The Moz/Smiths Top 100, Part 180: THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE

How do you rate The Hand That Rocks The Cradle?


  • Total voters
    136

Maurice E

Junior Member
another dreary and (musically) feeble song from the most over-rated album of all time.
still it's a billion times better than 'the father who must be killed'!
 

William4

fresh
completely lovely!
 
D

Dave

Guest
I simply don't understand why people automatically link the lyrics of this song to peadophilia.
It's a song about a father who adores his child to me.
He adores his child but he never even asked his name?

The rest of the song would make sense but the lyrics in question are pretty hard to interpret as a father singing to his son.
 

Comtesse

Starved Of Mirth
He adores his child but he never even asked his name?

The rest of the song would make sense but the lyrics in question are pretty hard to interpret as a father singing to his son.
Exactly. The only way that could make sense is if the father had deserted the kid before he was born, and was sneaking visits with the kid at the playground behind the mother's back... which sounds more like some really bad made-for-TV movie than something Morrissey would write about.
 

this_tired_heart

Belligerent Ghoul
He adores his child but he never even asked his name?

The rest of the song would make sense but the lyrics in question are pretty hard to interpret as a father singing to his son.
I always thought that the mother either didn't know who the father was, or basically ran off after their brief encounter and had nothing more to do with him. The line "I once had a child, and it saved my life", I thought referred to the fact that the father was suicidal or felt he had nothing to live for until he discovered he had a child. But the only way he could see the child was sereptitiously behind the mother's back. "I did my best for her," perhaps suggests he wanted to make things work, but the mom would never allow him back.

Being entirely naive to any of the darker connotations for the longest time, this was what I imagined it must be about - just pure devotion. But now I can't hear the song without wondering...
 
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SNS22

Not Dead Yet
I think this is one of the lesser of Johnny's early compositions (he freely admitted to having copped the chords from Patti Smith's far superior "Kimberly"). The lyrics are excellent, but the whole "I once had a child and it saved my life" lyrics are pretty hard to defend... especially on the early live versions where Moz sang, "Climb upon my knee, Sonny Boy / Although you're only three, Sonny Boy / You're mine and your mother she need never know". I realize that Morrissey was only trying to be provocative, but he should not have been at all surprised when the "child molester" accusations started flying. Still, as one of the first Smiths compositions, this song has a certain sacred quality to it. I'll give it a 7.
Regarding the "Sonny Boy coda"

Personally, I see at as a Father standing up for his rights against a mother who wants to take the child away....

But then of course, I'm just biased....
 

celibate

Forever Ill
a 9

one of the best [ not single] early tracks of the Smiths.
Lyricwise this the best Morrissey ever did, in a poetic sense, if you
take the lyrics apart its like a poem

musicly it sounds like most of the early songs,good but could be
produced better, especially with this song

edít;
read about the lyrics interpretation in this thread, and IMHO you all
too serious about it, my guess it's about a certain movie Morrissey liked
or saw, or a book he read, and gave inspitation for a [this] lyric
 
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Nikita

Senior Member
I simply don't understand why people automatically link the lyrics of this song to peadophilia.
It's a song about a father who adores his child to me.
Most acts of peadophilia are committed in the close family circle
 

HIM

New Member
i like this song. it reminds me of stuff from a long time ago.
 

Walkers Crisp

Nobody's Nothing
This song doesnt speak to me at all. It's not painful, it's actually quite good. I just never listen to it. My loss?

7.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
10. I know who's singing this song.
 
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