The Best Words That Have Come Out of Morrissey’s Mouth
Bigmouth strikes again
And I’ve got no right to take my place
With the human race
So sang one Steven Patrick Morrissey on the classic Smiths’ album The Queen is Dead. And though that album was released more than 25 years ago now, the “bigmouth” label is one that has followed the fellow more commonly known simply as Morrissey both before and since – it seems he’s never able to keep that big mouth shut.
And now that the man has announced that he may well follow through on threats previously made that he would retire when he reached the age of 55 (which will be two years from now), we are left to wonder if 2014 will be the last we hear of said big mouth. If history is any precedent, then the likely answer is a resounding ‘no,’ and the interview announcing the alleged retirement lends credibility to this theory.
In an interview with MSN, the former Smiths frontman was asked if it was still true that he doesn’t see himself performing past the age of 55.
“Yes,” he replied. “I am slightly shocked to have gone as far as I have. This is my 30th year, and I’ve aged a lot recently, which is a bit distressing for me, as it must be for anyone. The body changes shape and there’s nothing you can do about it. Do I continue as a modern day Andy Williams? I take it one hour at a time.”
But it was later in the interview when he returned to politics, that favorite topic of his that so often lands him under scrutiny, attacking the leaders of both the United States and his home country of Britain.
“It’s only my personal view, but I think the age of the President or Prime Minister is dead,” he said. “People everywhere have lost faith in politics, and rightly so. Something different needs to happen. I think we were all initially swept along with the Obama win, but he’s proven to be simply a set of teeth, and useless in every other regard.”
We would think that maybe Morrissey was just using the opportunity to go out with a bang to gather more headlines, but knowing Mr. Bigmouth, he’ll use the next two years (and probably longer) to continue stirring up the trouble he appears to be so fond of.
Here we present some of the best of Morrissey’s quotable quotes. The man is known to go from spectacularly funny to bitterly vindictive to downright depressive in the span of just a few words in his songs, and he seems to do the same thing in his every day speech – the speech that’s recorded for the media, anyway.
The Political and the Controversial
Back in 2004, Morrissey used his stage at a concert in Dublin to announce the death of Ronald Reagan, and then went on to say that he wished it had been then-president George W. Bush that had died instead. This was four years before the Englishman stated, “God Bless Barack Obama” at another concert, which is apparently a sentiment he no longer feels is valid.
In a similar vein, the well known animal activist (see: the Smiths’ Meat is Murder) was accused of racism for stating his opinion of the people of China’s treatment of animals.
“Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare?” he asked the reporter interviewing him for an article in the Guardian. “Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”
The 2010 comment would have been bad enough on its own, but it was unfortunately just one of a string of quotes throughout his career that have led him to be labeled a racist, a claim he discredits.
The Absurd and the Funny
But many of the best Morrissey quotes aren’t the controversial ones above, but his views on life that range from the hysterical to the absurd. In fact, in the same Guardian interview he is asked his thoughts on the general subject of people.
His answer is simple and to the point: “They are problems.”
The wit and humor often spill into his lyrics, and its often that Morrissey is the only pop singer that could ever get a way with singing “Let me get my hands on your mammary glands.” Here are some more great lyrics:
- “Some girls are bigger than others/Some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers.
- “And so, I checked all the registered historical facts
And I was shocked into shame to discover
How I’m the 18th pale descendant
Of some old queen or other.”
And it’s not just the lyrics of his songs that get in on the action, but also his wealth of great one-liners he uses as the titles of those songs. His 2004 solo album You Are the Quarry contains arguably the best titles, assuming you are looking for the strange. A quick sampling:
- “I Have Forgiven Jesus”
- “The World is Full of Crashing Bores”
- “All the Lazy Dykes”
The Self Reflective
But perhaps Morrissey is at his best when he’s talking about himself and his views. “How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?” asks the title of another song on the aforementioned Quarry album. We don’t know, Morrissey, we really don’t. But the following are some great gems for us to ponder as we attempt to work it out:
- “I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong.”
- “Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death.”
- “I’ve never intended to be controversial, but it’s very easy to be controversial in pop music because nobody ever is.”
And finally, it’s the Bigmouth himself that sums this article up neatly for us:
- “I just feel that when all is said and done, I am not insane.”