Morrissey A-Z: "Mute Witness"

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Always been near the bottom of my KU list.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
Kill Uncle’s best offering, I think. While there are other good tracks on there, this is the only one that seems almost complete. A character sketch in the vein of “November Spawned a Monster”, the chirping piano and wailing feedback calls back to Roxy Music, while the minor key and sorrowful tone makes for one of the best vocal performances on the LP, too. As with all the Uncle tracks, it would have been better with more lyrics, a bit more fleshed out, but the sarcastic repetition of “your taxi is here, my dear” seems to unearth some of the prejudices people have towards disabled people. The overall message of the song isn’t necessarily comedic, more comedic through the eyes of those around her. They used it as a title for a horror film, so it can’t all be positive, can it?
Definitely my Kill Uncle favourite - always coming back to this one.
9/10
 
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BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
One of absolute favourites from Kill Uncle, I've loved this song since the first day I heard it. Fascinating lyrics which could equally be sung over a slow, mournful backing but here juxtaposed with Langer's bouncy, upbeat Roxy-esque sounds. And there are so many elements to Morrissey's vocal melody that stick in my mind - this song pops into my brain all the time.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
Kill Uncle’s best offering, I think. While there are other good tracks on there, this is the only one that seems almost complete. A character sketch in the vein of “November Spawned a Monster”, the chirping piano and wailing feedback calls back to Roxy Music, while the minor key and sorrowful tone makes for one of the best vocal performances on the LP, too. As with all the Uncle tracks, it would have been better with more lyrics, a bit more fleshed out, by the sarcastic repetition of “your taxi is here, my dear” seems to unearth some of the prejudices people have towards disabled people. The overall message of the song isn’t necessarily comedic, more comedic through the eyes of those around her. They used it as a title for a horror film, so it can’t all be positive, can it?
Definitely my Kill Uncle favourite - always coming back to this one.
9/10

Well stated!
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
classic M,agree with the roxy connection especially the distortion and the piano.
" now see her pointing to the frisbee",that could be greatest line in his career,so funny.
8 frisbees/10 frisbees.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Certainly one of the strongest songs on Kill Uncle, but that is a relative judgment. Another one with intentional hints of Sparks, the production doesn't quite do the song justice.

The live version certainly had plenty of energy, despite the obvious imperfections.

In the poll on the Hoffman board it ranked 124th from 264 solo songs.
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
Fascinating song, by virtue of the subject matter, with Moz highlighting/addressing difficult life issues in song (again), & the way those who have such difficulties are/were derided/mocked, patronised, much like November, et al. While I don't consider this to be the best track on the album, I love it mainly for what Moz expresses so well.
The vocals are (as always) wonderful; to my ears the piano & bass dominate the track which makes it unusual from that point, with guitar taking a lesser role just sliding in for effect, & I love Paresi's pristine drum work! Marvellous!
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
It's certainly a pleasant and timeless pop song, the only one of its kind on KU.
So it is easy to see why it became a live favorite. Add to this that the live version has more energy.
It makes me think that with different production, this song could have featured on almost any Morrissey album.
Enjoyable as it is, I don't rate it among his top songs though.
 

skull

Active Member
I so love this song! My favourite from Kill Uncle. Pity he never performs it live, it would need some fresh air. One of his underrated best, in my opinion.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Surely this is one of the best and most subtle songs ever written about a UFO encounter. Like almost all the Kill Uncle material, it benefits from its more energetic live performance. Reminds me of this passage from The Severed Alliance:

"On the evening of Sunday 9 March, he and a friend witnessed a fleet of flying saucers traveling across the sky in a hexagonal formation.
The sighting lasted almost a full 10 minutes and rendered him absolutely speechless. 'The whole thing had an astonishing effect on me'
Morrissey told friends. For days afterward he felt inexplicably strange whenever he recalled the incident. The eerie encounter left him firmly
convinced that the government was covering up the truth about UFOs."


And this from A Light That Never Goes Out:


"On trips to London, Morrissey would visit Maker; on one occasion the pair were insistent that they saw 'flying saucers hover low
and slow over Bermondsey,' only about three hundred feet in front of them, and they reported the sighting to the UFO Society. ...
'At one point I stood on the balcony and stared directly into one hovering ship, and it STOPPED in mid-air above me,' Morrissey
wrote to his friend Lindsay Hutton. 'Without a doubt, it was watching me!' "
 

ThePoliticalRevolution

Well-Known Member
Surely this is one of the best and most subtle songs ever written about a UFO encounter. Like almost all the Kill Uncle material, it benefits from its more energetic live performance. Reminds me of this passage from The Severed Alliance:

"On the evening of Sunday 9 March, he and a friend witnessed a fleet of flying saucers traveling across the sky in a hexagonal formation.
The sighting lasted almost a full 10 minutes and rendered him absolutely speechless. 'The whole thing had an astonishing effect on me'
Morrissey told friends. For days afterward he felt inexplicably strange whenever he recalled the incident. The eerie encounter left him firmly
convinced that the government was covering up the truth about UFOs."
I've seen an UFO. In fact, I'm sure I've been on a UFO!
 
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