“In the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited” #8

When I posted the Sandie Shaw track “Heaven Knows I’m Missing Him Now” in The Chain this week, I made reference to a track by The Smiths.

That track was, of course, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”. Can you see what Morrissey, a massive fan of 60s female pop like Shaw, did there?

It would be too easy for me to post another song by The Smiths in this series, so instead, a song by an act who’s never featured here before, who I forever link to that song by The Smiths for two reasons.

Firstly, the lyrical content. Here’s the lyrics to “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”:

“I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I’m miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I’m miserable now

In my life
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don’t care if I live or die

Two lovers entwined pass me by
And heaven knows I’m miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I’m miserable now

In my life
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don’t care if I live or die

What she asked of me at the end of the day
Caligula would have blushed
“You’ve been in the house too long” she said
And I naturally fled

In my life
Why do I smile
At people who I’d much rather kick in the eye

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I’m miserable now
“You’ve been in the house too long” she said
And I naturally fled

In my life
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don’t care if I live or die.”

Which, as you will see shortly, has much in common with today’s song.

The second reason is because in 1987, The Smiths were the subject of a full episode of arts program The South Bank Show. The programme, after Melvyn Bragg has nasalled his way through the introduction, begins not with a Smiths song, but with today’s choice, which then segues into “This Charming Man”.

Like this:

You can watch the whole program, split over seven parts, on YouTube, should you be so inclined (that link should allow you to watch them in sequence).

That show has special memories for me; in 1987 I was in the upper sixth form, and in the process of applying to go to college. One application required that I submitted a critique of a recent television program, and it was The Smiths’ edition of The South Bank Show that I wrote about.

On the strength of that, I was invited to an interview at the college in question, which I managed to make a right royal cock-up of, which I’ll go into another day.

So here’s the song in question, a more straight-forward lyric than the saucy innuendo-laden ones the singer is better known for:

01

George Formby – Why Don’t Women Like Me?

Turned out nice again, ‘int it?

More soon.

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