Song of the Day #3,914: ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ – The Smiths

‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ is a track from The Smiths’ sophomore studio album, 1984’s Meat is Murder.

It concerns corporal punishment, three years before the United Kingdom banned the practice in state-run schools. It seems many an English schoolboy who grew up before the ban went on to write songs about their experiences on the wrong end of the cane.

This song is even more notable for its terrific bassline, provided by the great Andy Rourke, and Johnny Marr’s complementary guitar work. This is quite the funk clinic put on by a band not known for that style.

[Chorus 1]
Unruly boys who will not grow up
Must be taken in hand
Unruly girls who will not settle down
They must be taken in hand

[Chorus 2]
A crack on the head is what you get for not asking
And a crack on the head is what you get for asking

[Chorus 1]
Unruly boys who will not grow up
Must be taken in hand
Unruly girls who will not settle down
They must be taken in hand

[Chorus 2]
A crack on the head is what you get for not asking
And a crack on the head is what you get for asking

[Chorus 2]
A crack on the head is what you get for not asking
And a crack on the head is what you get for asking

[Outro]
A crack on the head is just what you get
Why? Because of who you are!
And a crack on the head is just what you get
Why? Because of what you are!

A crack on the head
Because of the things you said (things you said)
The things you did

[Chorus 1]
Unruly boys who will not grow up
Must be taken in hand
Unruly girls who will not settle down
They must be taken in hand

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,914: ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ – The Smiths

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    It’s all good until Morrisey starts singing😜

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