Song of the Day #2,617: ‘The National Front Disco’ – Morrissey

morrissey_your_arsenalMorrissey’s solo work after The Smiths’ breakup was solid but lacked a certain musical confidence — Johnny Marr’s absence is clear. But that changed with Moz’s fourth solo record, 1992’s Your Arsenal, the best album he ever recorded apart from his old band.

Producer Mick Ronson, who worked wonders with David Bowie, brought a muscularity to Morrissey’s sound, blending grunge, glam and rockabilly into a collection more aggressive than anything the sad-sack singer had ever released.

Morrissey’s trademark catty wit is on full display on tracks such as ‘We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful’ and ‘You’re the One For Me, Fatty’ and he courted controversy with the lyrics of other tracks, including today’s SOTD. Is this song celebrating the far-right National Front, and the “England for the English!” refrain adopted by anti-immigrant factions? Or is it depicting a family’s reaction to their son joining those ranks?

Another track, ‘We’ll Let You Know,’ is told from the perspective of a football hooligan. It’s all quite British.

I was at the University of Miami’s film school in 1992 and used this album’s saddest song, ‘Seasick, Yet Still Docked’ to score one depressing project. Sample lyric: “I am a poor, freezingly cold soul so far from where I intended to go / Scavenging through life’s very constant lulls so far from where I’m determined to go.”

Ah, to be 20 again.

David, the wind blows
The wind blows
Bits of your life away
Your friends all say
“Where is our boy? Oh, we’ve lost our boy”
But they should know
Where you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained that
You’re going to

Oh, you’re going to
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
England for the English!
England for the English!

David, the winds blow
The winds blow
All of my dreams away
And I still say
“Where is our boy?
Ah, we’ve lost our boy”
But I should know
Why you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’ve gone to the

National, ah
To the National
There’s a country; you don’t live there
But one day you would like to
And if you show them what you’re made of
Oh, then you might do

But David, we wonder
We wonder if the thunder
Is ever really gonna begin
Begin, begin
Your mom says
“I’ve lost my boy”
But she should know
Why you’ve gone
Because again and again you’ve explained
You’ve gone to the

National
To the National
To the National Front disco
Because you want the day to come sooner
You want the day to come sooner
You want the day to come sooner
When you’ve settled the score

Oh, the National [Repeat: x5]

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,617: ‘The National Front Disco’ – Morrissey

  1. Dana says:

    Did you actually call him Moz? Ugh!

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