Morrissey A-Z: "Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning"

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Yet another unsung, understated and low key masterpiece from Vauxhall and I. This is Moz at his most dreamy. Stunning production from SL, and perfectly executed by the band. And I haven’t even brushed on Morrissey’s incredible vocal or the eerie, funny and poetic Stevie Smith inspired lyrics...


Well-Known Member
This is just perfection, and again a song which only Moz could have written.
It's totally unique; gentle, dreamy, almost ghostly in its perfect vocal & musical delivery.
Then comes the chilling & devastating:

Please don't worry
There'll be no fuss
She was ... nobody's nothing

Absolutely stunning piece by Moz.
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This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A very strange piece, this, what with the eerie lead vocals and snaking clarinet. Everything combines to create a sinister tone, and, especially considering the bleak lyrics, it definitely delivers. The hazy production of Lillywhite also aids the song’s swaying textures, making each instrument bleed into one another for a dreamy effect. One of my newer favourites from Vauxhall, but a favourite nonetheless.

Phranc & Open

Mother's little helper
With this kind of singing, Morrissey takes full risks and wins everything. I like to repeat myself: Boorer had fantastic tunes going in the 90s and Lilliwhyte knew exactly how to put him and the music in the best light.


I think this song is really funny. Once again, "no one else would write those lyrics." My favorite song with "Lifeguard" in the title. I'll give it an 8/10 too. The watery tremolo guitar and soaked in reverb production are very literal and I think that adds to the fun.

Phranc & Open

Mother's little helper
Attempts in the head voice on newer pieces under Chiccarelli, Fynn or Visconti are rather difficult matters.


rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
dont know if i like this or not.its a strange one for me.
7 lifes/10 guards.


Well-Known Member
I think this song is a little underrated and it further reinforces that Boz reached a peak in 1994 which sadly he couldn't quite maintain.

I remember that the NME were full of praise for this song in their contemporary review and compared it favourably with some of The Smiths weirder artistic efforts.

A bold vocal from Morrissey and intriguing Stevie Smith-inspired lyrics.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 77th from 264 solo songs.


Practising troublemaker
Not a number I find myself singing along to with such frequency as some of the other songs on the wonderful ‘Vauxhall and I’, Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning is a beautiful number; I don’t often sing along to this one because the vocals here are so stunning, so dreamy and hazy, that nobody else can, or should, touch them. As I listen now I can almost feel the tide tugging at my feet….


Well-Known Member
I am really intrigued by his voice here: entirely in the highest range of his voice and almost whispering in your ears at times. Yes, he went out of his range on this one and that is rare. Interesting on the level of instrumentation and production too, like you're being washed away by the sea. So words and music are teaming up nicely towards something bigger than the separate parts.
A wonderful song from an unsurpassed album.

'The sky became mad with stars, as an outstretched arm...slowly disappears' is the best line.

The only downside is that its a carbon copy of a song that Michael Stipe hasn't written yet, so a possible plagiarism lawsuit against Moz cannot be ruled out.


Angel of Distemper
Dark, dreamy and twisted; it's what Morrissey does best.

As others have said: no one can touch these gorgeous, whispered vocals.


Senior Member
One of the best Boorer’s tunes , with some weird Russian vibe, and some great lyrics. First song I adored on Vauxhall.


Visitor since 1997
Good song on a great album but it's my least favorite song on V&I... I would have much preferred he switched this one out for the B-side "I'd love too"


She was probably found on the other shore and managed to be saved. It's for sure " Girlfriend in a coma " prequel .
It's an odd song but I do like it .


Well-Known Member
My least favorite on Vauxhall, which doesn't mean a whole lot given how much I love everything on this record. A restrained take on “Not Waving But Drowning,” this has to be the most experimental Morrissey has ever been with his vocals? I’m not much of a Cure fan, but his approach here always pleasantly reminded me of “Lullaby.”

Despite preferring it to this song, I don’t think “I’d Love To” would have worked here.
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