Pretty Green

5 Great Smiths Love Songs

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, let Morrissey be your cupid. Sure, Morrissey is often associated with lyrics celebrating loneliness, humiliation, desperation, and heartache, but he is no stranger to beautiful expressions of sentimentality and stirring provocation. Here are five Smiths songs to soundtrack your amour.

1) Reel Around The Fountain (The Smiths, 1984)

‘Reel Around The Fountain’ is the opener to the Smiths’ debut album. Here Morrissey, in full heart-on-sleeve mode, proclaims his affection for a possibly witless, worthless would-be lover. It’s a song full of desperation, heartbreaking longing, and bee’s knees.

2) Hand In Glove (The Smiths, 1984)

‘Hand In Glove’ is the lament of a socially taboo love affair. The defense of a love both pure and untouchable is the basis of this song. The triumph of love is its glory, and Morrissey’s fierce determination to protect his lover and himself from all those who could never understand is palpable. His infatuation is only soured by the frustrated realization of the inevitable death knell of his relationship.

3) There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Queen Is Dead, 1986)

Morrissey is not one to sing a mushy love song. For him, any proclamation of love must always be fraught with the extremes of heart-wrenching passion. If he’s going to bare his heart, it must be as dramatically as possible. ‘There Is A Light…’ is Morrissey’s ultimate ode to love. Okay, perhaps only a Morrissey fan would swoon over the lyrics: ‘If a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.’ But, really, that’s as romantic as it gets, okay?

4) I Won’t Share You (Strangeways, Here We Come, 1987)

‘I Won’t Share You’ is one of the most beautiful songs from both the Smiths’ and Morrissey’s catalogues. It’s as sparkling as the Perrier about which he sings.

5) Handsome Devil (Hatful of Hollow, 1984 — 18 May 1983 Peel Session)

This song reminds us that ‘romantic and square is hip and aware’, and that’s the perfect sentiment for Valentine’s Day. ‘Handsome Devil’ is the song to listen to while you’re pining away for that mysterious stranger with the stack of French poetry books that you always see in the library. But, there is more to life than books you know (not much more)!

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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