Morrissey A-Z: "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore"

A

Anonymous

Guest
I think this is probably his best ever vocal performance - possibly why when he tried to replicate it live, he just couldn't do it, and it was swiftly dropped. Great song, love the brooding intensity of it. I still have no idea what he's actually singing about, other than it seems extremely 'rapey', which gives it a disturbing edge. An easy 10 out of 10.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Beautiful vocal and definitely my favorite on YOR. About the meaning??? This one along with "Unhappy Birthday" presents an interesting take on birthdays in general. In "Unhappy Birthday" he doesn't go along with the norm of well-wishing someone he thought was awful just b/c it's their birthday. In this one apparently he does... and then later regrets it? Also somehow sex is involved with the birthday boy/girl... which he thinks should mean more than any of the birthday gifts and well-wishing they received. Yet he still seems somewhat loathing of birthday boy/girl. Yeah, I'm confused and would love to hear some others take on the meaning of this one.
 
Last edited:

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Easily the most ambitious track on YOR, the last great Whyte composition, and as mentioned already, truly outstanding vocals.

I always took it as a rather spiteful break-up song (Do you really think we meant all of those syrupy things we said?) after a passionate relationship (All the gifts that they gave can't compare in any way to the love I am giving to you right here right now on the floor). There's also a dark edge to the song and presumably the relationship.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A true modern classic. The music moves effortlessly between electronic balladry, cathartic choruses as well as even passages that remind me of black metal. Never thought I’d hear that on a Morrissey album. Of course, his voice is amazing, perhaps his best vocal performance. He swings from whispered menace to hollering declaration, just as smoothly as the music transitions. That stunning section after the “black metal” transition...it’s both mind blowing and also terrifying, given the sinister lyrics. They seem to be describing an abusive lover, who wants to make sure that his point gets across: once your birthday (I.e. a day protected by others) is over, any false pretences are dropped. It’s bonechilling, but sadly very relevant: another example of Moz’s way of getting under the skin in these difficult situations and examining the backbone of each. It even links to “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell” in its warnings: “be careful when you abuse the one you love”.
What else is there to add? It’s just frighteningly perfect - one of his all time greatest.
10/10
 
Last edited:

Janice

Active Member
One of my least listened to on Refusal. Never got the lusting around this one. I don’t dislike it, just not a favourite. It feels stuck in 2009.
 
Last edited:
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey's vocals - particularly at the end - are astonishing here. The way the melodic choices work with the music is also fantastic. There have been a few good songs in recent years (albeit spread out slightly thinly on occasion), but I'm not sure any song he has done since has quite reached this height.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
This one and (the superior) “You Were Good In Your Time” adds a lot of nuance to YOR. It’s not my favorite song on the album, probably not even on my top 3, but there’s hardly any denying the drama, the ambition, the weirdness that draws you in, or the 10/10 vocal performance.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
They seem to be describing an abusive lover, who wants to make sure that his point gets across: once your birthday (I.e. a day protected by others) is over, any false pretences are dropped. It’s bonechilling, but sadly very relevant: another example of Moz’s way of getting under the skin in these difficult situations and examining the backbone of each.
I definitely get the vibe of the narrator being abusive. Even aside from the more blatant references, there are plenty of lines that seem to allude to sexual abuse or rape. We all know the famous 'No means no' anti-rape campaign slogan, but here we open with:

"Your voice, it might say no
But the heart has a will of its own"


There's also another line also seems to me to be referring to physically taking someone's affection/body, who isn't willing to give it:

"It cannot be given
And so it must be taken"


The general vibe I get is of a narrator who is superficially pleasant to someone at their birthday party, then returns the next day to forcefully take what they think is sexually owed them. It's super dark, but a great song.
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
I listen to this song one day a year and it's always the day after my birthday .
7/10 but very strong 7
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Yeah, a quality song and probably the highlight of Years of Refusal. The vocal is indeed one of Morrissey's best ever.

The music and production both work well, but it is the vocal arrangement that most impresses.

The lyrical theme is the sort that very few other writers would come up with.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 26th from 264 solo songs.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
An incredible song, one of his best, but not one I often listen to. Just find the theme too dark / 'rapey' / un-Morrissey.
 

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
In 2009, the songs became more pompous and the lyrics more confused. This is a good example. The substance was noticeably diminishing.
 

Nikita

Senior Member
I don't what Morrissey tried on that one - a stadium Bono song? The vocal performance is good, but I find most of the lyrics clumsy and I can't say I am fond of the music.
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
I’ve never liked this song at all, and have just listened to it again ( for 1 minuet only) for the first time since 09...
Along with this song , I’m ok by myself , you were good in your time,
Completely ruined YOR, which could have been his greatest album ever....
I’ve noticed on a few Moz albums that sometimes the last 2-3 tracks can be somewhat forgettable...
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Fair play to those who love this song but I don't get it at all - it sounds like it's trying way too hard to make an impact on the listener (lyrically, vocally, musically). Just a complete lack of subtlety or charm.
 

Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
Like Pigsty before and Not A Man after, a classic, anthem epic song, hiding on an album for the big fans of his work to enjoy
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom