Morrissey A-Z: "Dagenham Dave"

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
As much as I still think this song is shitty, I will always admire the nerve of a songwriter who writes a knowingly lazy lyric and ends it with "I could say more, but you get the general idea"...

And instead you get Dagenham Dave x 30, the most repetitive he has ever been.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I think it’s worth repeating...

The repetition of the lyric Dagenham Dave by Morrissey always makes me think of
Marc Bolan’s song ‘Debora’ that we can be sure he knows by heart ....


Deboree-deb n' deboree-de-bree-deb
Deboree-deb n' deboree-de-bree-deb
Deboree-deb n' deboree-de-bree-deb
Deboree-deb n' deboree-de-bree-deb

Oh Debora, always look like a zebra
Your sunken face is like a galleon
Clawed with mysteries of the Spanish Main, oh Debora ...”

:)
Thanks God that Morrissey never sank this low. This is just unbearable to my ears.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Vicar in a Tutu?
Some Girls... has a very lightweight lyric, saved by beautiful music.
Didn't Johnny complain that Morrissey ruined his beautiful and intricate guitar cords with a ridiculous lyric?
This must be his first entry into the list of "excessively repetitive" lyrics
 

gordyboy9

its not me its you.
This was the single that made my brother (a Smiths apostle from day 1) break up with Morrissey, never to return.

'He's just taking the piss now' was the observation made after playback of the cassette single.
tell your brother that M seems to have gotten over the breakup with your brother,tell him theres more fish in the sea.
 
J

Janice

Guest
Another song that I love and which I would love to hear live
I’ve got to agree. I’ve often thought about this being reintroduced to the live set list, and hoped it would be, but thus far, f*** all. I think it was last played on a couple of Scandinavian dates in 97, but wasn’t played at Battersea or Chester. Not sure I was that keen for it back then or not but, I try to envisage it being played now, out the blue - Imaging the intro, if it came as a complete surprise. Can but hope.
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
Don't really like the song, love the video, Moz at his most studly.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Didn't Johnny complain that Morrissey ruined his beautiful and intricate guitar cords with a ridiculous lyric?
This must be his first entry into the list of "excessively repetitive" lyrics
At the Oxford Union event (2019), he said, "Some Girls are Bigger than Others is such a pretty tune and the lyrics are farce, they're quite comedic. The boring answer is that at that time, Morrissey was my best mate and we loved everything that each other did, we both thought everything the other one did was great. It was only when someone in the music press said it that I thought, yeah, it's really f***ing weird what he's done to my song! It's got the line, "As Antony said to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale... ohh I saaaaayyy...", which I thought was pretty funny."
 
Last edited:

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Been thinking about it a lot more with these A-Z threads and I think I mentioned it in the Boy Racer thread, I really think some creative exhaustion was starting to show on Southpaw Grammar. From Kill Uncle through SG, he'd worked at a relatively fervent pace - which included 4 albums, other non-album singles, 2 large tours (KU & YA) and the smaller (in terms of dates) Boxers tour - with the overall quality being very strong. I know not everyone agrees that the quality dropped here, but my point is that it's understandable given the volume of work he turned out.

But whether this was intentional ("self-destruct button") or he was creatively spent is a good question.
Personally I often think back to Morrissey's quote that, "It's easy to give the audience what they want. It's much more interesting to give them what they might not want."

He was being praised for his poetic lyricism after Vauxhall and I, and I think the contrarian in him had to rebel and try to paint himself as a tough guy. He decided to try to make an album with nowhere near enough lyrics and with far too long instrumental stretches. It should have been no surprise to him that it was met with a lukewarm response.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
This would make sense if he wrote the music, but he doesn't. He uses songwriters to compose the music and play the instruments. There was at least 5 different people writing the music in that 91 to 95 period so it's not really that much composing per songwriter. However, maybe on Southpaw, Alain and Boz just hadn't had time to write better pieces of music since the previous recording. There was some really great stuff on the other non-Southpaw '95 releases, though (Swallow, Boxers, Sunny, Nobody loves, You must please etc.). I don't know what order the '95 songs were written and recorded in but perhaps the Southpaw album songs were the most rushed. Also, the guitar-heavy arrangements were very different to most of his previous songs, so perhaps that disguised how flimsy they were, musically.
I think Do Your Best and Don't Worry was the only song to be rushed musically.

I also don't think that the issue that most people had with this album was a downturn in the quality of the music. Let's face it, nobody was exactly praising the band before this anyway.

Morrissey's contribution is the thing that nosedived massively between Vauxhall and I and this.
 
J

JamesSafeway

Guest
I think Do Your Best and Don't Worry was the only song to be rushed musically.

I also don't think that the issue that most people had with this album was a downturn in the quality of the music. Let's face it, nobody was exactly praising the band before this anyway.

Morrissey's contribution is the thing that nosedived massively between Vauxhall and I and this.
Musically, I think Southpaw Grammar is easily one of Morrissey's best albums. Of course though this is dependent on personal taste. If you like definite tunes and a degree of prettiness or hummability, then Southpaw is likely not going to be your taste. Its a rough album but romantic in my view and to my ear.

If you want pop music then it really isn't going to make you too happy either. Even though it has the repetitive singles The Boy Racer and Dagenham Dave, I'd hardly call them pop fodder. I genuinely just love the groove and more rocky approach of this album.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
At the Oxford Union event (2019), he said, "Some Girls are Bigger than Others is such a pretty tune and the lyrics are farce, they're quite comedic. The boring answer is that at that time, Morrissey was my best mate and we loved everything that each other did, we both thought everything the other one did was great. It was only when someone in the music press said it that I thought, yeah, it's really f***ing weird what he's done to my song! It's got the line, "As Antony said to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale... ohh I saaaaayyy...", which I thought was pretty funny."

Let's face it, objectively, Morrissey did not do "Some Girls" justice. It could have been another timeless classic. Instead it's known as the song with the genius music and daft lyrics.
 

Radis Noir

Shut yer gobs, you wankers!
Let's face it, objectively, Morrissey did not do "Some Girls" justice. It could have been another timeless classic. Instead it's known as the song with the genius music and daft lyrics.
The bathos is deliberate. It suffuses Morrissey's entire lyrical output. "Some Girls" is just an extreme example of it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm sure Johnny was slightly shocked and put out at the time. It would have been the same if he'd delivered the heartfelt music for 'Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me' and Morrissey came out with a comedy vocal line about Sid James and Charles Hawtrey comparing penis sizes. In more recent years I've heard him come around to it though - I think even in that long podcast interview where he offered it as a positive example of how the 'ying/yang' of their relationship worked.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
I'm sure Johnny was slightly shocked and put out at the time. It would have been the same if he'd delivered the heartfelt music for 'Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me' and Morrissey came out with a comedy vocal line about Sid James and Charles Hawtrey comparing penis sizes. In more recent years I've heard him come around to it though - I think even in that long podcast interview where he offered it as a positive example of how the 'ying/yang' of their relationship worked.

The tune is really nothing without the wonderful vocal melody created by Moz. Johnny Marr’s ”intricate” riffs sometimes have all the passion of a child who has memorised how to complete a Rubik’s Cube.
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
Dagenham Dave was a great single..
Fast, loud, punchy. And with a decent video for once....
I don’t know why some people are calling this a light weight, repetitive song?
Every Morrissey song doesn’t have to be an epic, or lyrically a classic...

He is also capable of writing catchy pop music as well, and this is what DD is ....
It should also be the opening song on his next tour,
It just might get the people in the front rows dancing again....
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
In many ways Southpaw Grammar is the bravest album Morrissey ever released. Following a mature and critically applauded album with raucous rock songs, bookended by two ten-minute tracks, was a bold move. Plus the fact that less than 50 % of the running time Morrissey stays quiet. Teachers and Southpaw were just about good enough to support their running time, but the material between them falls short. Reader Meet Author is classic Moz and Boy Racer is decent, but the rest is sub-par.

It's clear that they didn't have enough material for an album, which is accentuated by the lack of new b-sides on the second and final single. Was the ill-fated tour with Bowie the reason for the hasty recording process?
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Let's face it, objectively, Morrissey did not do "Some Girls" justice. It could have been another timeless classic. Instead it's known as the song with the genius music and daft lyrics.
It's beautiful, it's still a classic in my eyes. The music stands alone. That said, I think Morrissey sometimes made conscious decisions (at least in the Smiths) to let the music stay at the forefront of some songs, not exhaustively trying to fill every space with words. 'Boy with the Thorn' is another example, where he lets the vocal melody just melt into the music and not 'compete' with it (unlike, say, Charming Man which has a very strong vocal line). And Headmaster Ritual - the long intro, the whole 'laaa di yaaaay' section...I think Moz has a good sense of when to let the music shine and when to basically plaster over it with word salad. Such as, erm, Dagenham, Dagenham, Dagenham Dave...
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age

The tune is really nothing without the wonderful vocal melody created by Moz. Johnny Marr’s ”intricate” riffs sometimes have all the passion of a child who has memorised how to complete a Rubik’s Cube.
I'm not sure that's fair. No disrespect to this young guy, but using a YouTube cover to make that point is like saying "How Soon Is Now?" is crap based on your Uncle Bob's singing voice. Sounds fine to me.

 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish that the the outro to “The Operation” was a bit shorter. The drum intro I kind of get, but the way it drags on and explodes into this cacophony after the last verse or so just ruins the song. The song proper is fantastic guitar pop, with a great vocal melody and strong lyrics. Speaking of the SG album.

(I’ll probably just copy-paste this when we get to The Operation in the A-Z)
 
Tags
morrissey a-z
Top Bottom