as a b-side so when Swords
came out, I was lookin' forward to hearin' it.
Played it plenty at the time cause it was a new Moz song.
He ain't singin' about the book learnin' kind of education.

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.


New Membrane

The name Morrissey means sea spell.


‘Irish: Americanized form of Ó Muirgheasa ‘descendant of Muirgheas’, a personal name apparently derived from muir ‘sea’ + geas ‘taboo’, ‘prohibition’.

Morrissey is the forbidden sea?

makes sense, like that.

“all the things I need
and the things I receive
is an ancient ocean
wide, wild, lost, uncrossed”

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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Also, this A-Z thing - I love it. Looking forward to continuing.
morrissey a-z
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