THE QUEEN IS DEAD

Oh ! Take me back to dear old Blighty,
Put me on the train for London Town,
Take me anywhere,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham
But I don't care,
I should like to see my ...

I don't bless them
Farewell to this land's cheerless marshes
Hemmed in like a boar between arches
Her very Lowness with a head in a sling
I'm truly sorry - but it sounds like a wonderful thing

I said Charles, don't you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your Mother's bridal veil ?
Oh ...
And so, I checked all the registered historical facts
And I was shocked into shame to discover
How I'm the 18th pale descendant
Of some old queen or other

Oh, has the world changed, or have I changed ?
Oh has the world changed, or have I changed ?

Some 9-year old tough who peddles drugs
I swear to God
I swear : I never even knew what drugs were
Oh ...
So, I broke into the palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But when you're tied to your Mother's apron
No-one talks about castration
Oh ...

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
Like love and law and poverty
Oh, these are the things that kill me

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But the rain that flattens my hair ...
Oh, these are the things that kill me

All their lies about make-up and long hair, are still there

Past the Pub who saps your body
And the church who'll snatch your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb
Past the Pub that wrecks your body
And the church - all they want is your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb

Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely


Superb for its intro alone, with the sample from "The L-Shaped Room" leading into crazed feedback before settling into the drum-led rhythm that is so distinctive. Morrissey & Marr apparently planned each of their ideas separately, and somehow two totally disparate ideas came together in a unique way.
Both Rourke and Joyce are exemplary on this track, easily fending off the idea that they are secondary to the nature of The Smiths.
The title track of the album, this song borrows the title phrase from Hubert Selby Junior's classic "Last Exit To Brooklyn", dropping the transvestite implications to decry the downfall of "dear old Blighty". An apocalyptic epic, "The Queen Is Dead" starts off as a furious diatribe against the Royalty and quickly moves to the state of the Empire, before reflecting introspectively on the author's personal situation. This could, of course, also be referring to the royal family themselves, but it can be read that the author is more concerned with his personal life than any perceived national collapse. The author clearly perceives himself as alone in his opinions : "it's so lonely on a limb".
The unclear line beginning "All their lies..." is almost definitely what I have; listen carefully and I'm sure you'll agree.
It has been pointed out to me that the line "Hemmed in like a boar between arches" could contain a slight pun. Although the line is written like this in the lyric sheet, it sounds like "arches" could be "archers". Rather than a grunting pig stuck in an archway too narrow, this brings up a much more interesting image of the hounded boar surrounded by malevolent bowsmen.
It has also been brought to my attention that the "arches" could be referring to the infamous Golden Arches of Mcdonald's; I wouldn't be surprised to see Morrissey try and lever another subject in there.

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