Talent borrows, genius steals- unacknowledged references in Morrissey's work

As we all know, Morrissey has in the past made a habit of borrowing from or referencing various other works. Some of these have been continuously confirmed: Shelagh Delaney, Oscar Wilde etc. However, I thought I'd start a thread in order for people to post any Morrissey line which they think may be referencing something else, and to explain why. Of course it's all a matter of opinion and many of our, perhaps rather tenuous, interpretations may not have been intended by Moz, but I thought it might be interesting. For example, I was thinking the other day that,

"The shadows of trees, they reach for me"
reminds me very much of a line from John Drinkwater's 'Nineteen-Fifteen':

"Time, which is now a black pine tree,/Holds out his arms and mocks at me".

This is I realise, very tenuous indeed, and my thoughts are probably a result of solely studying poetry of WW1 in English Lit at the moment. However, both lines convey a sense of oppression and darkness.

Any more for any more?
 

Barking

Active Member
"Talent borrows, Mediocrity shoplifts (and gets caught by overweight asthmatic security guy.)"
Elvis Presley :guitar:
 

Fulham Road Lights

Ill-adjusted
It could be coincidental, but the line from Ambitious Outsiders - "We're just keeping the population down" is very similar to a line from Revolution Blues by Neil Young - "We got twenty five rifles just to keep the population down".
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
This thread stinks. It could be because I'm in a terrible mood due to tooth pain (I'm literally thinking PULL THEM ALL OUT NOW, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE:tears:) but I don't think Morrissey borrowed or stole anything, I think for the MOST PART, you're picking up on the coincidental brain that makes him unique. I think when he writes he draws from a higher source that dispenses his words carefully that have been dispensed to other writers. His brain is like a master template in a way. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense and I'm not trying to rationalize that Morrissey can do no wrong so wouldn't steal, but based on connections he makes to the arcane shit I read that nobody else probably does including him, I don't think he does it actively.
 

billy scissors

a bit fond
This thread stinks. It could be because I'm in a terrible mood due to tooth pain (I'm literally thinking PULL THEM ALL OUT NOW, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE:tears:) but I don't think Morrissey borrowed or stole anything, I think for the MOST PART, you're picking up on the coincidental brain that makes him unique. I think when he writes he draws from a higher source that dispenses his words carefully that have been dispensed to other writers. His brain is like a master template in a way. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense and I'm not trying to rationalize that Morrissey can do no wrong so wouldn't steal, but based on connections he makes to the arcane shit I read that nobody else probably does including him, I don't think he does it actively.
coincidental brain??? i love it. i think you should have a lie down and come back later.
 

Barking

Active Member
I think when he writes he draws from a higher source that dispenses his words carefully that have been dispensed to other writers.
tl; gw; du.

(too long/ grammatically weird/ didn't understand)

oh and while I'm at it, "higher source"...That much is right :rock:: there's a Johnny in Life is a Pigsty.


track 5

(And how did he end up there? tl; ww.)

(that tidbit was not for CG btw, she never pays any kind of attention.:lbf:)
 

mozmic_dancer

One of the Good Guys
The term is appropriation; it is not stealing. He changes the references enough to make it his own unique interpretation. Classical composers have done this; writers and painters have traditionally done this.

It's a less legit practice now than when it used to be. Today, we live in a society everything is owned by someone; even germs under a microscope can receive a patent. As the world gets smaller and smaller, certain societies become more protective of their music and writings. Artists that have even borrowed from themselves have gotten into trouble. Just when you think you are paying tribute, there are a team of lawyers waiting to pounce.

Probably the reason why Morrissey no longer needs to draw inspiration from other sources anymore. If he does, he is far more cunning in hiding it.

It's a fine line.
 

Helen

Member
If anyone finds it useful, there's an updated version of the LASID website's lyric sources on my website:

Smiths:
http://prettypettythieves.com/moz/sourcessmiths.htm

Morrissey:
http://prettypettythieves.com/moz/sourcessolo.htm

I found some more sources, like from Delaney's The Lion in Love.

(the logo at the top of the page looks weird in Firefox - I'm working on it!)

As you might imagine, I think his sources are quite intentional and they're like a wink to anyone else listening who knows where he's coming from.

The source from Spend, Spend, Spend is quite funny when you bear in mind some people have trekked to an actual iron bridge, believing it's where Morrissey kissed someone. Of course, who's to say he didn't?
 

Oso Blanco

The Truth Is Out There
And there still is the rumor that the title "How Soon Is Now" was borrowed from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.

Bones: "How much and how soon?"
Alien: "How soon is now ... how much is where."
 

Barking

Active Member
As you might imagine, I think his sources are quite intentional and they're like a wink to anyone else listening who knows where he's coming from.
Nah...Reeeeally? ;)

Good job oh precious librarian lady. I must say you helped a great deal with that Lee guy. No idea who that referred to. I am neither showbiz or legal, so...

Only doubt I have is about a journalist's influence on the ROTT title? :lbf: (Well It was indeed "journalist"-related in a way but we'd have to resurrect Bobmozza to prove it. Can't be bothered really. Long story :D).

I've often wondered if "Spring heeled Jim" had anything to do with a film called Gentleman Jim. (Never watched. Someone will have to one day)

One thing among others, our friend E on the other thread, (who can pronounce "réservoir" perfectly), will surely have pointed out that the beginning of FOTGTD is very reminiscent of "you don't know what love is". No?

;) (I should stop winking shouldn't I.)

Bye Helen, -fab riah colour, btw! :)
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
Re: spring heeled Jim

Nah...Reeeeally?

Good job oh precious librarian lady. I must say you helped a great deal with that Lee guy. No idea who that referred to. I am neither showbiz or legal, so...

Only doubt I have is about a journalist's influence on the ROTT title?
(Well It was indeed "journalist"-related in a way but we'd have to resurrect Bobmozza to prove it. Can't be bothered really. Long story .

I've often wondered if "Spring heeled Jim" had anything to do with a film called Gentleman Jim. (Never watched. Someone will have to one day)

One thing among others, our friend E on the other thread, (who can pronounce "réservoir" perfectly), will surely have pointed out that the beginning of FOTGTD is very reminiscent of "you don't know what love is". No?

(I should stop winking shouldn't I.)

Bye Helen, fab riah colour, btw!
Have you ever heard of Spring Heeled Jack?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Heeled_Jack
 

Kewpie

Member
Moderator
Subscriber
Re: spring heeled Jim

indeed I had not! Fascinating stuff Kewp

I like how when we all collaborate and exchange useful info like that! (as once said Maréchal )
If you buy a copy of Mozipedia, your problem is solved.

Regarding 'Spring Heeled Jim', it's either an imaginary or amalgamations of various male friends of Morrissey, I suppose.
 

Barking

Active Member
Re: spring heeled Jim

heard of springheeled jack but who is the springheeled jim that moz sings about?been bugging me for ages
Well isn't it in Mozipedia somewhere? You know, that modern device everyone's talking about and that's supposed to replace the internet soon as a fast, convenient and exhaustive source of info? ;)(Damn wink, I must lack magnesium...)

PS: well Kewp thanks for buying me a copy.:thumb: I most certainly wasn't. Oh and I haven't got a "problem", sorry! I'm just here to help, but I don't think you see that yet.:squiffy: Jesus. What do I have to do? I'd get more respect if my name was "Callboy" :lbf: You lot. Really. :crazy:

Ah well. Have fun with Simon, I'm going back to other forms of entertainment.:)
 
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mozmic_dancer

One of the Good Guys
Barking, you have nothing to say about my signature?

I would have thought out of all the doggies who post here, I thought you would have made at least an inquiry as to why by puppy is thinking about a cupcake.

I am such a fool to have made myself attractive to you, and I have failed. :(
 
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Helen

Member
I recall someone mentioning it as a possibiliy, the Lee bloke, then I looked into it and it does sound quite convincing and very Morrissey-esque - showbiz lawyer who's been involved in notorious cases, and disbarred anyway!

It's Schwarzkopf Red Passion or suchlike.
 

Barking

Active Member
Barking, you have nothing to say about my signature?

I would have thought out of all the doggies who post here, I thought you would have made at least an inquiry as to why by puppy is thinking about a cupcake.

I am such a fool to have made myself attractive to you, and I have failed. :(

Sigh/ holds the door with rear paw/

Ok, I'm on my way out, but before I leave, allow me to pause, sniff the pre-spring air, and inquire, why is bour puppy thinking of a cupcake?

Also, why is there no cupcake in this video?:confused: Apart from Gilbert?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrKkbZZMNWg

(nah, only Lindus Stifling and Simon Bobard have, so far. All of yous interest me in some way, mozmic baby! :thumb:)
 
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