Morrissey A-Z: "Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel, The"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member


Today's song is this one, from the Low in High School album. (I'm genuinely intrigued as to the... opinions we're going to get on this.)
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
Now, I’ve made it clear that I am actually pretty fond of Low in High School. But this song is the worst on it. The instrumentation is barely there, and sounds just like a sped up version of “In Your Lap”: the track sequencing here perplexes me. Moz barely shows off his voice, leaving a performance that has more in common with a voiceover: the lyrics (despite ringing true) hold barely much more than facts, with little metaphorical or engaging embellishment. There are, however, some nice moments: “the land weeps oil” section and the guitar solo are more engaging, but even those wear thin over 5 minutes! Those save it from being truly awful, though. It’s a shame because Side 1 (sans “My Love”) plus “Israel” is really good. My message: ignore this one, give LIHS a fair swing!
 
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Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I do like the idea of Morrissey venturing into pre-rock'n'roll music genres and away from pub rock. This is a pleasant but a slight song, which suffers from the same malaise as Instanbul: it's an admirable attempt to step into the mind of an Arab woman, but it just doesn't feel genuine. Plus the lyrics are full of evasion ("No need to get to into that now") and unearned la-da-da's. I do like the phrase and refrain of "and the land weeps oil", though.
 
J

Janice

Guest
No good this one.
was pleased to hear it live in Aberdeen to see how it turned out, but equally pleased it remained in Aberdeen !
A night remembered for Hugh pacing up and down with Trinity, like he was the most important person in Scotland :lbf: :crazy: :ahhh: 🚷⛔:banned:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Is he channeling mid-1960s Elvis? The music sounds like something out of a cartoon. The lyrics are half-baked, he should have kept them light. Awful. I will never listen to this song on purpose again.
 

Thewlis

Junior Member
It’s all right, a bit of an anonymous album track though. Somehow a KU-vibe for me in the instrumentation.

6,2
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I'm not ever going to have this on repeat or anything, and I don't listen much to LIHS but as an occasional song it's quite enjoyable. I love the tango feel and for whatever reason I can almost imagine late-period Leonard Cohen singing parts of this...I just don't feel any connection with the lyrics.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
This is probably my least favourite track on Low in High School and I agree with the earlier comments that it's too long and it should not have been placed near In Your Lap.

The "No need to get into that now" lyric reminds me of the "I could say more" line from Dagenham Dave...and not in a positive way.

Also, for what ought to be dramatic subject matter, it's a strangely lifeless and dull song.

I have no problem with Morrissey exploring new themes or styles of music though, it's just this isn't the best example.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 212 from 264 solo songs.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Now, THIS is one of his very, very worst songs. It has no redeeming quality whatsoever. Endlessly stupid lyrics and super annoying music. Please, no.
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
For some reason, of Morrissey’s 21st century output I am repeatedly drawn back, over his other albums, to both Low In High School and World Peace Is None Of Your Business. Perhaps this is because they are two of his more recent releases, but… I don’t think so. I may be going against the grain here, but I actually think Low In High School is a strong album. My prime bugbear with the LP, and songs like The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel is the, for me, totally unrelatable and repeated references to Israel and The Arab Spring. In Your Lap, Israel and the aforementioned The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel often makes me feel that the entire album was part funded by the Israeli Tourist Board. I enjoy the breezy music of The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel, and some of the lines draw me in, but the overall oblique song just leaves me a little confused – what is it really about. Can anybody tell me?
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
For some reason, of Morrissey’s 21st century output I am repeatedly drawn back, over his other albums, to both Low In High School and World Peace Is None Of Your Business. Perhaps this is because they are two of his more recent releases, but… I don’t think so. I may be going against the grain here, but I actually think Low In High School is a strong album. My prime bugbear with the LP, and songs like The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel is the, for me, totally unrelatable and repeated references to Israel and The Arab Spring. In Your Lap, Israel and the aforementioned The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel often makes me feel that the entire album was part funded by the Israeli Tourist Board. I enjoy the breezy music of The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel, and some of the lines draw me in, but the overall oblique song just leaves me a little confused – what is it really about. Can anybody tell me?

In order for Morrissey to receive the key to the city, Tel Aviv demanded its pound of flesh...
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
In order for Morrissey to receive the key to the city, Tel Aviv demanded its pound of flesh...
Speaking of pounds of flesh, it looks like the Tel Aviv Tourist Board used the same chaps behind the wonderful Nair campaign! ;)
s
TelAviv.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 29421

Guest
I agree that when he sings 'no need to go into that now' it's almost as if he's saying that he understands their plight very deeply and intellectually but hasn't time to go into it. Why bother writing a song about Israel then? I would have liked to have learned something from the song. I think sometimes Morrissey gets emotional about things but he gets SO emotional that he can't express what he thinks. It's all about the emotion. I think the emotion comes across in his intonation on this one.
 
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
Now, THIS is one of his very, very worst songs. It has no redeeming quality whatsoever. Endlessly stupid lyrics and super annoying music. Please, no.
We don't agree on much musically but I agree 100% with you on this one.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
We don't agree on much musically but I agree 100% with you on this one.
Peace on earth!
I agree that when he sings 'no need to go into that now' it's almost as if he's saying that he understands their plight very deeply and intellectually but hasn't time to go into it. Why bother writing a song about Israel then? I would have liked to have learned something from the song. I think sometimes Morrissey gets emotional about things but he gets SO emotional that he can't express what he thinks. It's all about the emotion. I think the emotion comes across in his intonation on this one.

I've lumped it in with his pandering to a wider international audience with songs targeting certain demographics. Yes admittedly there is little to support this position, i.e. no eye-opening interviews, etc. And it isn't as if he has a song for Indonesia or South America, or even correlation between songs and new tour locations. But still - its just a theory.

The moment Moz covers "The Girl from Ipanema", or comes out with a spoken word song extolling the tastes of nasi goreng - you must please remember!
 
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Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
The key to the city pre-dates WPINOYB by a couple of years - perhaps a delayed nod to them?
Personally, it's the closest he's come to sounding like a Sting record.
Regards,
FWD.
 
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