Song of the Day #4,931: ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ – The Smiths

What better way to kick off 2022 than by going back in time nearly 40 years to 1984 for the latest installment of my Decades series?

First, let me recover from the stunning realization that 1984, the year I turned 12, was nearly 40 years ago. Wowza.

I wasn’t very invested in popular music back then, so none of the year’s notable albums meant much to me at the time. But I have come to know and love a few of them. Over the next four weeks, I will cover those as well as a sampling of celebrated records I haven’t heard much or at all.

For starters, I will count down my personal top five albums of 1984.

#5. The Smiths – The Smiths

I didn’t discover The Smiths until high school, and when I did I immediately gravitated toward their last two albums (and specifically The Queen is Dead). But when I caught up with their debut album, I found all the elements in place.

Morrissey’s melancholy crooning, Johnny Marr’s distinctive guitar, the pulsating rhythms, the wallowing but winking lyrics. This album introduced a unique, vital new sound and voice to the alternative music scene.

[Verse 1]
All men have secrets and here is mine
So let it be known
For we have been through hell and high tide
I can surely rely on you
And yet you start to recoil
Heavy words are so lightly thrown
But still I’d leap in front of a flying bullet for you

[Chorus 1]
So, what difference does it make?
So, what difference does it make?
It makes none
But now you have gone
And you must be looking very old tonight

[Verse 2]
The devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole and I lied, and why?
Because you asked me to!
But now you make me feel so ashamed
Because I’ve only got two hands
But I’m still fond of you, oh-ho-oh

[Chorus 2]
So, what difference does it make? (Oooooh)
What difference does it make? (Oooooh)
It makes none
But now you have gone
And your prejudice won’t keep you warm tonight

[Verse 3]
Oh, the devil will find work for idle hands to do
I stole, and then I lied
Just because you asked me to
But now you know the truth about me
You won’t see me anymore
Well, I’m still fond of you, oh-ho-oh
But no more apologies
No more, no more apologies
Oh, I’m too tired
I’m so sick and tired
And I’m feeling very sick and ill today
But I’m still fond of you, oh-ho-oh
Oh, my sacred one…
Oh…

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,931: ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ – The Smiths

  1. Reb says:

    Great song, imho. Crackling energy to balance out the mournful lyrical tone.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    When I saw today’s SOTD, I feared you were kicking off the new year with a deep dive into the Smiths!I’m glad and relieved to see you are instead exploring 1984, which was my junior year in high school and a time in which I was probably more tuned into music than any other time in my life. That said, the Smiths were not really on my radar- something I don’t particularly view as a great loss.😀

  3. Peg says:

    Looking forward to your deep dive. Since I was 38 then I may not know all your favorites, I am still interested in what they are.

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