The Smiths A-Z: "Half a Person"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I hope he sang « 60, clumsy and why - that’s the story of my life « when he pulled it out in Leeds, Koln and London in 2020.
Anyway, an absolute highlight at these shows.

I seem to remember that this song was written very quickly, a privilege reserved for the most gifted songwriters.
Quote from Johnny about how the song was written:

"Me and Morrissey would just disappear. Some of my favourite songs came about that way, like "Half A Person". We just locked ourselves away and did it. In the time it takes to play it, I wrote it. Morrissey was great in that respect. He knew when I was going to play something good."

"We officially wrote it on the stairs at Mayfair [Studios]. Morrissey got his part of it together overnight, and it was amazing. That was probably the best writing moment I think me and him ever had because we were so close, practically touching, and I could see him kind of willing me on, waiting to see what I was going to play. Then I could see him thinking, 'That's exactly where I was hoping you'd go!' It was a fantastic, shared moment."
 
I remember this as being one of the first times I became convinced that Moz had access to my diaries.

I have never known a lyricist before or since to write about such situations so acutely as to make you think he was there with you.

The height of Moz's relatability.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Quote from Johnny about how the song was written:

"Me and Morrissey would just disappear. Some of my favourite songs came about that way, like "Half A Person". We just locked ourselves away and did it. In the time it takes to play it, I wrote it. Morrissey was great in that respect. He knew when I was going to play something good."

"We officially wrote it on the stairs at Mayfair [Studios]. Morrissey got his part of it together overnight, and it was amazing. That was probably the best writing moment I think me and him ever had because we were so close, practically touching, and I could see him kind of willing me on, waiting to see what I was going to play. Then I could see him thinking, 'That's exactly where I was hoping you'd go!' It was a fantastic, shared moment."

Sounds like an amazing creative experience. Wasn't that a somewhat rare event that Morrissey was present while Johnny created the music? I believe usually Johnny gave Morrissey a cassette tape of music to work from. I wonder how it would have changed things between them, if at all, had they worked more in this direct way?
 
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Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
Sounds like an amazing creative experience. Wasn't that a somewhat rare event that Morrissey was present while Johnny created the music? I believe usually Johnny gave Morrissey a cassette tape of music to work from. I wonder how it would have changed things between them, if at all, had they worked more in this direct way?

another incident was with Cemetry Gates, I believe.
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
When he says "we would disappear" that sounds fake. Other people disappear. If the story was Mike J saying "they would disappear and come back with a song" that would ring true, but who says "we would disappear?" How can you be aware of yourself having disappeared?
 

CrazyFaceGenes

Active Member
When he says "we would disappear" that sounds fake. Other people disappear. If the story was Mike J saying "they would disappear and come back with a song" that would ring true, but who says "we would disappear?" How can you be aware of yourself having disappeared?

No, it's like saying we scarpered, we disappeared for a bit and had a ciggie type of thing.
 
D

Daniel Boratto

Guest
Perfection in the form of music. Because of songs like this, we remember why we love the Smiths SO MUCH
 

Catholic

English Blood, Irish Heart
Some very interesting things in this thread that may help explain Marr's post-Smith's work better.

That Morrissey and maybe between the love between them was drawing the very best from Marr.

I think something similar was true of the Beatles. Songs like "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Hey Jude" may be 100% pure McCartney, but he never scaled those heights again. Because Lennon, maybe even Harrison, were helping to elevate him beyond "silly love songs".

How I wish for the apparently impossible - M and M could work together again.
 

Catholic

English Blood, Irish Heart
Speaking of the Beatles, that other Irish Blood, Northern English band (with a hint of cultural Catholicism if you know what Catholicism is and how to spot it) . . .

In my American youth, it was all the Beatles, but I far prefer listening to the likes of Half a Person and I Know It's Over, now.

Maybe my conversion has something to do with that too. The mournful Irish-Catholic "vibe" in the Smiths is definitely stronger IMHO.
 
D

Deleted member 30764

Guest
My favorite part of this song is volunteering to be a back scrubber.
I think this is a really underrated song.
 
J

j*e*t

Guest
My favorite part of this song is volunteering to be a back scrubber.
I think this is a really underrated song.
I wonder what your understanding of the term 'back scrubber' might be. It's probably been said many times on here that, in Britain at least, scrubber is a slang word for a prostitute or promiscuous woman. There was a British film Scrubbers (1982).
 
D

Deleted member 30764

Guest
I wonder what your understanding of the term 'back scrubber' might be. It's probably been said many times on here that, in Britain at least, scrubber is a slang word for a prostitute or promiscuous woman. There was a British film Scrubbers (1982).
I think you are being a tad condescending here…
I’m well aware that Morrissey has had a long history of having a morbid fascination with the subject of prostitution, and incorporating into his song lyrics.
IMO, he has a morbid fascination with a number of things, in fact.
 
J

j*e*t

Guest
I think you are being a tad condescending here…
I’m well aware that Morrissey has had a long history of having a morbid fascination with the subject of prostitution, and incorporating into his song lyrics.
IMO, he has a morbid fascination with a number of things, in fact.
OK
 
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