RUSHOLME RUFFIANS

The last night of the fair
By the big wheel generator
A boy is stabbed
And his money is grabbed
And the air hangs heavy like a dulling wine

She is Famous
She is Funny
An engagement ring
Doesn't mean a thing
To a mind consumed by brass (money)

And though I walk home alone
I might walk home alone ...
...But my faith in love is still devout

The last night of the fair
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)

And though I walk home alone
I might walk home alone ...
...But my faith in love is still devout

Then someone falls in love
And someone's beaten up
Someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine
And someone falls in love
And someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine

And though I walk home alone
I might walk home alone ...
...But my faith in love is still devout

This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"

La ...

This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"

La ...

So ... scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen
(This means you really love me)
Scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen
(This means you really love me)
Oh ...

And though I walk home alone
I just might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
I might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
I might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
La ...


A plagiar-fest, this song is essentially an amalgam of Victoria Woods' "Fourteen Again" and the music from Pomus & Shuman's "Marie's the Name (Of His Latest Flame)". One of these sources was later acknowledged when it was included at the start of this song when played live.
Morrissey borrows the framework of a visit to a fairground from Woods' comic song and twists it into his own peculiar brand of tragi-comedy. Especially amusing are his dry explanation of the meaning of the word "brass" (which is surely an idle jab at his new Southern fans). Typically, he points to an earlier single with the lines about a ring.
A nice touch is his re-use of the "dull" adjective; at first to refer by metaphor to an almost ominous atmosphere, then again to refer to his own appraisal of the night's events. The passage about "someone" being beaten up are particularly ambiguous; the intention is surely that he observing the merry-go-round of life is dulling his senses, but rather than a contradictory "but", he chooses to use "and" instead, implying that he is actually the one being beaten up. A genius.
Rusholme (pronounced Rush-home) is a fairly dodgy area of Manchester, near the University, and the start of the infamous Curry Mile.

 Visit BBC Sessions version of this song

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