Morrissey and "What Difference ..." ?

123xyz

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Firstly , perhaps,should ahead of time apologise. Don't mean to gatecrash or flood the airwaves but as a long time lurker on these boards (and a very curious fan), I'm bristling with questions and this seems the best place to ask them. Here's another one - I've read about Morrissey's disdain for the song " What Difference... " , but, to me, it doesn't come across as any worse than at least a dozen Smiths songs played live I could think of ( yes, "Ask" and " ... Really So Strange ?", I'm looking at you).

At the very least, it seems like a reasonably hip-swaying, finger-clicking pop single. I don't understand why this song is never heard live. Any ideas ( yours , not His) ?
 

sistasheila

tjekket
in oor magazine 1987 which was reprinted and translated in an smiths mojo special mag 2004 he said it was too rockist for his tastes
see for yourself the full quote here:
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/threa...ot-been-online-yet/page2?highlight=online+yet
oor 87 i.e. mojo special mag 04- is on the very top of the site, under the ID mag interview
and the what diff quote is on the last page on the left, near to the pic of him and the TV. question being: is it a favourite song of yours.
 
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I don't think he's too fond of the actual lyrics either. I read that somewhere too, but have no idea where.
 

sistasheila

tjekket
yes he said that in that linked ^ interview as well,calling it "lyrically shameful."

I found the lyrics excellent, so i disagree on that topic.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
yes he said that in that linked ^ interview as well,calling it "lyrically shameful."

I found the lyrics excellent, so i disagree on that topic.

I think he dislikes the lyrics because they reveal too much. I've always interpreted "What Difference Does It Make?" as a song about "coming out" to someone, cautiously, being rejected by them (platonically or romantically) and jumping straight back into the 'saintly celibate' role.
What difference does it make? It makes none, but - now you have gone, and your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight. Now you know the truth about me, you won't see me anymore..
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Also, given his post-ROTT output, I have to say I smirked a little at him criticising "What Difference..." for being "too rockist". :lbf:
 

123xyz

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
in oor magazine 1987 which was reprinted and translated in an smiths mojo special mag 2004 he said it was too rockist for his tastes
see for yourself the full quote here:
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/threa...ot-been-online-yet/page2?highlight=online+yet
oor 87 i.e. mojo special mag 04- is on the very top of the site, under the ID mag interview
and the what diff quote is on the last page on the left, near to the pic of him and the TV. question being: is it a favourite song of yours.


Thanks for the link, sistasheila. I wonder if Morrissey's disdain might have more to do with the wonky falsetto towards the track's end. I can't see why he would bother regretting the lyrics - surely some casual reference to a folk saying ( the "devil ... idle hands" bit) isn't enough to derail the song as he suggests in the interview.
 

123xyz

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
I think he dislikes the lyrics because they reveal too much. I've always interpreted "What Difference Does It Make?" as a song about "coming out" to someone, cautiously, being rejected by them (platonically or romantically) and jumping straight back into the 'saintly celibate' role.
What difference does it make? It makes none, but - now you have gone, and your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight. Now you know the truth about me, you won't see me anymore..


The first stanza of the lyrics, I think, Amy, ties in particularly well with your interpretation.
 

smiffy

dont leave us in the dark
what difference does it make, was the first smiths track i heard,
its still one of my faves now.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The first stanza of the lyrics, I think, Amy, ties in particularly well with your interpretation.

Yep, it's pretty much a lyrical signalpost I think. In any case, I struggle to think of what other "secret" he could reveal that would produce such a reaction - I doubt he's hiding bodies under the stairs or something :p. The "leap in front of a flying bullet" part is a pretty big clue too. I'm actively trying to stifle my penchant for conspiracy theories now, but you can probably guess who I think the song is directed at!
 
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D

DAVIE

Guest
Big shame he will never perform this song live, I don't think he likes many songs on The Smiths debut album.
Still waiting for Reel Around The Fountain, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Pretty Girls Make Graves to be played live...as for Suffer Little Children being played live, it's got as much chance as The Pope saying he's a nazi satanist.
 
....a gay santanist then! :whip:

 

Mozzafan#1

New Member
ah man, he doesn't like that song? it's one of my favourites, quite often i have it rolling round my head all day. this is bad news, say it ain't so.

tip from the pros: i noticed there are a couple of versions 'you won't see me anymore.... but i'm still fond of you...'

in one version, the 'i'm still fond of you' sounds all cheery and upbeat, like his spirits were not dampened by the rejection.

in the other version, he sounds totally cut down 'I'm still fond of you' comes out like he's been left in mourning, with a heart-breaking debt of unrequited love/attraction
 
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