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

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Guest
I always thought that line about prison was about performing. Certainly about an unhealthy relationship but it doesn’t have to be about rape. It’s more interesting to see both people as unhealthy one for being attracted to the situation and the other for how they act in it. Both seem stuck in bad spots. It’s more amusing still if we imagine morrissey is in the birthday suit and the fans/public as a whole are given the part of rough lover. Music by Morrisseys standards, is very intimate relationship between listener and artist . Both for sure have unhealthy desires
 

Anaesthesine

Angel of Distemper
I always thought that line about prison was about performing. Certainly about an unhealthy relationship but it doesn’t have to be about rape. It’s more interesting to see both people as unhealthy one for being attracted to the situation and the other for how they act in it. Both seem stuck in bad spots. It’s more amusing still if we imagine morrissey is in the birthday suit and the fans/public as a whole are given the part of rough lover. Music by Morrisseys standards, is very intimate relationship between listener and artist . Both for sure have unhealthy desires
I've always admired Morrissey's willingness to embrace his role as music's most unreliable narrator. Does he mean it? Is he advocating for it? Is he condemning it? Is he singing about racism/violence/mental illness/sexual predation from his own viewpoint? From someone else's? He was the king of ambiguity (on almost every level). That uncertainty made his music weirdly compelling (to some of us at least).

As for the "prison" line, I always thought it referred to the entirety of the creative process ("...turned sickness into popular song" is one of my favorite lyrics).

Whatever the viewpoint this song is cruel, brutal and implies violence. Despite his fantastic vocals, it's a deeply unpleasant listen.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I've always admired Morrissey's willingness to embrace his role as music's most unreliable narrator. Does he mean it? Is he advocating for it? Is he condemning it? Is he singing about racism/violence/mental illness/sexual predation from his own viewpoint? From someone else's? He was the king of ambiguity (on almost every level). That uncertainty made his music weirdly compelling (to some of us at least).
That's exactly right... is he one of the characters or merely an observer?

It's about a dysfunctional and abusive relationship for sure... it reminds me of past on/off again relationships that could be quite passionate but also emotionally detached and even unkind and somewhat cruel at times. I don't think this song is about rape, and only the most literal reading of the lyrics would even imply it. Nevertheless, it's quite a dark song... but good vocals.
 
T

Trans

Guest
I've always admired Morrissey's willingness to embrace his role as music's most unreliable narrator. Does he mean it? Is he advocating for it? Is he condemning it? Is he singing about racism/violence/mental illness/sexual predation from his own viewpoint? From someone else's? He was the king of ambiguity (on almost every level). That uncertainty made his music weirdly compelling (to some of us at least).

As for the "prison" line, I always thought it referred to the entirety of the creative process ("...turned sickness into popular song" is one of my favorite lyrics).

Whatever the viewpoint this song is cruel, brutal and implies violence. Despite his fantastic vocals, it's a deeply unpleasant listen.

I tend to think he has multiple layered meanings in many songs. Perhaps his personal viewpoint could be from both perspectives as well as observations from similar situations in life and fiction. It makes me think of desire and frustration and desperation for all involved in the song
 

skull

Active Member
Fantastic song, but perfect example of lyrics I'd like to be clearer. What is this song about? I think sometimes it's good to leave space for interpretations to the listener, but sometimes... not so much. It could be bad writing.
 
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