You know when you find a song and you just can’t get enough? A track that you’ll start over before it’s even done because you never want it to end? The song that becomes the reason for the repeat button? Here I’ll tell you what song I’ve been listening to over and over again – new or old – and why you should check it out.
THE SMITHS – “HEAVEN KNOWS I’M MISERABLE NOW”
What can I write about this band or this song that hasn’t already been written? Probably not much. The Smiths released “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” in 1984, it’s been named by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll… but you know what? I don’t care if everyone already knows it. Sometimes you hear an old favourite again and it hits you in just the right place at just the right time.
And turns out, that time, for this song, for me, is right now.
It’s weird. The intro… doesn’t SOUND miserable, even though you might be expecting that from the title. In fact, most of the instrumentals sound deceptively sunny. But if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Morrissey’s lyrics are about the CONTRAST between when you feel good and when you feel, well, miserable. Haze of drunken hour = good. Hangover/actually feeling real feelings about real things = miserable. Idea of having job = good. Actually having to go to job and deal with the everyday stress of said job = miserable.
Then there’s the loneliness part. Do you want to be in love like those entwined lovers? Or would you rather stay in the house and never have to give away your valuable time? Would you like to be with someone? Or are you going to balk at the idea of doing things that would make the sexually deviant Roman Emperor Caligula… blush?* Are you willing to give away your valuable time in order to find companionship, even if that means giving it to people you’d rather kick in the eye (p.s. that’s some real good aim, Moz!)?
It’s that break between EXPECTATION… and REALITY. What you THINK you want… and what you actually get. The grass is always greener, no matter where you are. There’s always something that’s going to be missing. This is a song for revelling in feeling miserable and not feeling miserable ABOUT feeling miserable. JUST ENJOY IT! Sure, it doesn’t seem like enjoying being miserable makes sense… but that’s the whole point. Nothing makes sense! You don’t know what you want! Neither do I! Am I getting my point across? Whatever, if you’re not sure, just stay home and play it again.
*Would like to hear more about these particular things, plz, thx.