The Smiths

British rock band

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. Consisting of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke, and drummer Mike Joyce, critics consider the band one of the most important to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr, the Smiths' focus on a guitar, bass, and drum sound, and fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a rejection of the synth-pop sound that was predominant at the time.

From top left, clockwise: Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, and Mike Joyce.

Song lyrics


All lyrics are written by Morrissey; all music is composed by Johnny Marr.

  • It's time the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old.

    It's time the tale were told
    Of how you took a child
    And you made him old.
    You made him old.

    Reel around the fountain,
    Slap me on the patio.
    I'll take it now.

    • "Reel Around the Fountain"
  • I know I need hardly say
    How much I love your casual way.
    Oh, but please put your tongue away,
    A little higher and we're well away.
    The dark nights are drawing in
    And your humour is as black as them.
    I look at yours, you laugh at mine,
    And "love" is just a miserable lie.
    • "Miserable Lie"
  • Upon the sand, upon the bay,
    "There is a quick and easy way," you say.
    Before you illustrate,
    I'd rather state:
    I'm not the man you think I am.
    I'm not the man you think I am.

    And sorrow's native son,
    He will not smile for anyone.
    And pretty girls make graves.

    • "Pretty Girls Make Graves"
  • Ah, a jumped-up pantry boy
    Who never knew his place.
    He said, "Return the ring."
    He knows so much about these things.
    He knows so much about these things.
  • Under the iron bridge we kissed.
    And although I ended up with sore lips,
    It just wasn't like the old days anymore.
    No, it wasn't like those days.
    Am I still ill?
    Oh, am I still ill?

    Does the body rule the mind?
    Or does the mind rule the body?
    I dunno...

  • Hand in glove.
    We can go wherever we please
    And everything depends upon
    How near you stand to me.

    And if the people stare,
    Then the people stare.
    Oh, I really don't know,
    And I really don't care.

    Kiss my shades...

  • All men have secrets and here is mine.
    So let it be known.
    For we have been through hell and high tide.
    I can surely rely on you,
    And yet you start to recoil.
    Heavy words are so lightly thrown,
    But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you.

    So, what difference does it make?
    So, what difference does it make?
    It makes none.
    But now you have gone,
    And you must be looking very old tonight.

  • I am the son and the heir
    Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.
    I am the son and heir
    Of nothing in particular.

    You shut your mouth, how can you say
    I go about things the wrong way?
    I am human and I need to be loved,
    Just like everybody else does.

  • I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour,
    But heaven knows I'm miserable now.
    I was looking for a job and then I found a job,
    And heaven knows I'm miserable now.

    In my life, why do I give valuable time
    To people who don't care if I live or die?

  • I want to go home,
    I don't want to stay.
    Give up education
    As a bad mistake.
    • "The Headmaster Ritual"
  • On the day that your mentality
    Decides to try to catch up with your biology,
    Come round.

    Cause I want the one I can't have.
    And it's driving me mad.
    It's all over, all over, all over my face.

    • "I Want the One I Can't Have"
  • Park the car at the side of the road.
    You should know time's tide will smother you,
    And I will too.

    When you laugh about people who feel so very lonely,
    Their only desire is to die.
    Well, I'm afraid it doesn't make me smile.
    I wish I could laugh.

    But that joke isn't funny anymore.
    It's too close to home,
    And it's too near the bone.

  • And if the day came when I felt a natural emotion
    I'd get such a shock I'd probably jump in the ocean.
    • "Nowhere Fast"
  • Fame, fame, fatal fame
    It can play hideous tricks on the brain.
    But still I'd rather be famous
    Than righteous or holy, any day, any day, any day.
    But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled
    Making Christmas cards with the mentally ill.
    I want to live and I want to love.
    I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of.
    • "Frankly, Mr. Shankly"
  • It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate.
    It takes strength to be gentle and kind
    Over, over, over, over.
  • And if a double-decker bus crashes into us,
    To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.
    And if a ten-tonne truck kills the both of us,
    To die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.
  • Burn down the disco,
    Hang the blessed DJ.
    Because the music that they constantly play,
    It says nothing to me about my life.
  • Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you
    From doing all the things in life you'd like to.
    Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you
    From doing all the things in life you'd like to.

    So, if there's something you'd like to try,
    If there's something you'd like to try,
    Ask me, I won't say no.
    How could I?

  • Don't feel bad for me.
    I want you to know,
    Deep in the cell of my heart,
    I will feel so glad to go.
  • Is it wrong to want to live on your own?
    No, it's not wrong, but I must know
    How can someone so young sing words so sad?
  • Oh, but don't mention love.
    I'd hate the strain of the pain again.

    A rush and a push and the land that
    We stand on is ours.
    It has been before,
    So it shall be again.
    And people who are uglier than you and I,
    They take what they need and just leave.

  • I started somethin.
    I forced you to a zone.
    And you were clearly
    Never meant to go.
    Hair brushed and parted.
    Typical me, typical me
    Typical me
    I started something
    ...And now I'm not too sure.
    I grabbed you by the gilded beams
    Uh, that's what tradition means.
  • Girlfriend in a coma, I know
    I know - it's serious.
    Girlfriend in a coma, I know
    I know - it's really serious.

    There were times when I could
    Have "murdered" her
    (but you know, I would hate
    Anything to happen to her)
    No, I don't want to see her.

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