Morrissey A-Z: "The Bullfighter Dies"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Our song for Monday is "The Bullfighter Dies", a track from the World Peace Is None of Your Business album.

There's the spoken word version:



and the song itself:



What do we think of this one?
 
A

Anonymoos

Guest
It's melodically OK, but it's just so slight - the verse lyrics are meaningless, with Moz randomly rhyming words with Spanish cities, so it lives and dies entirely on the chorus. As a throwaway B-side this is perfectly fine, and exactly the status it would have been accorded in the Smiths or early solo days. That it was released as a digital/promo single, and played ad nauseum live, is slightly worrying.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Not a lot to say about this one.
It's probably liked and hated in equal measure if previous discussions are anything to go by.
222 live outings means he likes it at least :)
His own explanation of the 'animal anthem' via a PETA blog:
Regards,
FWD.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Clatters along.

The end softens it a bit - it's not so much wanting the bullfighter to die, it's wanting the bull to live.

And as I hate bullfighting - I approve.
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
Very strong point of World Peace which is very underated album . I remember i had a good fun with this song during the concerts .

 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
The 1 (possibly 2) proposed vinyl releases that were 'scrapped by Steve Barnett' seemed interesting despite the lacklustre covers. They were a nice nod to bygone Harvest record sleeves, but not exactly 'classic' Morrissey.

Screenshot_20210208-072052~3.png


French Amazon also had a listing for The Bullfighter Dies 7" with Scandinavia (French Mix) as the B-side (was due Sept. 25 that year). Neither have seen the light of day.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I wouldn't agree that the verses are meaningless - the narrator is saying that he's insane, lonely, ill, gets no relief, but then someone tells him a bull has survived and he's happy.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I like it. It's upbeat and brief and has a nice melody. A bit lightweight, but I approve of the message. One for the pearl-clutchers. 😱


And the spoken word video is gorgeous.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I remember when this song was debuted in concert it was met with a generally very positive reaction on here:


I don't think the studio version is quite up to the same standard, and it could have used more energy and jangly guitars.

The song's popularity also hasn't been helped by its ubiquity in the setlist, obviously.

I don't think it's one of the strongest songs of the era, but it is short and to the point. It is a relief to listen to a 2 minute track after some of the overlong recordings that we have covered recently.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 241 from 264 solo songs.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
It's melodically OK, but it's just so slight - the verse lyrics are meaningless, with Moz randomly rhyming words with Spanish cities, so it lives and dies entirely on the chorus. As a throwaway B-side this is perfectly fine, and exactly the status it would have been accorded in the Smiths or early solo days. That it was released as a digital/promo single, and played ad nauseum live, is slightly worrying.

Wha? You don't think ga-ga in Malaga is a classic Moz-line? Haha, neither do I.

I hate to say it but its another song where Morrissey pushes his lyrics to embrace some minor market in an effort to curry favor internationally. As opposed to curry flavor, which is delicious. He's talking about bullfighting so there isn't much need to establish strong connection to locations; Spain is the birthplace of the sport.

Having said all that, it was a song that allowed some relief during the shows when played. Time to get a beer, update one's tweets of the setlist, etc.
 

gordyboy9

rip roaring,free scoring,never boring, celtic.
Wha? You don't think ga-ga in Malaga is a classic Moz-line? Haha, neither do I.

I hate to say it but its another song where Morrissey pushes his lyrics to embrace some minor market in an effort to curry favor internationally. As opposed to curry flavor, which is delicious. He's talking about bullfighting so there isn't much need to establish strong connection to locations; Spain is the birthplace of the sport.

Having said all that, it was a song that allowed some relief during the shows when played. Time to get a beer, update one's tweets of the setlist, etc.
beer queue must have have been very short and time to tweet one friend,only lasts 2minutes 20seconds.as for the song,its a jaunty little number,it was liked on here at the time,world peace was well recieved,if memory serves me even skinny liked istanbul when it was released on its own.
 

Mike Rourke

Well-Known Member
If memory serves, we heard the live version of this before the recorded one, and we were all pretty amazed that Jesse could write something so tuneful and jangly (the guitar part was more prominent, live). Joe C somehow managed to bring out a new dimension to Jesse's song-writing culminating in his fantastic contributions to Dog on a Chain (River Clean, Hurling Days, Knockabout World etc). But the words to this are a bit phoned in.
 
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Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
For whatever reason, I really like it. I like the music, and the lyrics don't put me off like they do for others. Something of a highlight on WP for me.
 
J

Janice

Guest
I think it’s been played at most of the shows since it’s live debut in May 14?????
I don’t mind it and it’s upbeat temp but would like it (along with World Peace) to be dropped from the live set list. If he wants to represent WPINOYB, then Istanbul, One Of Our Own, Hounds or Cassidy would be better received (by me;)) - that’s if he isn’t prepared to do one of the 3 bonus disc tracks he’s not done yet.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
A nice, quite jangly pop song with a strong and important sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. However, it’s pretty slight, and the verses are somewhat lazy. Someone said that in the Smiths and early solo years, it would have been a b-side, and that could very well be true. All in all, though, I like it. WPINOYB is one my least favorite Moz albums, but this is one song I enjoy hearing.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
One of those absolutely freakish and frightening occurrences where Jesse's music is actually better than the lyric. These Spanish puns should have stayed on the hotel stationery on whence they were born and never graduated to songhood. The lack of subtlety here would have made a younger Morrissey weep. As others have mentioned, its brevity is a blessing.
 
T

Trans

Guest
I really like it as it speaks to that instant gut reaction of wanting the frightened bull to live. He’s considered crazy while the people in those places are normal. I like the inversion as he probably feels this way constantly where ever he goes. Music is good though I do wish it was more guitar oriented. That accordion really surprised me at first. Good song on a great album
 
C

carlislebaz

Guest
I can remember this song being played as part of the half hour pre stage show, the crowd went wild when it came on.
So I can only assume that real fans love it.
 
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