Song of the Day #1,544: ‘The Boy with the Thorn in His Side’ – The Smiths

One guess which musical genome category The Smiths fall into. That’s right, boys and girls, we have another ‘Melancholy’ sighting!

I can also make a strong case for the ‘Pure Pop’ category. Those who are only passingly familiar with the band’s discography might associate them only with self-pitying mope rock and remain unaware of guitarist Johnny Marr’s peerless knack for shimmering pop hooks.

Still, those sugar-high guitar riffs and Morrissey’s dark sense of humor generally served as ironic counterpoints to the chasm of adolescent sadness at the core of The Smiths’ four albums and many singles.

This is music made for wallowing, and those of us lucky enough to have wallowed in it know how meaningful that can be, haters be damned.

(On an unrelated note, I discovered on YouTube a lovely live recording of Jeff Buckley singing today’s SOTD.)

The boy with the thorn in his side
Behind the hatred there lies
A murderous desire for love
How can they look into my eyes
And still they don’t believe me?
How can they hear me say those words
Still they don’t believe me?
And if they don’t believe me now
Will they ever believe me?
And if they don’t believe me now
Will they ever, they ever, believe me?
Oh…

The boy with the thorn in his side
Behind the hatred there lies
A plundering desire for love
How can they see the Love in our eyes
And still they don’t believe us?
And after all this time
They don’t want to believe us
And if they don’t believe us now
Will they ever believe us?
And when you want to live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?

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