Morrissey A-Z: "Israel"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member


We enter the final stretch of songs beginning with "I" with this Morrissey/Manzur composition, the closing track on Low in High School.

What do we think?
 

Janice

Active Member
10
Best song on the album
Only performed once live which was a shame. Met it’s maker at Aberdeen with Girl from Tek-.Aviv
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Lyrically, it’s horrible. Musically, it’s pretentious and plodding in true Gustavo fashion, but it’s not without atmosphere. And thanks to the atmosphere, it’s far from being Gustavo’s worst composition. But still, it’s light years away from the best modern day Morrissey compositions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Gustavo is a fine musician, but he can’t hardly write a decent song (One of Our Own is an exception, but a lot of its greatness is thanks to Moz’ vocal melody).
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A cruelly underrated piece. Dramatic instrumentation that builds, ebbs and flows to aid the increasingly empathetic lyricism: “I can’t answer for what armies do, they are not you”.
I’ve always taken the words as a sympathetic message to those who are struggling under restrictive power structures. They are delivered honestly, without any sense of spite for those stuck in these incredibly unfortunate positions; that’s saved for the “armies” and other leaders. The grand finale says it all: “love yourself as you should, Israel”. In the end, there is always a glimmer of hope.
A perfect way to finish the album and another stellar track in this week’s run of songs.
10/10
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
I think it's much more about the meaning of the name which is "struggles with God" than it is about the nation. But the line about what armies do seem to be about the difference between the actions of a state and the people of that nation. It seems to say that he's not blaming the people of Israel for the actions of the Israeli government.
Mostly I think it's universal and about the "struggle with God" and religious restriction.
It's a nice song and gives you something to think about but you don't necessarily have to analyze it to enjoy it. The feeling comes through.
This has probably already all been discussed but this is another one I'm hearing for the first time. Getting mad at Morrissey has it's benefits because you can go back and listen to some fresh music when you (mostly) get over it.
 
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Southport Grandma

Active Member
Lyrically, it’s horrible. Musically, it’s pretentious and plodding in true Gustavo fashion, but it’s not without atmosphere. And thanks to the atmosphere, it’s far from being Gustavo’s worst composition. But still, it’s light years away from the best modern day Morrissey compositions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Gustavo is a fine musician, but he can’t hardly write a decent song (One of Our Own is an exception, but a lot of its greatness is thanks to Moz’ vocal melody).
His playing always reminds me of Mike Garson on “Lady Grinning Soul”. I like “Neil Cassidy Drops Dead”. “Israel” is ok but not a song I would seek out to play outside of listening to “Low in High School” as an album. I take the lyrics “I can’t answer for what armies do, they are not you” as Morrissey’s comment on the supporting Israel but not necessarily Zionism argument.
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
great song and fantastic vocal.this is the song that showed reviewers up for what thay are.they didnt agree with the politics so they gave low scores,low in high school got some 1 out of 5 scores which equates to an M album getting two out of 10.
8 guilty/10 sinners.
 

Radis Noir

Shut yer gobs, you wankers!
I'd forgotten how bad this song is. Lyrically it was all done so much better in 'I Have Forgiven Jesus.' Harmonically it's just too repetitive and uninteresting and the arrangement is leaden and bombastic. And my word does it go on. It's a fittingly club-footed end to the uninspiring side 2 of the album.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
The comparison between Israel the country and Morrissey the person is inescapable. The outsider status of both is essential to the song.

The opening line made me laugh when I first heard it and is typical Morrissey.

Again you can hear why the music for the album was praised by many critics.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 72nd from 264 solo songs.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I don't have a clue about the lyrics (not interested in that stuff, sorry), but the vocal melody is rather lovely. Still, it feels like another of those LIHS songs that you could imagine in a middle-ranking Lloyd Webber musical.
 

Thewlis

Junior Member
A really strong closer, that partly makes up for a weaker second half of High School.

A strong anti-religion message as well, best part:

Who are virgin priests to tell
Who, how to love
How to live


8,6
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
The comparison between Israel the country and Morrissey the person is inescapable. The outsider status of both is essential to the song.

The opening line made me laugh when I first heard it and is typical Morrissey.

Again you can hear why the music for the album was praised by many critics.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 72nd from 264 solo songs.
I can’t believe the music was as praised as it was. To me, it varies between plodding, circus-type music and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. There are a few exceptions, but not many. I guess the reason the critics praised the music of the album was to piss off Moz, because they had it in for him. “The only good thing about your album is the one thing you had nothing to do with.”
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Now I'm wondering...what other countries / nation states have been mentioned in lyrics by Morrissey, either solo or with The Smiths? We have Israel here, and obviously England and America...and Luxembourg. How many more are there?

Maybe he could do a whole album with this kind of tracklisting:

1. Scotland
2. North Korea
3. Honduras
4. Libya
5. South Sudan
6. Papua New Guinea
7. Chile
8. Bulgaria
9. Finland
10. Madagascar
11. United Arab Emirates
12. Kyrgyzstan
 
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Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I can’t believe the music was as praised as it was. To me, it varies between plodding, circus-type music and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. There are a few exceptions, but not many. I guess the reason the critics praised the music of the album was to piss off Moz, because they had it in for him. “The only good thing about your album is the one thing you had nothing to do with.”

The most likely answer is often the correct one. They praised the music because they liked it.

It's only natural that the critics should hold different opinions to the fans because, let's face it, the critics generally weren't full of praise for the Alain/Boz contributions of yore.

Now I'm wondering...what other countries / nation states have been mentioned in lyrics by Morrissey, either solo or with The Smiths? We have Israel here, and obviously England and America...and Luxembourg. How many more are there?
Brazil, Belgium, Bahrain, Venezuela, Mexico, Egypt, Ukraine...

Many more, I'm sure.
 
T

Trans

Guest
Now I'm wondering...what other countries / nation states have been mentioned in lyrics by Morrissey, either solo or with The Smiths? We have Israel here, and obviously England and America...and Luxembourg. How many more are there?

Maybe he could do a whole album with this kind of tracklisting:

1. Scotland
2. North Korea
3. Honduras
4. Libya
5. South Sudan
6. Papua New Guinea
7. Chile
8. Bulgaria
9. Finland
10. Madagascar
11. United Arab Emirates
12. Kyrgyzstan

arent there a bunch in bullfighter
 
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