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The Smiths — How Soon Is Now
Album: Meat Is Murder
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 6158









Released: 1984
Length: 6:44
Plays (last 30 days): 4
I am the son and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry, and you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen now
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See, I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
Comments (1053)add comment
Excelente!
KJET - Seattle - 1984  
Genius!
ableape wrote:

I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.

 
ShamanManu wrote:

me too! 
 

Wikipedia sez...
the lines

I am the son, and the heir, of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir, of nothing in particular



were adapted from a passage in George Eliot's novel "Middlemarch" :

"To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular"
I have memories of throwing myself around the dancefloor to this back in the early 90's.
 ableape wrote:
I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.
 
me too! 
 cavemanleong wrote:
Channeling my inner Morrisey
 

Better don’t ;)
Best Smiths Tune Ever!!! I was just thinking, "I havent heard the Smiths lately"...and you played them. Wow. Thanks. Alot!
sucko-barfo
 Andrew_C wrote:
BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?
 
Yep, so far your rating is -3
 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. ... "

 

The flange on the bass is also gorgeous.   
Wow, this reminds me of when I first went into the Army. Great memories and I've always liked this song. Thanks RP.
BLEAGH!  Make it stop, PLEASE!

Can we have a rating several below 0?
 spidergraham wrote:
One of the finest songs ever created. Johnny Marr on Guitar doesn't hurt either!
 

Superb guitar sound!
The Smiths are hit or miss for me. This song is one of their hits for me! ...GREAT song!
Thanks Bill ... this one of those songs that pull you in.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
emo before emo was emo
 

Premo!
First time I heard The Headmaster Ritual was on RP. would love to hear it soon again
One of the finest songs ever created. Johnny Marr on Guitar doesn't hurt either!
 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."

 

I like how Marr is the guy lurking behind Morrissey in the Wikipedia band photo.


Thanks RP.
I'm a musician and guitar player, and I've read this part over and over and I STILL don't get how it was done. I need like an animation or something that shows how it was built up from organic instrumentation.

 nate917 wrote:

Marr is quoted on the subject in Wikipedia, from an interview:

"The vibrato sound is fucking incredible, and it took a long time. I put down the rhythm track on an Epiphone Casino through a Fender Twin Reverb without vibrato. Then we played the track back through four old Twins, one on each side. We had to keep all the amps vibrating in time to the track and each other, so we had to keep stopping and starting the track, recording it in 10-second bursts... I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part — not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."

 

I cannot stand this band, especially the twat at the front. The only decent song they've ever done IMHO. 8.
Not a particular fan of the Smiths but this tune is awesome!
Not a fan of Morrisey, but I really liked The Smiths.  Johnny Marr does some brilliant things with his guitar.  
 thewiseking wrote:
A Masterpiece. Of course it is a simple riff on Disney's Whistle While You Work.
 LOL!

Sadness, hopelessness and despair has never sounded more beautiful than in this song! Raising from 8 to 9!
One of the best songs to come out of the 80s.  I am transported every time I hear it.  
27 years as a veggie, I did my time. Now I eat my steaks blue.

This tune and everything they did is genius. No-one but you gives a monkey's about your diet though; take it off RP. Let's discuss the majesty of the music instead.
How can anyone say there wasn’t great music in the 80’s!?!? When this came out I was 6 months sober. Blew me away!!!
A Masterpiece. Of course it is a simple riff on Disney's Whistle While You Work.
 Lyndont wrote:
horrible!!
 

What is with this tune - I always cringe when I hear the 1st few notes. 
horrible!!
Best Smiths song, Johnny Marr killin' it!
 first heard this on Miami Vice.  It still holds up well.  
Did anyone ever see the Smiths perform this one live?  Wondering how they handled the vibrato thing that according to Marr took all sorts of audio gymnastics.

Also wondering why it took someone so long to sample that (1  hit wonders Soho, Hippychick, 1990) amazing riff.
Marr and Mozza. Sound and Lyrics. Never to be repeated.
That was groovin' I might just get this house cleaned
Liked this when it came out. Heard it on the radio a fair amount of time here in Seattle. KJET - 1600 - End of the am dial !
(The truck I drove had an am radio only.)
It was cool though - Lot of good new wave/alt stuff out in 1984.
 HectorPascal wrote:
okay... I admit. This is a good piece of work. But that man Morrisey.... Ugh.
 
But that guitar!!!! 
 unclehud wrote:
To be clear ... veggies are murder, too.
 
...and salad is mass murder. 
okay... I admit. This is a good piece of work. But that man Morrisey.... Ugh.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
For me, it is a case of being conscious. Once I woke up to what I was actually doing by consuming animal flesh I simply could not continue. 

Saying 'thank you' to the animal for giving up its life for a mouthful of meat nowadays, when it is easy to avoid eating it in the first place, seems to me to be a huge cop out. 

I had a thought the other day. If you believe (as I do) that aliens exist, and if you accept some are likely to be much more advanced than us in many areas, then if they look on a 'sub-species' like us as a food source, is it any different from us playing the same card on the animal world? Therefore. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 
 
Vegans eat plants that have been killed.  How is that different from eating animals?  Do they assume beans and corn are non-sentient?

What about carnivorous animals?  Are they as disgusting as me and my prayer over a can of tuna mixed with corn and tomatoes?

I don't believe aliens exist, but will engage in your scenario.  As has been stated by others here, if human-eating aliens invade, do you think they'd spare you because you're vegan?

Food for thought.  

Respectfully,
A conscious human and loving pet owner
 johnrah wrote:
this song is 4 minutes too long, oh, you all love it.
 
Oh that we do. Solid 9.
this song is 4 minutes too long, oh, you all love it.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:

For me, it is a case of being conscious. Once I woke up to what I was actually doing by consuming animal flesh I simply could not continue. 

Saying 'thank you' to the animal for giving up its life for a mouthful of meat nowadays, when it is easy to avoid eating it in the first place, seems to me to be a huge cop out. 

I had a thought the other day. If you believe (as I do) that aliens exist, and if you accept some are likely to be much more advanced than us in many areas, then if they look on a 'sub-species' like us as a food source, is it any different from us playing the same card on the animal world? Therefore. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 
 
No, I wouldn't have an argument against it. I wouldn't like it, but that's the way life works. It's called a food chain.

Your reasoning reminds of the folks who think we should give the United States back to the Native Americans. My question is, which ones? There were many nations when we got here. The only reason the Sioux were in South Dakota is because they ran off the tribe that was there before they got there. Why are they any more entitled to the land than we are? Or the folks they displaced? The entire planet is populated by the last occupying army.
To be clear ... veggies are murder, too.
 rpdevotee wrote:
I highly recommend the Wikipedia article for this song to fully appreciate it...especially the guitar work.
 
That was a good suggestion! Very interesting how this song came to be. I appreciate it much more now!
Used to love this song. Now it's filed away with the overplayed AOR and alt pap of my youth.
I like some of the Smith's tunes, but wow, –we shoulda seen the gloom and doom coming that M would later bestow upon the world!
The increasingly embarrassing Mozza.

As a teenager of the 80s who didn't hate myself I was forced to be into Metal because of this sort of thing.
Many believe all of Morrissey's "poor lonesome me" lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, and he's just having a laugh. I'm not buying it; he sounds convincingly sad/angry to me, on this track at least!
Good old Pink Fl... oh.
Straight 10 every time.
Interesting story how these identical quadruplets decided to form a band after the war.  Odd album cover.
I always look forward to hearing SoHo - Hippy Chick when this songs starts and end up disappointed every time.
one of the greatest songs ever.
 ableape wrote:
I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.
 
He did like to engage in wordplay on occasion.
ogmoose wrote:

LOL I always thought he sang "I am the Sun and Earth........" actually that might make sense too!  Probably one of the top ten songs of the eighties....and thats saying something!
 
the son and heir of nothing in particular.... 
Couldn't stand The Smiths in the 80s.  But I have to admit now, three decades later, this is kinda growing on me.  
I still remember the first time I ever heard this. Genius! And the there’s Johnny Marr, the deity that he is!
I used to think he was singing, "I am the sun and the air" until I realized it made more sense that he's "the son and the heir". Brilliant.
One of my favorite songs and just what I needed to motive me this morning. Keep up the good work RP!
Not a mad fan of The Smiths, but this one gets a 10 from me {#Hearteyes}
 tulfan wrote:
Still a monumental guitar riff...and then there's Morrissey

 
technically it's a guitar effect more than a riff, but agree that it is monumental.
emo before emo was emo
 cavemanleong wrote:
Channeling my inner Morrisey and singing at the top of my lungs! Afterall, I'm the summoner of nothing in particular. {#Dancingbanana_2}

 
LOL I always thought he sang "I am the Sun and Earth........" actually that might make sense too!  Probably one of the top ten songs of the eighties....and thats saying something!
Channeling my inner Morrisey and singing at the top of my lungs! Afterall, I'm the summoner of nothing in particular. {#Dancingbanana_2}
Turn this ish up like youre in the army! {#Bananajam}
immer wenn ich das cover sehe krieg ich ne gänsehaut - bestimmt
ein Foto vom Vietnamkrieg
 Noé wrote:
{#Dancingbanana}  {#Notworthy}  Véry good guitars and effects : i love

 


{#Dancingbanana}  {#Notworthy}
I highly recommend the Wikipedia article for this song to fully appreciate it...especially the guitar work.
been years since I've come in to look at this song. (2011)

This just might have the most comments and ratings of any song on RP.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 


 
 I assume you mean "fanatical" aliens, and not aliens who have rabies.  Either way, it's difficult to know for sure until they show up.  Do you really think rabid, carnivorous aliens would spare vegetarians and vegans?  It doesn't seem likely.  It could make for a fun sci-fi story.
I have always loved the overall feel of this song, especially the guitar & vocals, but I've never really paid attention to the lyrics (that's my standard M.O.).

Now that I have ... damn, that hits extremely close to home. It's like my thoughts put to paper in a way that I've never had the courage to admit to.

Shit - Bill, can you please put on some Deee-Lite or something equally happy & positive?
Bill's takin y'all to school with the Bo Diddley to Johnny Marr transition
Johnny's  driving rhythm guitar, a haunting riff, and the Morrisey voice are a great combo - especially like the guitar drum break near the end
 jmkate wrote:
Still marvelous..

 
{#Cheers}
8 > 9
 unclehud wrote:

This post is meant in a spirit of free discussion, not condemnation or accusatory rhetoric.

Eating anything means you are responsible for death, even if you didn't kill the plant or animal directly.  (Same for clothes.  You're murdering cotton plants!)

I am not religious, but still silently pray over my food: "Thank you, chicken/pig/fish/asparagus/broccoli/potato, for giving up your life for mine.  I hope to live in a manner that honors your sacrifice."  (And yes, I stole this idea from American Indians.)

Do you also accuse animals of murder?  They consume meat, too, by killing their prey.

 
For me, it is a case of being conscious. Once I woke up to what I was actually doing by consuming animal flesh I simply could not continue. 

Saying 'thank you' to the animal for giving up its life for a mouthful of meat nowadays, when it is easy to avoid eating it in the first place, seems to me to be a huge cop out. 

I had a thought the other day. If you believe (as I do) that aliens exist, and if you accept some are likely to be much more advanced than us in many areas, then if they look on a 'sub-species' like us as a food source, is it any different from us playing the same card on the animal world? Therefore. . . if we have a race of rabid aliens descend on planet earth and start farming us. . . then I'd suggest anyone who is still comfortable eating other sentient animals should not have any argument with that. 

Just saying. 
 Proclivities wrote:

It was mentioned earlier in the thread.  The version is a cover by Love Spit Love - a band which featured Richard Butler (of The Psychedelic Furs), on vocals.

 
I didn't know that.  But that explains why I've occasionally (mis)remembered that theme as being a Furs song.
 slandering wrote:
.....  Meat is murder!
 
This post is meant in a spirit of free discussion, not condemnation or accusatory rhetoric.

Eating anything means you are responsible for death, even if you didn't kill the plant or animal directly.  (Same for clothes.  You're murdering cotton plants!)

I am not religious, but still silently pray over my food: "Thank you, chicken/pig/fish/asparagus/broccoli/potato, for giving up your life for mine.  I hope to live in a manner that honors your sacrifice."  (And yes, I stole this idea from American Indians.)

Do you also accuse animals of murder?  They consume meat, too, by killing their prey.
 Bat wrote:

If it's true that you are what you eat, then why be a vegetable?  You should eat other people who are smarter and better looking than you. 

 
This is quite possibly the sagest dietary advice ever offered.
 ChrisVIII wrote:
surprised that no one has made a comment about the version of the song that has been used for "Charmed" 
This song is a nice 9 and if it is overplayed as some claim it is, then I have to either listen to RP more often or change the time at which I do because I rarely catch it  ! 

 
It was mentioned earlier in the thread.  The version is a cover by Love Spit Love - a band which featured Richard Butler (of The Psychedelic Furs), on vocals.
Every time I hear "and yo go home, and you cry and you want to die," it makes me hate this song that much more.
"I am human and I need to be luh-uh-uhved."
 I luh-uh-uhv this. {#Guitarist}
 altblues1 wrote:

Do you know the hardest thing about eating vegetables?
Picking the wheelchair out of your teeth. 

 
How do you make vegetarian gravy?

Slowly roast a vegetarian, collect the drippings, add a little milk and flour, stir briskly, season to taste.
 tulfan wrote:
Still a monumental guitar riff...and then there's Morrissey

 
Yes.

I like the ambiguity of your comment on Morrissey.


Still marvelous..
Thank you Skydog!  love The Smiths (also love instructive thesaurus-like word history : )   Happy New Year All
 ScottishWillie wrote:

The carnations are just another part of Morrissey’s pretentious nonsense. They were the best and most important band of the 80’s as far as I’m concerned but that doesn't make Morrissey any less of a bampot!



 
I had to look up bampot, yeah I guess so but he's our bampot
.
 bampot n. a crazy person; a fool or dolt. Etymological Note: Most likely a form of barmpot. According to OEDbarm, “the froth that forms on top of fermenting malt liquors; the head of a beer,” is used attributively as a formative to indicate a crazy or feeble-minded person or idea. This is, obviously, related to barmy or balmy ‘crazy.’ Thanks to Michael Quinion for the tip on bampot‘s etymology. Probably not related to the Irish Gaelic bambairne ‘dolt, stupid person, lout.’ In “Some Modern Irish loanwords describing people” (Celtica vol. 18, p. 53, 1986, School of Celtic Studies, Dublin) Mícheál Ó Siadhail connects bambairne to the old Spanish slang bambarria, which, according to the Velasquez Spanish and English Dictionary (1985, New Win Publishing) means ‘a fool; an idiot.’ Bambarria is glossed as “blockhead” in Carnoy, Albert. “Apophony and Rhyme Words in Vulgar Latin Onomatopoeias. American Journ. of Philology. vol. 38, no. 3. (1917) 271. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)
Most excellent but stop all that wiggling Morrissey!
 VH1 wrote:
{#Clap}I always wondered about the carnations in his back pocket! {#Lol}
 

The carnations are just another part of Morrissey’s pretentious nonsense. They were the best and most important band of the 80’s as far as I’m concerned but that doesn't make Morrissey any less of a bampot!


Happy Birthday Johnny Marr!
 mardisoninnc wrote:
I wholeheartedly concur with "buddy"!

 
I'm with mardi,,, who is with buddy
I wholeheartedly concur with "buddy"!
This song is brilliant.  Johnny Marr's driving rhythm guitar is the perfect counterpart to Morrisey's lyrics & vocal.  I understand how some people "don't get" The Smiths.  I'm grateful that I do.
 h8rhater wrote:
People are so defensive.  Just because you feel shame from eating meat doesn't mean you have to lash out at others.

Personally, I love a good steak and care not the least that Morrissey does not.  I do, however, like the song. Which is all that really matters in the context of this thread.

 
If it's true that you are what you eat, then why be a vegetable?  You should eat other people who are smarter and better looking than you. 

Still a monumental guitar riff...and then there's Morrissey
I wish there was a repeat button ... I can listen to this over and over.
Oh, Morrissey, why so sad? 
People are so defensive.  Just because you feel shame from eating meat doesn't mean you have to lash out at others.

Personally, I love a good steak and care not the least that Morrissey does not.  I do, however, like the song. Which is all that really matters in the context of this thread.
 +1

stewliscious wrote:
As soon as i hear the whining intro of this song, i cringe.  I honestly do not get this band.  It's made of plastic and pretense.  And meat is delicious!

 


 Will62 wrote:

Vegetables having feelings too you know!!

 
Do you know the hardest thing about eating vegetables?
Picking the wheelchair out of your teeth.
 Will62 wrote:

Vegetables having feelings too you know!!

 
Do you know the hardest thing about eating vegetables?
Picking the wheelchair out of your teeth. 
My favorite Smiths tune by far.
 slandering wrote:
Yeah how soon is now that YOU stay away of eating animals?     Meat is murder!

 
Vegetables having feelings too you know!!
one more time, thanks,  some songs blast better at volume setting 11 like this one.

Shyness that is particularly vulgar.   High School was along time ago.  But it left a mark
 papersitter wrote:
Johnny Marr is such a distinctive guitarist. As far as I am concerned he is what makes The Smiths special.

 
I love watching the old youtube clips of him playing that John Lennon black and white Rickenbacker
Yeah how soon is now that YOU stay away of eating animals?     Meat is murder!
 baylees wrote:
Love the reverb fuzz guitar and haunting sound   cranked to 11

 
Yep me too, a great sound. Shame that Morrisey's voice grates on me
{#Clap}I always wondered about the carnations in his back pocket! {#Lol}
Grew up in a small town that had either classic rock or bubble gum pop on the radio.  This was the first "alternative" song that I heard in College that showed me that there was more music out there.  It changed my music listening habits for life.
i played The Smiths "This Charming Man" for my wife and she blushed
This song will always remind me of Piper, Phoebe, Prue and Paige.    {#War}
Love the reverb fuzz guitar and haunting sound   cranked to 11