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#1
Old 04-25-2015, 11:05 AM
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The Smiths "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" -

I thought this was a fat shaming song of some kind or he was being threatened by a large girl's mother he took out. But on reflection I guess it's not. Only took 25 years for the meaning to sink in.


Youtube song here 37:34 - Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Wiki here

Last edited by astro; 04-25-2015 at 11:08 AM.
#2
Old 04-25-2015, 01:12 PM
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I always assumed it was about boobs.
#3
Old 04-25-2015, 01:52 PM
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So what is it about? I've always wondered. Is it meant to be that they're bigger down there? Otherwise, why would he say, "I've just discovered"?

ETA: Wow, even I have to say it. "Awesome username/post combo."

Last edited by Freudian Slit; 04-25-2015 at 01:53 PM.
#4
Old 04-25-2015, 02:39 PM
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I always assumed that it's nothing deep—just an observation that throughout human history, men have been obsessed with breasts.
#5
Old 04-25-2015, 02:58 PM
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I always assumed Morrisey was stoned, or otherwise came up with nonsense lyrics.

The wiki didn't clear that up for me.
#6
Old 04-25-2015, 08:08 PM
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Sometimes I just despair at the Internet.
#7
Old 04-25-2015, 08:56 PM
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Oh for pity's sake. Of course he's singing about hoo hahs. Otherwise, as Freudian Slit points out, why would he say "I have just discovered"? If he were singing about breasts that line wouldn't make sense.

Also, in case you don't know, some girls really are bigger than others.
#8
Old 04-25-2015, 09:00 PM
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According to this, it's just about Morrissey's realizing out of the blue that women's bodies are not all the same.

http://songfacts.com/detail.php?id=23259

Quote:
In 1986, front man Morrissey explained to NME why he was inspired to write about women's fluctuating figures: "The whole idea of womanhood is something that to me is largely unexplored. I'm realising things about women that I never realised before and 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' is just taking it down to the basic absurdity of recognizing the contours to one's body. The fact that I've scuttled through 26 years of life without ever noticing that the contours of the body are different is an outrageous farce!"
#9
Old 04-25-2015, 09:34 PM
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You expected him to come out and tell NME plainly that the song is about hoo hahs?
#10
Old 04-25-2015, 09:43 PM
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My take:

The song is an ironic juxtaposition of the blunt physicality of human sexuality with our romantic ideas about love and relationships.

There are two references in the lyrics to a discourse of "romantic love". The line "as Antony says to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale" alludes to a story that is often portrayed as a great romance (however, in the same breath - the crate of ale - Antony is dismissed as the rather more simple male specimen that he historically probably was). The part at the end that goes "send me the pillow, the one that you dream on" is a reference to the song "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On" (see Dean Martin perform it here), a traditional "love song" about a lover longing for his partner.

This is contrasted with the rather more blunt physical realization that "some girls are bigger than others, some girls' mothers are bigger than other girls' mothers". The fact that mothers are included suggests that this discovery happens in childhood. It is an "original" male sexual impulse, the first thing that a boy discovers about girls. It is basic, and, importantly, it is rather indiscriminate (mothers will do as well as girls as objects of sexual desire, and size difference is the only important criterion).

The result is a stark reveal of how all our schmaltzy ideas about love and relationships, those that we surround ourselves with in adulthood, are really culturally conditioned sublimations of a much more basic, primal and, if you will, immature sexuality. "From the ice age to the dole age" suggests that this more basic sexual model is really what motivates us throughout our lives, and all talk of romance is just so much kabuki. We never really grow out of our primal and childish impulses, we simply paper them over with fluff. And this has been the case through human history.

The song, rather delightfully, thus manages to kick both ways: Sexuality (specifically male sexuality, and the male view of women) is revealed as childish and even infantile, while our discourse about love (exemplified. of course, most of all by the kind of bland radio pop that The Smiths in so many ways is positioned in opposition to) is shown as insincere.

Importantly, the "crate of ale" line further relates this thematic to a subtext of English class society. The story of Antony and Cleopatra is a love story played out between a Roman statesman and an Egyptian queen. But then Antony opens the crate of ale, the staple beverage of the English working class. The implications should be clear: The English lower classes are surrounded by, and tell themselves, stories about the exploits of heroes from the higher classes, or pretend to be them, while the realities of their real lives are never brought to the surface or given a voice.

This triple-barreled pessimism, however, is implicitly balanced by a kind of paradoxical optimism that runs through the oeuvre of The Smiths: A desire to cut through the noise and find a primal voice that speaks truth. That truth, pathetic though it may be, has value. The surface layers of ideology (in the Althusserian sense) can be peeled back, and the more brutal reality, as concerns both life on the lower rungs of the English class pyramid, and our basic human desires, can be given a voice.

Either that, or it's about boobs.

I dunno. I love the song, but I hadn't really thought about the lyrics much until just now.

Last edited by Martian Bigfoot; 04-25-2015 at 09:45 PM.
#11
Old 04-25-2015, 09:43 PM
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Sounds like the kind of weird-ass thing that Morrissey would say sincerely.
#12
Old 04-25-2015, 10:04 PM
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You could of course (not that I would) go the psychological route, and, in addition to what I posted upthread, see a layer of meaning where Morrissey is grappling with his own sexuality. Or, perhaps, rather the discomfort created by the problem of locating his sexuality within an accepted mainstream.

Morrissey seems to be best described as some combination of gay and asexual. So, here we have a male observer who is surrounded by a culture that is infused with images or women, and who is assumed to understand them. After much study, without any success at discovering meaning, he has the "revelation" that there is a difference in scale between some of them, and that this must be the point.

In other words, it's an bitterly ironic comment about alienation in a world where you don't conform to a stereotype.

In this reading, "the pillow that you dream on" is perhaps best understood as representing the desire for a human connection when you don't have access to society's shared discursive tool for finding one.

Or, as I said, the boob thing.

Last edited by Martian Bigfoot; 04-25-2015 at 10:09 PM.
#13
Old 04-25-2015, 10:07 PM
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Martian Bigfoot, I think you just put way more thought into this song than Morrissey ever did.
#14
Old 04-25-2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Martian Bigfoot, I think you just put way more thought into this song than Morrissey ever did.
Hope it helps to clear things up for you guys.
#15
Old 04-26-2015, 09:54 AM
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....Threads likes this are why I love this board...that is all...
#16
Old 04-26-2015, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by up_the_junction View Post
Sometimes I just despair at the Internet.
It despairs at you, too.
#17
Old 04-26-2015, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post

Morrissey seems to be best described as some combination of gay and asexual. So, here we have a male observer who is surrounded by a culture that is infused with images or women, and who is assumed to understand them.


This assumption was definitely behind my earlier comments.
#18
Old 04-26-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
Morrissey seems to be best described as some combination of gay and asexual.
Which might be why he is only just discovering that some girls are bigger than others.
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