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

MrShoes

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
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.

As Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE never said, "these things take time" FWD...
 
T

Trans

Guest
It’s about a specific person so I thought the no need line was just referring to another part of her story. Anyway I love this song as it reminds me of an old French song from the sixties or something. Love the arrangement and don’t hear anything related to in your lap
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Another swipe at authority:
"The girl from Tel Aviv who wouldn't kneel, not for husband, dictator, tyrant or king"
But then, why not praise the resistance provided by many strong women in the world? I can't object to that.

In contrast, I am finding the end of the lyric "And the land weeps oil, what do you think all these conflicts are for?" rather clumsy. Is this his attempt to summarize the rather complex history of Israel and the Middle East in one line?

As for the tune, haters of "Earth..." will hate this one too. I like the tune, Gustavo kept it simple for a change and he's obviously a good piano player. It's just not my favorite backdrop for Morrissey's voice. Still one of the more enjoyable songs on LIHS.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
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?

I think it's about being yourself under extreme circumstances - nothing will make her subservient - not marriage, poverty, American foreign policy, torture or war.
 

CJM

Practising troublemaker
I think it's about being yourself under extreme circumstances - nothing will make her subservient - not marriage, poverty, American foreign policy, torture or war.
Nerak – I thought the same also. But, why Tel Aviv? Surely Tel Aviv is one of the more affluent cities of the Middle East, and being a predominantly Jewish city – is The Girl from Tel Aviv Jewish herself? If yes, she is a poor example, when stood up against the lives of many other women in the region, of somebody who may be expected to be ‘subservient’? I would have imagined a girl from Tel Aviv, bucktoothed or not, to be totally emancipated. The Girl From Gaza would make more sense. Perhaps I have totally missed the point!
 

Mayfly

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

6,2

It is hardly a coincidence that I started to listen to KU again around the time of LIHS. And I am happy to report that it sounded less like an alien in the Morrissey catalogue. If only KU songs had received the same quality of production.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Nerak – I thought the same also. But, why Tel Aviv? Surely Tel Aviv is one of the more affluent cities of the Middle East, and being a predominantly Jewish city – is The Girl from Tel Aviv Jewish herself? If yes, she is a poor example, when stood up against the lives of many other women in the region, of somebody who may be expected to be ‘subservient’? I would have imagined a girl from Tel Aviv, bucktoothed or not, to be totally emancipated. The Girl From Gaza would make more sense. Perhaps I have totally missed the point!

It's the city he's stayed in.

Based on a book, film, something in a museum?
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I'm currently listening to the Ethel Merman Disco Album - so the music on Low In High School isn't going to bother me.

I wish he'd do an album called Sad Gay Disco & recreate all the grotty clubs/pubs he had to endure in 1975 Manchester. He came close with the video for Spent The Day In Bed.

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(Absolutely adored that her autobiography had a chapter titled Ernest Borgnine & the rest of the chapter was completely blank.)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It's a really bad sign that this is the first song on these A-Z's that I literally couldn't remember beyond the opening line, and had to play the video to remember it (this is despite owning and playing 'Low in High School' several times). The only vaguely positive thing it has going for it is the tango feel is mildly different to most of Morrissey's catalogue, however it doesn't help that it sounds so similar (and inferior) to 'In Your Lap'. Lyrically the shift from personal story into world politics at the end is incredibly clumsy, (what has some feminist in Tel Aviv got to do with the USA invading countries for oil?) and Morrissey doesn't really provide anything of interest melodically or lyrically.

Completely unmemorable, this is a song which should have been taken out the back of the recording studio and shot. 3 out of 10.
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
This is a cracking piece of music (subtle, tuneful, nuanced) and a pretty good lyric (apart from the American way line).
'The land weeps oil' is a nice turn of phrase, and the observation that it's a major cause of all the problems out there is actually pretty much spot on. Also love his use of the word 'countenance'. Other themes lightly touched on include religious scepticism, feminism, the use of torture - it's all interesting stuff, deftly handled. A relative highpoint in the 21st century Morrissey songbook.
 

Gregor Samsa

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

Verso

Well-Known Member
I would rather have someone walk in on me masturbating than walk in on me listening to this song.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
I didn't want to come right out of the gate being negative but this is the first one I haven't listened to all the way through. I bought the first single from this record but then I got mad at him for the Kevin Spacey/Weinstein thing and I've never heard this record all the way through. I was hoping I'd missed out when I started this one last night but I don't think so. Glad to read it's the worst.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I didn't want to come right out of the gate being negative but this is the first one I haven't listened to all the way through. I bought the first single from this record but then I got mad at him for the Kevin Spacey/Weinstein thing and I've never heard this record all the way through. I was hoping I'd missed out when I started this one last night but I don't think so. Glad to read it's the worst.
I’m not even sure it’s the worst. Wait til you hear ‘Who Will Protect Us From the Police’. A strong contender for worst song.
 

Gregor Samsa

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