The Smiths A-Z: "I Keep Mine Hidden"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member









Next up in our Smiths A-Z project is this song, a B-side on the "Girlfriend in a Coma" single and one of the two songs recorded in the band's final session together. (The other being "Work Is a Four-Letter Word".)

The song was never played live by the Smiths, while it was performed 50 times by Morrissey, all in 2009.

What do we think?
 

Phranc & Open

I've known no war
I love this little thing. Gosh, even at the end of their days, The Smiths were irresistible. I screamed "Hooray" out loud when he performed it on the Tour of Refusals in 2009.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Musically this isn't particularly meritworthy and it's easy to hear why Johnny has been so dismissive of it. You can tell that it was dashed off in a hurry.

It's still quite a fun occasional listen, but it's certainly one of the weakest Morrissey/Marr collaborations.


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 67th from 73 of the group's songs.
In the poll on the Hoffman board this song ranked 70th from 73 of the group's songs.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
1646310679010.jpeg


💛💚
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
A little gem. A perfect little pop song. It's status as one of the last things they did together will always mean that some will consider it not good enough...but I am very fond of it, not least for the words posted by KS above. Splendid!
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I like this one but don't love it. A light, bouncy melody with lyrics about depression and repression, how much more Smiths can it get?

It's Moz apologising for being difficult, according to some...

"Morrissey had this song, 'I Keep Mine Hidden', which was basically Morrissey saying, 'I'm sorry, Johnny. I'm a complete f*** up but please forgive me.' With lots of specific references, it was a very direct song."

- Grant Showbiz, Uncut, 1998
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Gorgeous, breezy and sweet pop music.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
And then this sweet quote by Morrissey in 1990:

"The very last Smiths sessions at Streatham we recorded two songs that turned up as B-sides: 'Work Is A Four Letter Word' (a cover of a Cilla Black song), and one called 'I Keep Mine Hidden' which was the last song Johnny and I wrote together and the last song The Smiths recorded together. Now when I play The Smiths - which I do a lot - that song is always the first I play. And it's the one that makes me feel the happiest."
 
D

Deleted member 30524

Guest
This song is very, very
Chas n Dave to me.
It is also the perfect song to accompany girlfriend in a coma as
A neat bundle of fun on a single.

What more could any Smiths fans ever want ?

Side A is about the life support machine just about to be unplugged
And the B side is about Depression.

Job done lads I’d say......
You Nailed it with these two songs.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
Hate love and war
Force emotions to the fore
But not for me of course of course
I keep mine hidden
I keep mine hidden
But it's so easy for you
Because you let yours flail into public view

Yellow and green, a stumbling block
I'm a twenty-digit combination to unlock
With a past where to be 'touched'
Meant to be 'mental'

I keep mine hidden
But life is so easy for you
Because you let yours slide into public view

Use your loaf.


I wonder why Grant thought this song was directed at Marr? I can’t see any ‘specific references’. Never looked as though Marr let his feelings slide into public view (at the time), and actually it seems both Morrissey and Marr
didn’t express all of their thoughts to each other which played the greater hand in the bands split.

I think Grant is reading too much into this song in hindsight.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I don't see the drug reference. What are you referring to?
M'pedia:
"Mike Joyce speculates that the ‘yellow and green stumbling block’ may be a reference to the singer’s medication at the time (yellow and green are the colour of temazepam capsules, a prescription anti-depressant), while Morrissey also hints at the scars of a repressed upbringing. His final groan is even more cryptic: ‘use your loaf’ (i.e. ‘use your head’)."

Not that I've been on the receiving end of them, but in a previous professional life (early 90's), I can attest to there being several brands of benzodiazepines that matched this description.
Regards,
FWD.
 

Dirk Blaggard

Well-Known Member
Yes, he has alwats been on ooen
M'pedia:
"Mike Joyce speculates that the ‘yellow and green stumbling block’ may be a reference to the singer’s medication at the time (yellow and green are the colour of temazepam capsules, a prescription anti-depressant), while Morrissey also hints at the scars of a repressed upbringing. His final groan is even more cryptic: ‘use your loaf’ (i.e. ‘use your head’)."

Not that I've been on the receiving end of them, but in a previous professional life (early 90's), I can attest to there being several brands of benzodiazepines that matched this description.
Regards,
FWD.
Yes, he was always on one thing or the other, "escape valium, return to valium" was very real.

Lots of us are on something.
I think if you are sensitive, and working-class its not the best mix. English life is very repressed even for kids born in 1980, the young generation, do seem happier now, thank god or at least depressed in wholly different ways.
As loyal as he was to his mum, from what I have heard, she wasn't the easiest or nicest person and although he is loyal publically. I expect he is aware there was damage done, he probably blamed his dad at first but as the years passed.
I don't mean that in a nasty way, I'm just saying Steven maybe didn't have the healthiest surroundings, for someone of his type

As for the song, I love it. its such a brilliant little ditty and often overlooked. It was so much more playful and jolly than a lot of other songs.
 

Ketamine Sun

Now, today, tomorrow and always
A dim question, but: do we know who does the whistling on this?

Ann Coates?

Actually I’d like to know too. I always thought or liked to imagine that it was Morrissey himself.


Not many (any?) pop songs from the 80’s on feature a melody line that’s whistled. Another stroke of genius from The Smiths, that no one should be surprised by.
 
Last edited:

The Wild Turkey

Wild T!
Turkerator
Never got a chance to hear this one until years later, when I picked it
up on this Sweet And Tender Hooligan cd single.
It was pretty excitin' to find a Smiths song that I ain't never heard
before (single also had What's The World and Work Is A Four Letter
Word on it).
Heck of a song.

51DHMP3JCDL.jpg
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
I remember Morrissey expressing his fondness for this track on a KROQ radio interview from 1990. They played it then, it was the first time I'd heard it... didn't make too much of an impression on me until I finally owned it as part of the "Sweet And Tender Hooligan" release. While I wouldn't rank it high on a list of Smiths songs, my own fondness for this track is quite high. Maybe it's a combination of Morrissey's expressed fondness, and the fact that I didn't get to hear it until much later... but it's a favorite of mine that I still go back to quite often.

EDIT: It's almost as though I hear Morrissey's plaintive "use your loaf!" as the closing words of The Smiths... a bit of joy and sadness in that.
 
Last edited:
Tags
the smiths a-z
Top Bottom