The Smiths A-Z: "A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member






Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, the lead-off track from the Strangeways Here We Come album of 1987.

The song was never played live by the Smiths but has been played 15 times by Morrissey.

What do we think?
 

Bonaparte Shandy

Active Member
The original quote is borrowed from a poem by Wilde's mother who was imagining / encouraging a seizure of Irish land from English landlords during the numerous 'Land Wars' of the mid to late 19th century. Frequently cited by oafs as evidence of Morrissey's 'racism' the title in its original context is actually a call to arms which places it very much at the revolutionary end of Irish nationalism typified by groups such as those who coalesced around Robert Emmett, Young Ireland, the Fenians and, later, Sinn Fein - it was all about the land. Morrissey uses the quote to establish a vanguard cultural position for the young and the disaffected: what is being rushed and pushed against? Perhaps conformity, authority and dullard normality. Beyond that rush and push is the upland of individualism, choice and sexual freedom. Which, needless to say, is where it parts company with late 19th century Irish nationalism.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
The overall tone & feel of this song (especially the ending) could have easily fit on Viva Hate and certainly seems like a precursor.
The 'good' or 'young' lyric thing has always puzzled me.
Whilst we're being puzzled: I have the Carry On Jack script & can't see anything about ghosts called Joe - must re-watch the film (this may be one of those baseless assertions that has grown over the years).
Great opener.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Carlislebaz

Cock of the north
If you put this song up with say, Reel around the fountain for instance. This song /album just oozes confidence from Johnny and Mozz.
It’s staggering how, over a very short period of time that The Smiths
Progressed as they did.

This song would now by the younger generation would be considered
A Banger....
And they wouldn’t be wrong.
It just slaps you about the face from start to finish and is probably the best opening track on any of their albums , Probs Moz as well.

10/10
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
If you put this song up with say, Reel around the fountain for instance. This song /album just oozes confidence from Johnny and Mozz.
It’s staggering how, over a very short period of time that The Smiths
Progressed as they did.

This song would now by the younger generation would be considered
A Banger....
And they wouldn’t be wrong.
It just slaps you about the face from start to finish and is probably the best opening track on any of their albums , Probs Moz as well.

10/10
Now that is a discussion waiting to happen - it has no doubt already taken place on here - what is the best opening track to a Smiths/Morrissey album? Close run thing between THM, AR&AP..., TQisD, NMHisF and...er...AisNTW....ahem.
 

Carlislebaz

Cock of the north
Now that is a discussion waiting to happen - it has no doubt already taken place on here - what is the best opening track to a Smiths/Morrissey album? Close run thing between THM, AR&AP..., TQisD, NMHisF and...er...AisNTW....ahem.
🙄
I only understand the Queen is dead
Not sure what all the others are 😬
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I'm almost certainly going to sound like a total douche by saying that I prefer "Jim Jim Falls" as an album opener to this song. I mean, I like it, but it's never ever grabbed me musically or emotionally.
 

Carlislebaz

Cock of the north
THM - the headmaster ritual
AR&AP - ?
NMHisF - now my heart is full
AisNTW - America is not the world
Thanks for the info😁
But I’ll stick with A rush....
The only other contender for me would be.. Now my heart is full. The first half of the song is Moz at his lyrical best. But then the Brighton rock thing sort of spoils it for me.
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
"Hung by his pretty white neck some eighteen months ago" is the sort of lyric that came so well to the young Morrissey: martyrdom, an aura of Victorian gothic, and a suggestion of homoeroticism. He's said that when Johnny Marr was coming up with the music that would make Strangeways, he (Morrissey) detected a certain sadness to the melodies, and I think that's true on this one. Even though it's sprightly, it has a kind of danse macabre element to it. Every Smiths album opens with a 10.
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
The original quote is borrowed from a poem by Wilde's mother who was imagining / encouraging a seizure of Irish land from English landlords during the numerous 'Land Wars' of the mid to late 19th century. Frequently cited by oafs as evidence of Morrissey's 'racism' the title in its original context is actually a call to arms which places it very much at the revolutionary end of Irish nationalism typified by groups such as those who coalesced around Robert Emmett, Young Ireland, the Fenians and, later, Sinn Fein - it was all about the land. Morrissey uses the quote to establish a vanguard cultural position for the young and the disaffected: what is being rushed and pushed against? Perhaps conformity, authority and dullard normality. Beyond that rush and push is the upland of individualism, choice and sexual freedom. Which, needless to say, is where it parts company with late 19th century Irish nationalism.

I already gave it a favorable reaction, but I just wanted to say this is a great post, the sort makes this "A-Z" project a standout on Morrissey-solo. I think it's what separates a dinosaur niche forum like this from the empty calories of social media.
 

Ketamine Sun

You're not right in the head, And nor am I, And …
Now that is a discussion waiting to happen - it has no doubt already taken place on here - what is the best opening track to a Smiths/Morrissey album? Close run thing between THM, AR&AP..., TQisD, NMHisF and...er...AisNTW....ahem.
I'm almost certainly going to sound like a total douche by saying that I prefer "Jim Jim Falls" as an album opener to this song. I mean, I like it, but it's never ever grabbed me musically or emotionally.


good idea :thumb:

 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I like this song but don't love it. After watching "Who Put the M...", I've never been able to listen to it without hearing Moz mimick his Dad's accent - "a lack of real spoice in your loife!"
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A bold decision to kick off the album with a song that features no guitars and maybe the group would have gone further down this path had Johnny not decided to call it a day.

I think it works as an opener, and the lyrics conjure up some interesting imagery, but it's not the kind of song that I generally seek out.


Just to show other viewpoints and not because they should be considered in any way definitive...

In the poll on this board this song ranked 25th from 73 of the group's songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 29th from 73 of the group's songs.
 

Bonaparte Shandy

Active Member
I already gave it a favorable reaction, but I just wanted to say this is a great post, the sort makes this "A-Z" project a standout on Morrissey-solo. I think it's what separates a dinosaur niche forum like this from the empty calories of social media.
Oh, how sweet of you, really. We corresponded briefly with the chap that administers the project and suggested a book . . . we're still all quills poised and ink-wells shimmering.
 
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