44. Smiths – ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ (1986)

“And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine”

Written by Johnny Marr/Morrissey

Produced by Johnny Marr/Morrissey

Taken from the album The Queen Is Dead

Also released on The World Won’t Listen, The Best Of The Smiths Vol. 2, Singles, The Very Best Of The Smiths and The Sound Of The Smiths

UK #25

‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’. That might just be my favourite song title in the history of giving songs a title. Back in the day I used to read magazines like Q and Rolling Stone, and when the Smiths came up, this song would be mentioned. I like exploring critically acclaimed artists and making my own judgement on them, and I just had to hear this amazingly titled song. I just knew it would be good. And my god, was it ever good.

I’m not sure I’ve read a more devestating set of the lyrics than that verse up there. “To die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine”. It is at once, disturbing, desperate, pathetic, romantic, frightening. There’s this impenetrable fortress around the vocals, the true meaning of the song is never properly revealed. Is it a love song? A suicide letter? A fantasy? A terrible reality? The jangly beat gives the song a hopeful nature but then you come to verses like this next one.

“And in the darkened underpass
I thought, oh God, my chance has come at last
But a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t ask”

Just makes your heart want to explode.


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