Morrissey A-Z: "Girl Least Likely To"

A

Anonymous

Guest
Or standing around the shops with thieves
This is one of those lines (such as the 'whale blubber Wilde' at the end of Cemetry Gates) that someone has misheard, typed up on the internet, and has spread so much that annoyingly everyone now thinks it's what he's singing. It isn't. He's clearly singing "Standing around the shops with peas". Yes, it's a ridiculous line, but stick on some headphones and listen to that part at high volume, and you can clearly hear the 'p' articulated at the beginning of the word - there is no way it can be 'thieves'.

If you need more supporting evidence, listen to the live versions. He either sings peas, or sometimes changes it to "standing around the shops with chips", which is a fairly natural substitution (for all your foreigners, us British folk frequently eat chips and peas, usually of the mushy variety). For him to change 'thieves' to 'chips' would be incredibly random word substitution.

Please stop spreading these lyrical errors - they are maddening! :mad:
 

Ketamine Sun

Verso’s parents regret the condom splitting
Even if it wasn't meant to be about himself the similarities to his pre-Smiths life are pretty striking. So if it was supposed to be a criticism of someone else, he kinda shot himself in the foot here.

Yes, agree. I think, even when he’s singing about someone else he seems to be, to some degree, singing about himself, think November or even Jack the Ripper.

I like to believe that Girl Least is both about him and someone else (because he experienced it, so he was drawing from his own experience) but, also
I’m sure he has or had friends of an artistic nature that also wanted to be famous like him, but it just wasn’t happening.


There is a different mood all over the world
A different youth, unfamiliar views”


Ok I can see that as him questioning his own relevance in relation to a younger generation.


And dearest it could all be for you
So will you come down and I'll meet you
With no more poems, with nothing to hit home

Darling it's all for you
Darling it's all for you
Oh Darling it's all for you
Oh Darling it's all for you’


Though what do you think of these last lines? I take it as him saying to ‘her’ to let go of her dreams and come back down to earth/reality where he can finally meet her.

And the lines ‘darling it’s all for you’ maybe means, that happiness can be found if she drops this goal which seems to be unattainable.
 

Ketamine Sun

Verso’s parents regret the condom splitting
Correct, I always heard ‘peas’ even
if the transcription from his album MEBY seems to be wrong.


“These words are transcribed without permission the way they appear in the "My Early Burglary Years"album. There are no variations between the printed lyrics and what Morrissey actually sings in the studio version. “


This is one of those lines (such as the 'whale blubber Wilde' at the end of Cemetry Gates) that someone has misheard, typed up on the internet, and has spread so much that annoyingly everyone now thinks it's what he's singing. It isn't. He's clearly singing "Standing around the shops with peas". Yes, it's a ridiculous line, but stick on some headphones and listen to that part at high volume, and you can clearly hear the 'p' articulated at the beginning of the word - there is no way it can be 'thieves'.

If you need more supporting evidence, listen to the live versions. He either sings peas, or sometimes changes it to "standing around the shops with chips", which is a fairly natural substitution (for all your foreigners, us British folk frequently eat chips and peas, usually of the mushy variety). For him to change 'thieves' to 'chips' would be incredibly random word substitution.

Please stop spreading these lyrical errors - they are maddening! :mad:



 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Correct, I always heard ‘peas’ even
if the transcription from his album MEBY seems to be wrong.


“These words are transcribed without permission the way they appear in the "My Early Burglary Years"album. There are no variations between the printed lyrics and what Morrissey actually sings in the studio version. “

Given 'My Early Burglary Years' status as a compilation, I would not be surprised if Morrissey himself had nothing to do with compiling the lyrics for this, and it was farmed out to some office flunky. Then again, even stuff he is involved with is often incorrect - the lyric sheet on 'I Am Not a Dog On a Chain' has several differences to what he actually sings on the record.

Ultimately, he's slagging someone off for writing terrible lyrics, so a song about 'standing around the shops with peas' seems appropriately crap. :)
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
This is one of those lines (such as the 'whale blubber Wilde' at the end of Cemetry Gates) that someone has misheard, typed up on the internet, and has spread so much that annoyingly everyone now thinks it's what he's singing. It isn't. He's clearly singing "Standing around the shops with peas". Yes, it's a ridiculous line, but stick on some headphones and listen to that part at high volume, and you can clearly hear the 'p' articulated at the beginning of the word - there is no way it can be 'thieves'.

If you need more supporting evidence, listen to the live versions. He either sings peas, or sometimes changes it to "standing around the shops with chips", which is a fairly natural substitution (for all your foreigners, us British folk frequently eat chips and peas, usually of the mushy variety). For him to change 'thieves' to 'chips' would be incredibly random word substitution.

Please stop spreading these lyrical errors - they are maddening! :mad:

Sorry, but I really don't hear it as "peas". The first consonant is very weak in all versions I've listened to, which doesn't speak for a plosive like "p".
The "chips" argument is pretty convincing though.

The printed lyrics in the booklet for My Early Burglary Years are incomplete, so it's not a reliable source.

LyricsMEBY.jpg
 

Ketamine Sun

Verso’s parents regret the condom splitting
Sorry, but I really don't hear it as "peas". The first consonant is very weak in all versions I've listened to, which doesn't speak for a plosive like "p".
The "chips" argument is pretty convincing though.

The printed lyrics in the booklet for My Early Burglary Years are incomplete, so it's not a reliable source.

View attachment 69717

maybe we’re all wrong and he’s actually singing ‘fleas’ ?

:lbf:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It sounds like Passions has it wrong this time. And come on - who doesn't love standing around the shops with peas?

woman-buyer-shopping-canned-jar-of-peas-picture-id1056093338
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
It sounds like Passions has it wrong this time. And come on - who doesn't love standing around the shops with peas?

woman-buyer-shopping-canned-jar-of-peas-picture-id1056093338

Surely the 'shop' in question would be a chip shop, no?
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH #FBPB
A

Anonymous

Guest
This actually helps me like the song more, as I've always thought it was pretty mean, if it's about a specific other person. But if it's about him then, yay self-loathing!

That's the thing - I don't think this song is self-loathing either. It's actually a rare case of Moz giving his younger self a sly thumbs-up. The narrator for the majority of the song isn't him, or at least doesn't reflect his real views. Rather, it's a pastiche of the various naysayers he would have encountered in his youth. A sensitive young man growing up in unpretentious, self-deprecating Salford with poetic ambitions would have been a common target for exactly this line of criticism (although possibly delivered in less florid terms).

The "publisher" part also makes sense. Recall that prior to being a Smith, Morrissey was a struggling music writer (remember the New York Dolls book?)

I actually think "peas" makes more sense than "thieves" in this context. "Standing around the shops with peas" works as a particularly scathing send-up of the "kitchen-sink" songs from the early Moz canon (many of which were written pre-Smiths).

In this reading, I think the change in tone towards the end of song is when present-day, famous Moz takes over.

There is a different mood all over the world
A different youth, unfamiliar views”


As a teenager, Moz must have felt hopeless. Even though he enjoyed the (very brief) punk explosion, I'm sure he would have felt his careful, over-enunciated style of writing and singing was completely out of place in that genre - and we all know how removed he felt from the glitz of the new-wave that followed.

At some point though - either before or after "taking up" with Johnny - he must have sensed that, zeitgeist or no, there was an audience for the music he was writing. After all, at the risk of being reductive, there were plenty of reasons to be gloomy in the early 80s, particularly if you didn't live in the United States (or even London).

I think this is a common realisation for many people as they enter early adulthood. If you're an outsider during your school years, it feels insufferable. Once you enter the wider world, you come to see that there are sufficiently many other 'outcasts' around to form a community of sorts - if you want it.

Ultimately, these lines are portentous. Young Morrissey realises that there could be market for the dreary stuff he's been writing, and thinks 'to hell with it!'

And dearest it could all be for you
So will you come down and I'll meet you
With no more poems, with nothing to hit home

Darling it's all for you
Darling it's all for you


And here we have the fateful meeting between Morrissey, famous singer of the Smiths, and the lonely dreamer of his younger years. He gives up the poetry, and brings his almost-completely unprecedented lyrics - honed on John Betjeman and Alan Bennett - to the world of rock and roll.

"Darling it's all for you" has two meanings. There's a general "the world is yours" idea here, but also a message of giving. Morrissey is saying that he 'did it all' for his younger self - the young, tortured and widely-mocked 'girl (or boy!) least likely to'. In some ways, this is reminiscent of Rubber Ring, but more personal - he is singing to himself, rather than the fanbase.

All told, a robust 9/10!
 
I stood around the shops with a girl least likely to and she never did.

Imagine a pop singer writing a song about that level of social life.

Wonderful song.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I actually think "peas" makes more sense than "thieves" in this context. "Standing around the shops with peas" works as a particularly scathing send-up of the "kitchen-sink" songs from the early Moz canon (many of which were written pre-Smiths).
The fact that Tony Wilson spoke of a pre-Smiths Morrissey writing a 5 page play called 'Eating Toast in Hulme' would probably add in to this.
 

Ketamine Sun

Verso’s parents regret the condom splitting
The fact that Tony Wilson spoke of a pre-Smiths Morrissey writing a 5 page play called 'Eating Toast in Hulme' would probably add in to this.

I’m sure that was Tony’s take on what kind of title or subject matter that he imagines Morrissey would write about, rather then it actually being the title. Though, it’s still funny.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
I’m sure that was Tony’s take on what kind of title or subject matter that he imagines Morrissey would write about, rather then it actually being the title. Though, it’s still funny.

If anyone could pull off a play about eating toast in Hulme and make it interesting, it's Morrissey.
 

Carlisle baz

Cock of the north
So lovely and creative Barry.
You let yourself down with that ever so tatty card sleeve copy of LAEC though.
Thanks for your informative review....
I’m like the “tatty card sleeve”
Well used, knackered, but many a good tune to be played..🤣🤣🤣
 
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