Morrissey A-Z: "Hairdresser on Fire"


Well-Known Member

We start off the H's (of which there are 12) with this song, a B-side from the "Suedehead" single.

What do we think?


This one always used to go down well at "Moz nights" in LA.

I love the "Oye Esteban" tour version.

"Where is London? So much for London!"

Phranc & Open

I've known no war
Everything in the right place. Love the string section and the strong melody. Moz had no problems (then not now) delivering b-sides that should have been a-sides. Still sounds totally (british) late 80s to me. Stephen, please come back. Pure kitchen sink drama!
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Well-Known Member
(I have to confess that when I first heard this song on the 12-inch of "Suedehead" I thought it was stupid, and beneath Morrissey to write and sing about such trivial matters. Now, of course, I think it's one of the most Morrissey songs of all...)


I love this one. A classic. Full of great lines and the music never gets old. I just noticed the part where it sounds like bells when he sings "hairdresser on fire," and it sounds familiar. I think I should know what it is.


Well-Known Member
Simply perfection... music spot on and lyrics that are brilliant and a bit absurd at the same time.

I sense the power
In the fingers
Within an hour the power
Could totally destroy me
Or, it could save my life


Well-Known Member
What can anyone say about this song - its the best! No doubt one of his tops.
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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Only Morrissey can write such eloquent lyrics about the troubles of getting a hair appointment. Brilliant lyrics. And the music, bombastically 80's yet completely indie, is gorgeous. And the vocal melody...just listen to what magic he can create in that department when given a strong composition to work with.
However, I think my favorite version of this song is the live version from 2004. Then it really came alive. If I have any qualms about the studio version from 1988, it's that it sounds a bit restrained.

Out of all of Morrissey's frivolous, silly pop songs, this one might be number 1.

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
An absolute classic: great instrumentation, frivolous lyrics that contrast (and somewhat aid) the drama unfolding in the music. Oh, and Vini’s guitar solo: the cherry on the already delicious cake. Still great even after countless plays: newer live versions are good too, with some different, more comedic (and therefore less ambiguous) lines (“psychologically shave me”).



Junior Member
B-side perfection. In the top-5 best songs on Bona Drag, which means that it’s better than some A-sides of its age. Never will I tire of this song.





Let The Bullets Fly.
great song,never get bored listening to it over the decades,so many great lines in it.
theres actually a video game called busy scissors,wonder if they got the title from the song.


Any other connotation to ‘on fire’ other than busy/frantic?


Practising troublemaker
Simply, truly – beautiful; Hairdresser On Fire is up there with the very best of Morrissey’s work. Tucking this song away as a B-side was a simultaneous act of pure madness & pure Morrissey. In the words of André Gide, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
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