Song of the Day #1,878: ‘We’ll Let You Know’ – Morrissey

morrissey_your_arsenalI know I don’t have a lot of fellow Morrissey and Smiths fans in these parts, but I was thrilled to have today’s Random Weekend SOTD pop into my headphones.

‘We’ll Let You Know,’ from Morrissey’s best solo album, Your Arsenal, is a tribute/takedown (depending on whom you ask) of British football hooligans, and an extraordinarily effective piece of work.

I think it’s pretty clear that Morrissey isn’t celebrating the xenophobia and violence of the hooligans but rather painting them as a pretty depressing lot (he even calls them that in the final verse). The songs opening verses are tinged with a somber nostalgia, but it’s a mistake to confuse that for sympathy.

I especially like the long middle section in which the delicate acoustic guitar is gradually pushed aside by the sound of far-off chaos. At his best, Morrissey is a very cinematic performer and this SOTD is a prime example.

How sad are we?
And how sad have we been?
We’ll let you know
We’ll let you know
Oh, but only if, you’re really interested

You wonder how
We’ve stayed alive ’till now
We’ll let you know
We’ll let you know
But only if, you’re really interested

We’re all smiles
Then, honest, I swear, it’s the turnstiles
That make us hostile
Oh

We will descend
On anyone unable to defend
Themselves
Oh

And the songs we sing
They’re not supposed to mean a thing
La, la, la, la

We may seem cold, or
We may even be
The most depressing people you’ve ever known
At heart, what’s left, we sadly know
That we are the last truly British people you’ll ever know
We are the last truly British people you will ever know
You’ll never never want to know

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6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,878: ‘We’ll Let You Know’ – Morrissey

  1. Dana says:

    Ugh, what an awful way to wake up on a Sunday morning!

    I’m counting a 4 note vocal range on this one….seems about right for Morrissey. Good lord, is this some boring drivel!

    So, let’s review:

    Monotonous vocals in predictably limited range…..check.
    Monotonous acoustic guitar mostly strumming a single chord….check
    Extra heavy British accent that nearly every other British singer can minimize in their work….check
    Pretentious production reminiscent of the worst of Pink Floyd…check.

    Never have understood why you like this guy and I guess I never will.

  2. Clay says:

    The only thing more predictable than a Morrissey song is your reaction to it. :-)

    I won’t argue with your assessment (though obviously we disagree) but I do have to call out the point about his British accent. Why should a non-American singer have to “minimize” his or her accent? That strikes me as borderline racist, or whatever the term is for prejudice against an accent… accent-ist!

    • Dana says:

      I’m not suggesting he needs to intentionally minimize his accent. In fact, what I am suggesting is that most foreign artists, particularly British artists, seem to lose the accent as part of their natural singing voice. I doubt all of these artists are really attempting to lose their accents. It just seems to happen.

      This leads me to conclude that Morrissey, perhaps to add to his generally pretentious affect, goes out of his way to exaggerate his accent in his songs. To me, this is just another reason to find him a big phony theatrical piece of musical garbage.

  3. Clay says:

    I think you’re just looking for more reasons to dislike him.

    Given that this song (like many of his songs) is about a thoroughly British topic, it seems appropriate that it be sung in a British accent, whether that’s intentional or not.

    • Dana says:

      Not really hard to find reasons to dislike him. And he sounds like this in every song I have heard from him (thus my legendary 3 note Brotish accented imitationšŸ˜„)

  4. Andrea Katz says:

    I have slipped behind in my blog reading but I can’t get passed the homoerotic cover photo. It’s practically obscene with that mic and all. Really!

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