Hand in Glove-The Smiths

Steven Patrick Morrissey’s power as master of your soul stems from his ability to simultaneously inhabit and eviscerate the characters he portrays.  And of course they are characters.  Possibly a sociopath, he simply must be mimicking a deeply empathetic ability because the pathetic and sadsack corpses he leaves in his pompadored wake.  I love the guy, but at a safe distance.  The genius of this particular track is the directness, the forcefulness, the veritable mind-meld between the entire band, almost the entire band including guitar behaving as rythym section, the true lead being Marr’s intro and outro harmonica and Morrissey’s “hand in glove/the sun shines out of our behinds/no it’s not like any other love/this one is different because it’s us.”  So true.

5 Responses to “Hand in Glove-The Smiths”


  • Gotta say, it’s not my favorite Smiths song. Really pretty low on the totem poll, actually. Just something about it that I don’t particularly care for.

  • one of the things to think about whilst considering this song is that this was their very first release – the inaugural single that launched the career of, arguably, the most critically lauded british pop band of the 80s.

    what makes it so breathtaking to me is the incredible strength of the lyrics. moz has been well-excoriated for being a limp-wristed, depressed, flower-toting manc that speaks to depressed bedsitters, but this song lyrically is not only a call to arms but carries more than a hint of something quite sinister. only with the last line – “i’ll probably never see you again” – does he hint at what would come to be the morrissey hallmark: a juxtaposition of clever wordplay and witticisms alongside the more desperate (and, it should be stressed, incredibly common) feelings of social or romantic inadequacies.

    the opening lyric that you quoted is quite possibly one of the most profoundly romantic and assertive condonings of homosexuality this side of bronski beat, and is confirmed by follow up lyrics (and if the people stare, then the people stare / oh, i really don’t know and I really don’t care).

    of course, it is redundant to mention how fucking incredible marr, joyce and rourke’s delivery of this tune is – an incredible, sinister groove. the key is rourke’s bass and how it fills the spaces between marr’s deceptively simple chord changes.

    for a band and lyricist that have been branded as a depressed, mopey band, this first single is a tour de force of confidence and power and was barely a hint of the genius to come.

  • Did I ever tell you about the time I was working as a record store clerk in New Orleans?

    Well, one slow day Morrissey wandered in, and, like flotsam, slowly bobbed his way around the store, before finally cresting upstairs in the oldies section.
    Shortly thereafter, Peter Buck also wandered into the store. He ambled around a bit, and like jetsam, ultimately ended up in the oldies section too.
    Where they made eye contact, said hello, and proceeded to make small talk about Dusty Springfield.

    True story.

  • Umm, dude, this is turning into the song of the month.

  • Sorry kids, I’m back on the ball here. Oh, I agree with PR, but I think that this song is their distilled genius, even if you like many better, and I have many more favorites, but this song is a grower and very much in your face, less affected. This is definitely up there for them. Really.

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