Morrissey A-Z: "Israel"

Gregor Samsa

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


Brazil, Belgium, Bahrain, Venezuela, Mexico, Egypt, Ukraine...

Many more, I'm sure.
Scandinavia!
 
Elton John released an album with a song called 'Belfast' on it, sung completely as all his songs are in a poor articulated west coast twang, while never once leaving his plethora of ivory towers to see what conflict might feel like after midnight in Drumcree.

Simple Minds tried socio-political comment with 'Belfast Child' using 'Billy & Mary' as the names of choice for the characters in the song, just to keep it even. That was clumsy too.

Israel is worse. He lived through Mancunian poverty and so has every right to sing about it. This sounds like him regurgitating what Tina told him about while they drank at the Cat & Fiddle or dined at Pura Vita.

Not at all contrived, and written during Moz's much publicised years touring the settlements of the West Bank and Gaza Strip plus his in depth study of the Oslo Accords.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
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.”
I know you're not going to like this but you've been pushing this anti-Gustavo message a lot. Remember this post?
In my opinion, one of the maybe three (five if I’m being kind) worst songs of his career. The composition is confusing, in a true Gustavo fashion. The vocal melody is beyond annoying, and the lyrics are unbelievably stupid. This could be the anthem for the conspiracy theorists and rabid right wing trolls of Facebook and YouTube.
And when @GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn corrected you,
The music was written by Jesse Tobias.
you answered with this?
That doesn’t change the fact that it sounds confusing and completely in the vein of Gustavo. I did however think it was a Gustavo song when I made that post.

I like your thoughts on these songs but after that maybe you should lay off for a while with your Gustavo grudge.
His songs are seeming to get some pretty good responses and I think that the music is sometimes a highlight in his co-writes.
Just think about what I'm saying. It's not an attack.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I know you're not going to like this but you've been pushing this anti-Gustavo message a lot. Remember this post?

And when @GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn corrected you,

you answered with this?


I like your thoughts on these songs but after that maybe you should lay off for a while with your Gustavo grudge.
His songs are seeming to get some pretty good responses and I think that the music is sometimes a highlight in his co-writes.
Just think about what I'm saying. It's not an attack.
I’m not quite sure what your point is. I shouldn’t slag Gustavo off because some people here like his compositions? Or because I once made a mistake (which I admitted to), thinking that that one song was by Gustavo when it in fact was written by Jesse (even though it does sound like a Gustavo song)? No, I’ll think I’ll continue speaking my mind. Thanks all the same.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about the lyrics because they come across as a patchwork of thoughts. But ultimately, it is a song about the struggle with God (as mentioned by The Truth) and our entire existence ("Earth is one big asylum, one explosive prison cell") due to restrictions imposed by religions, armies and also by the envy of others. These are familiar themes already expressed in other Morrissey songs. Here, he likens his own struggle for existence to that of Israel or at least the people of Israel.

I find the music quite enjoyable, honestly. I admit there isn't much of a tune, but I like how they gradually build a dark and threatening atmosphere, and when it finally explodes, it is liberating (Love yourself as you should, Israel). It's a nice example of the music accompanying the narrator on his "existential" journey.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I didn't like it's bombast - but I've got used to it.

I don't think it's about Israel as such - it sounds more like it's about sexual freedom. Morrissey's hotel in Tel Aviv is right next to the gay beach & it's one of the most gay friendly cities in the world. (It's built on a powder keg, but the situation for gay people in a lot of the world is pretty dire.)

And he was a fan of Lior Ashkenazi & the film Walk On Water which tackles Israel's political problems by subverting masculinity & collapsing strict binaries with homoeroticism.

20210331_161847.jpg
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
Elton John released an album with a song called 'Belfast' on it, sung completely as all his songs are in a poor articulated west coast twang, while never once leaving his plethora of ivory towers to see what conflict might feel like after midnight in Drumcree.

Simple Minds tried socio-political comment with 'Belfast Child' using 'Billy & Mary' as the names of choice for the characters in the song, just to keep it even. That was clumsy too.

Israel is worse. He lived through Mancunian poverty and so has every right to sing about it. This sounds like him regurgitating what Tina told him about while they drank at the Cat & Fiddle or dined at Pura Vita.

Not at all contrived, and written during Moz's much publicised years touring the settlements of the West Bank and Gaza Strip plus his in depth study of the Oslo Accords.
Pretty much the best post on these here forums.
 

Jen M

New Member
It's my first listen. ☺️ I like the expressiveness of his voice, and the way he uses it in the song with the music being ideal for emphasizing it. It reminds me of his early solo work. Theatrical, dramatic, yes and similar in that way to songs on Bona Drag. He does it well.

I won't attempt to say what the lyrics may mean although it seems like a gay themed song yet it could be about Israel itself or why not both of those. It's Israel that lends the forboding atmosphere so the song would be nothing without it. It feels especially dark today with the repression that's happening to Israel's people.
 

Nikita

Senior Member
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
If this song deserves 10/10, how do you rate Well I Wonder, There is a Light or last Night I Dreamt?
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
If this song deserves 10/10, how do you rate Well I Wonder, There is a Light or last Night I Dreamt?
Right? Or Now My Heart Is Full, Speedway, Everyday Is Like Sunday etc.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
If this song deserves 10/10, how do you rate Well I Wonder, There is a Light or last Night I Dreamt?
Right? Or Now My Heart Is Full, Speedway, Everyday Is Like Sunday etc.

Well, the rating doesn't mean the song's perfect: it's just a way of displaying my thoughts in a quick format.
If I was to rate the song 5 stars (which equates to a 10/10 rating), this doesn't automatically cement its ranking or deem it to be an "all time classic", whatever that means for you.
Looking at a score will never tell you about the wider context of giving that score: that's why I don't just dump a rating and leave it at that.
I would rate all of those songs the same. As we've seen these past few weeks, I have delegated many high scores. I like many of his songs. Thought goes behind them, but I'm not going to be sitting there for hours on end narrowing it down to the most "accurate" score - I'll reiterate, they're just there as a means for "at-a-glance" viewing.
Don't take them to be restrictive: being that I have continually loved this song since I first heard it, when the album was released, I think it deserves its rating.
I hope this clears things up nicely.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It's a soaring and impressive vocal, but the lyrics make this truly unlistenable for me. It's the equivalent of singing a love song to South Africa in the midst of the apartheid years, glossy over the human rights abuses, and just blaming the bad press on other countries being jealous. Utterly ghastly.
 

Refresh Image

New 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.
72nd? Shurely shome mishtake
 
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