The Smiths A-Z: "The Headmaster Ritual"

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Anonymous person

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Interestingly, apparently this was the only song where Johnny recommended Morrissey change the lyrics, and amend "bruises bigger than dinner plates" to "bruises as big as dinner plates". He was ignored at the time so never tried to interfere again, but it must have lodged somewhere in Moz's consciousness, as he changed the line when he started playing it live as a solo artist decades later.
I have always been intrigued by that story. I wonder why he made that suggestion. I don't see any meaningful difference (as it relates to the song) between "bigger than dinner plates" and "as big as dinner plates."
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I don't see any meaningful difference (as it relates to the song) between "bigger than dinner plates" and "as big as dinner plates."
Possibly he just thought it was a bit too over the top? If we're talking about a child with multiple bruises literally as big as dinner plates - that's already a hell of a lot of surface area to cover. If you are saying the bruises are even bigger than that - would a child's chest/back have enough surface area for that to even be physically possible?
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
"Bruises bigger than dinner plates" is a much better line than "Bruises as big as dinner plates". The exaggeration helps the image, while "as big as" makes it too precise, too specific. I immediately start thinking, "well, what kind of dinner plate?"
 

Bizarro

Spotlight. It's time the tale were told !
"Bruises bigger than dinner plates" is a much better line than "Bruises as big as dinner plates". The exaggeration helps the image, while "as big as" makes it too precise, too specific. I immediately start thinking, "well, what kind of dinner plate?"
I'm pretty sure that Moz has sung that line at some point whilst doing it solo.
Edit. I meant the line "As big as dinner plates".
 
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Anonymous

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"as big as" makes it too precise, too specific. I immediately start thinking, "well, what kind of dinner plate?"
12" is a must!
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