Morrissey A-Z: "Forgive Someone"

Phranc & Open

Well-Known Member
I like this relaxed, semi-dramatic little gem. Should have been on WPINOYB or any other middle aged Chris Rea album.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
I am deeply, thoroughly and religiously in love with this song. Along with Blue Dreamers Eyes, it's his best song from the past 10-15 years. I love everything about it: the subtle drama, the excellent vocal melody, the empathetic lyrics (which I am not sure he himself lives by, but who cares) and the pictures they paint and the beautiful arrangement (lush, yet understated). This song never fails to warm my heart. Another song that illustrates why I love this man.
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
A fine song, nothing much that distinguishes it, TBH. There are many better songs on both World Peace the album and bonus disc. Not bad by any means, but I'm sure it won't stick in my head for very long after listening.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
It has everything to be a lvoely Moz song: an intriguing lyric, a great vocal performanc, a sense of drama that is nicely supported by the music. Such a shame that it wasn’t on the album itsel.
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
have always loved this,it takes a different turn at 2.04.very dramatic.what other artist could write a line about a faulty shower head,so simple.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I think Joe Chiccarelli has generally had a positive impact on recent albums, but unfortunately this is one of his weaker productions. I don't know whether that influenced it not being included on the album proper, but it sounds rather thin and unfinished to me.

It's a shame as the lyrics are intriguing and feel more autobiographical than much of Morrissey's recent output. Particularly the lines about faulty shower heads that are similar to sections of Autobiography.

Also something of a tease to include the knowing Still Ill reference.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 134 from 264 solo songs.
 
J

Janice

Guest
As with Drag the River - it takes me back to that period, July 2014 to the end of that year. I feel it’s almost left there, which is rather odd. Not a song I often play due to its none vinyl participant. I suppose that says it all. Average. Maybe it will grow on me, or I’ll find a new live for it one day - it’s happened before. :sweet:
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
For me, the lyrics raise it to a different level in comparison to the other soft, pleasing ballads from more recent years, like Blue Dreamers Eyes. Nevertheless, it's a lovely tune as well.

It does feel very autobiographical and the fact that it's never been played live might suggest a deep emotional connection.
I personally think he's not only asking other people to 'forgive' but also advising himself to do the same. I always thought that each verse is about a different period in his life and perhaps a certain person he'd wish to be able to forgive and be forgiven by.

The first verse seems to be about someone he had intense arguments with, who's very stubborn. Edit: There are small parallels to The Operation here but both seem to be rather of secondary importance and due to similar context. We have "Or a fight with your fists" vs "You fight with your right hand/And caress with your left hand" and resistance to advice/stubbornness "Stand your ground and persist/And be the last one to blink" vs "You don't catch what I'm saying/When you're deafened to advice". I'm not saying both are about the same person though.

Could be anyone of course but he's ready to run back to them in an instant, so it must be someone he felt very close to. An ex partner or close friend perhaps.

The lines "Betray you with a word/I would slit my own throat first of all" remind me of similar overdramatic statements from earlier songs of his:

"I would lose both of my legs
If it meant you could be free"

"If they dare touch a hair on your head
I'll fight to the last breath"

"Heavy words are so lightly thrown
But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you"

The second verse very blatantly sets the scene, it gives us a time ("when I was still ill") and a rough idea of place ("the black peat of the hills"). To me there's never been a doubt that this verse is about The Smiths and Marr in particular. Others will disagree of course but as Flibberty has mentioned there are some parallels to Autobiography in this lyric and I think it's possible that he wrote this while finishing the book. I don't think it's unlikely that revisiting all those memories could lead to him reflecting on one of the most important rifts of his life. It was messy and in a way The Smiths is where everything began...

"See this mess and forgive someone
And then recall if you can
How all this even began"

The last verse takes us back even further, to his youth. Eleven words is all it takes him to set the scene here "Shorts and supports and faulty shower heads/At track and field". Morrissey used to be a runner and this last verse seems to be about a fellow student. Someone he fancies but who teases him about it. "In the bleachers you sit with your legs spread/Smiling/Here's one thing you'll never have". A fling that never was, perhaps.

In Autobiography he mentions a boy (Pete Gregg), "the star of the fifth year sports",
who he seems to physically admire, the last verse might be about him or not. We'll never know, because "Our truth will die with me".

To finish my rambling, I think the lyric is brilliant. I disagree that it should have been on the proper album though. I like it better than most of the album tracks but it doesn't fit the concept of World Peace. For better or worse, the musical and lyrical style that dominates on that album was a conscious choice and there's no room for this personal, nostalgic gem, which I adore deeply.
 
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BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
For me, the lyrics raise it to a different level in comparison to the other soft, pleasing ballads from more recent years, like Blue Dreamers Eyes.

It does feel very autobiographical and the fact that it's never been played live might suggest a deep emotional connection.
I personally think he's not only asking other people to 'forgive' but also advising himself to do the same. I always thought that each verse is about a different period in his life and perhaps a certain person he'd wish to be able to forgive and be forgiven by.

The first verse seems to be about someone he had intense arguments with, who's very stubborn. Could be anyone of course but he's ready to run back to them in an instant, so it must be someone he felt very close to. An ex partner or close friend perhaps.

The lines "Betray you with a word/I would slit my own throat first of all" remind me of similar overdramatic statements from earlier songs of his:

"I would lose both of my legs
If it meant you could be free"

"If they dare touch a hair on your head
I'll fight to the last breath"

"Heavy words are so lightly thrown
But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you"

The second verse very blatantly sets the scene, it gives us a time ("when I was still ill") and a rough idea of place ("the black peat of the hills"). To me there's never been a doubt that this verse is about The Smiths and Marr in particular. Others will disagree of course but as Flibberty has mentioned there are some parallels to Autobiography in this lyric and I think it's possible that he wrote this while finishing the book. I don't think it's unlikely that revisiting all those memories could lead to him reflecting on one of the most important rifts of his life. It was messy and in a way The Smiths is where everything began...

"See this mess and forgive someone
And then recall if you can
How all this even began"

The last verse takes us back even further, to his youth. Eleven words is all it takes him to set the scene here "Shorts and supports and faulty shower heads/At track and field". Morrissey used to be a runner and this last verse seems to be about a fellow student. Someone he fancies but who teases him about it. "In the bleachers you sit with your legs spread/Smiling/Here's one thing you'll never have". A fling that never was, perhaps.

In Autobiography he mentions a boy (Pete Gregg), "the star of the fifth year sports",
who he seems to physically admire, the last verse might be about him or not. We'll never know, because "Our truth will die with me".

To finish my rambling, I think the lyric is brilliant. I disagree that it should have been on the proper album though. I like it better than most of the album tracks but it doesn't fit the concept of World Peace. For better or worse, the musical and lyrical style that dominates on that album was a conscious choice and there's no room for this personal, nostalgic gem, which I adore deeply.
Really enjoyed this analysis of the lyrics!
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
I hate bonus tracks and deluxe editions but I really like this song. Especially the ending is awesome "Our truth will die with me !!!! "
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
At this point, this sort of material works so much better for Morrissey than anything resembling "rock."
And/or latin and world music.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
A delightful little song. The cheap synths almost ruin it, but somehow they fail to.

Maybe my fave of the World Peace-extra tracks.

The cheap synths are so noticable I wonder if it's a deliberate echo of something?

It's like ironic retro/sincere torch song. Makes me think of plays like The Entertainer or Little Voice - the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
The cheap synths are so noticable I wonder if it's a deliberate echo of something?

It's like ironic retro/sincere torch song. Makes me think of plays like The Entertainer or Little Voice - the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.

It's definitely deliberate. I'd say most of the more questionable musical choices on recent albums are. It's just not always clear to the listener what the reasoning behind them is, but sometimes it strangely still works.
As in this case. The instrumentation is great, in my opinion. It's quite layered and varied and I love how it intensifies towards the end.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
I am surprised that people seem to like this one but I'm glad you do. The guitar at the "a truth will die with me" part is alright. I will never intentionally listen to this again.
 
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