Today's song is this Morrissey/Whyte composition, a B-side on the "Irish Blood, English Heart" single.
What do we think?
"The Never Played Symphonies"
"Reflecting from my deathbed
I'm balancing life's riches against the ditches
and the flat gray years in between
All I can see are the never-laid
That's the never-played symphonies"
As Morrissey is facing death after a long and amazing life he is weighing up the successes he has had with the miseries he suffered before (and during) his success. But despite the highs and lows the only thing he is drawn to are the songs that he hasn't written - the ideas and works in progress that one day he wanted to arrange and perform but which will never be recorded or heard except in his mind.
"I can't see those who tried to love me
All those who felt they understood me
and I can't see those who very patiently put up with me
All I can see are the never-laid
Or the never-played symphonies"
During this evaluation of his life he is not concerned about his family, friends or loved ones. All the people who admired him - fans, colleagues, confidants etc - who tried to get close to him over the years mean nothing. All he can think about are the songs he wanted to write.
"You were one, you meant to be one
and you jumped into my face and laughed
and kissed me on the cheek and then were gone forever
One of the songs he wanted to complete was about a fan who broke through his security and managed to kiss him before bring whisked away. Out of the thousands of adoring fans who try to get near to him year in year out, the few seconds of this one cheerful fan remained in his memory. His tribute to the fan is this song. "Gone forever … not quite" meaning that the fan has been immortalised in this song.
"Black sky in the daytime
and I don't much mind dying
When there is nothing left to care for anymore
Just the never-laid, the never-played symphonies"
As the end approaches and blindness takes over, he is at ease and has no fear of death. All the things he cared for when he was alive he no longer has to care for as his life is ending, and so he doesn't. But even slipping from this mortal coil doesn't stop him from thinking about the songs he will never write.
"You were one, you knew you were one
and you slipped right through my fingers
No not literally but metaphorically
and now you're all I see as the light fades"
Particularly, he is thinking about the song he wanted to write about this one fan. He even comes up with a cheeky euphemism which he would have used in the song… And when he finally dies his last thought is with this one fan and the song under construction which will never be heard (Not quite, indeed).
In this song he is telling us that his music and the effect it has on people who it touches is the most important thing in his life - more so even than the legions of people who adore him and those who have entered his personal life. The song has an abstract quality in that the song itself is one that he will be wishing he had the time to write on his deathbed.
Not a bad tune, Moz. Not bad at all.
Likewise! I’m absolutely positive that it’s deliberate. It’s such a funny and quirky line, I actually get goosebumps when he sings it. It’s authentic, just like the entire song (as you put it).but I've always thought that the "no not literally but metaphorically" line was a deliberately clunky joke. It makes me smile whenever I hear it, anyway.)
Likewise! I’m absolutely positive that it’s deliberate. It's such a funny and quirky line
Well, nobody was much amused.Plus, perhaps I'm giving Morrissey too much credit here, but I've always thought that the "no not literally but metaphorically" line was a deliberately clunky joke.
You're a fascinating canine puzzle.I hate this one.
FINALLY!Oh stop, everyone knows this is about Johnny Marr.