This Charming Man – The Smiths
I hate ‘The Smiths’! There, I got that off my chest – now to sit back and wait for the flaming!
But seriously, how to pick your least favourite song? There’s a huge number of crap songs to choose from and that’s before you start picking through the crap versions of any song that litter YouTube and the surrounding Internet hinterlands. But ‘least favourite’ implies some kind of relationship to the song so rubbish is ruled out. So is forgettable bubblegum. It has to be a least favourite meaningful song.
So how about meaningful songs I just don’t like? There’s wide swathes of quality music that I don’t like. I mean, I don’t like Napalm Death but one can appreciate the lyric if one is in the mood (and it’s slowed down enough – eh Louis?!).
Nope – still off the radar.
Which leaves music that I got my teeth into, chewed around a bit and then spat out. Sometimes I picked it up off the floor (the 10 second rule may have elapsed a bit…) and chewed it some more.
A set of bands make their case: The Specials, The Jam, Fun Boy Three, Stray Cats, Public Image Ltd and so on. Most of these I hated at the time but have grown into in the years since. Well, Fun Boy Three still leave me dead but at least they had a sense of irony. If only in their choice of name.
Which brings me back to The Smiths.
No-one can convince me that Morrissey was being ironic. He isn’t ironic now, even when he’s had the opportunity to think it over and accept the disguise offered by the reviewers. He’s basically angry about everything and he was just being angry back then.
At least he had some tunes. My first, unimaginative, pick was ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ and I discovered (horror) that it quite bounced along. It’s still not ironic, though…
So off I went into their back catalogue again and I alighted on ‘This Charming Man’. Oh yes, here it is in it’s full dirgeness – especially the stripped down OGWT YouTube clip where Morrissey might (or might not) be singing it out of tune.