Morrissey A-Z: "Dial-a-Cliché"

Ketamine Sun

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A song for father’s day ...



‘be a cliché ...’ never!

 
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Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
It wasn't my favorite song on the album back then and probably isn't now.
But it reminds me of some qualities sadly lost over the years: poignant lyrics, simplicity, restrained instrumentation.
Viva Hate songs are standing up well to the test of time.
It's vintage Morrissey through and through. For me, one of best from VH. I've always been partial to these lines:

And you find that you've organized
Your feelings, for people
Who didn't like you then
And do not like you now


Was difficult to be 16/17 years old and not relate somehow.

So glad to FINALLY hear it live (along with "Break Up The Family") at this show:

 
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BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
It's vintage Morrissey through and through. For me, one of best from VH. I've always been partial to these lines:

And you find that you've organized
Your feelings, for people
Who didn't like you then
And do not like you now


Was difficult to be 16/17 years old and not relate somehow.

So glad to FINALLY hear it live (along with "Break Up The Family") at this show:


I love those lines, too. And have always wondered about his use of the word "organised" with regard to his "feelings" as it sounds like how someone with autism spectrum disorder might describe their emotions.

(I realise this is probably a gross over-interpretation of one word in a song, it just strikes me as unusual!)
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
It's vintage Morrissey through and through. For me, one of best from VH. I've always been partial to these lines:

And you find that you've organized
Your feelings, for people
Who didn't like you then
And do not like you now


Was difficult to be 16/17 years old and not relate somehow.

So glad to FINALLY hear it live (along with "Break Up The Family") at this show:

And I like the lines before too:
But the person underneath
Where does he go?
Does he slide by the wayside?
Or does he just die?

For me, they seem to have renewed relevance in our technology-driven impersonal society and workplaces.
And yes, nice to see Morrissey reconnect with the song with slightly different wording (BE A CLICHE).
 

Mike Rourke

Active Member
Love this one - the words, the singing, the music, the pace. Wonderful arrangement, too, e.g. when the flute part comes in for the second verse.
The fact that there were four or five even better songs on Viva Hate is why it's his best solo album by some distance.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
It's a great song and fits well in the context of "Ordinary Boys" and the other songs on that record about growing up feeling like you're not fitting in.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
Is this song about sexuality?
My opinion is that sexuality might be part of it but it's also about seeing more possibilities than the people around you do. He was in touch with a wider world through the music he was listening to and the things he was reading but for a lot of people that's a passing phase before they grow up or start to fit in. It was not ever going to be possible for him to do that. So he had to accept that he was somehow wrong or to believe that those people telling him to change and fit in were wrong.
 
T

The dance

Guest
This part of the song...

But the person underneath
Where does he go?
Does he slide by the wayside?
Or does he just die?
And you find that you've organized
Your feelings, for people
Who didn't like you then
And do not like you now

...is one of the most beautiful things, for me, in the whole Smiths/Morrissey body of work.
I agree. The emotion is real on that.. Beautiful
 
T

The dance

Guest
It wasn't my favorite song on the album back then and probably isn't now.
But it reminds me of some qualities sadly lost over the years: poignant lyrics, simplicity, restrained instrumentation.
Viva Hate songs are standing up well to the test of time.
Yes, I was just going to say that..
Its as if he Sang this and didn't follow his own advise.
The depth of emotion he mimed was brilliant and for some reason he he changed for the worst. Its almost like he'd ashamed of his old self.. Yet his old self was supier to most (including him now)
 

crotty32

Active Member
This is a song I "never got", I have no doubt that one day the penny will drop and I will listen to it continuously for weeks.
 
J

Janice

Guest
This is a song I "never got", I have no doubt that one day the penny will drop and I will listen to it continuously for weeks.
I must admit, I felt like the above for years but, I’d started to warm to it slightly around 15 years ago. It wasn’t a track I would skip to on my phone but, as part of VH I enjoyed it. Hearing I live, I’ve appreciated it more.
 

Ketamine Sun

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I think so. Someone's urging the singer to "grow up", "come out of the closet" (or "come out of the caddy", as Victoria Wood said) and "be a cliche" instead of being himself.

I always took it as a song about the strained relationship between a father and son.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
Yes, I was just going to say that..
Its as if he Sang this and didn't follow his own advise.
The depth of emotion he mimed was brilliant and for some reason he he changed for the worst. Its almost like he'd ashamed of his old self.. Yet his old self was supier to most (including him now)

To be fair, I think Morrissey continued to improve as a singer. His voice is much stronger now.
But progress is rarely a linear thing. You win a bit here and you lose a bit there. I agree that he lost in depth of emotion, and the musical direction he has chosen (first a heavier sound, more recently a more diversified sound) has something to do with it. Just listen to the live performance posted above for a comparison.
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Not one of his best songs, but it has a certain quality to it (like Little Man, What Now?) that keeps me returning. I always thought the person telling him to grow up and reciting clichés at him was his father - and this song was a way of saying, "Dad, can't you see the harm you're doing?"

"The safe way is the only way"
"There's always time to change, son"
I've changed but I'm in pain.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I think so. Someone's urging the singer to "grow up", "come out of the closet" (or "come out of the caddy", as Victoria Wood said) and "be a cliche" instead of being himself.
In the original lyrics, someone is directing clichés at him - 'grow up', 'be a man', 'time to change' etc. Not urging him to 'come out' but basically to stay in, stop his 'fey' behaviour & be more like 'ordinary' blokes.
 
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GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
In the original lyrics, someone is directing clichés at hime - 'grow up', 'be a man', 'time to change' etc. Not urging him to 'come out' but basically to stay in, stop his 'fey' behaviour & be more like 'ordinary' blokes.
Yeah, it's exactly the opposite of urging him to come out.
 
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