MEAT IS MURDER

Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the calf that you carve with a smile
Is MURDER
And the turkey you festively slice
Is MURDER
Do you know how animals die ?

Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of MURDER

It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of MURDER

NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
Oh ... and who hears when animals cry ?


This, the title track of the album, an overly melodramatic anthem for the world's vegetarians, reputedly caused Andy Rourke to give up meat. It really does tread the line between impact and farce, what with the unearthly effects on Morrissey's voice that sound like an unwell alien, and the absurd cows, sheep and bird noises. I do believe it does manage to get away with it, but it is a close line, and the song is often treated with derision. The opening and closing reverse piano jabs are, I suppose, meant to remind of the "screaming knife".
One of the finest bits in this song is the image of the cheery rustic kitchen, bustling with family; he then mercilessly sees through the pleasant image to the dead animal being cooked.
Morrissey noticeably has no qualms about comparing animals with humankind; indeed the very first line claims the similarity. His mis-use of "MURDER" further nods towards his anthropomorphism of animals.

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