Virginia Woolf Essay Shakespeare Sister Lyrics

Literature

 

Allen, Richard

  • The title of his skinheads novel "Suedehead" indirectly inspired the title of Morrissey's first solo single. See quote at the bottom of this page.

Archer, Jeffrey

  • His novel "First Among Equals" contains the line: "I was only joking when I said you should be bludgeoned in your bed", a line also found in the lyrics of the Smiths' "Bigmouth Strikes Again".

Auden, W.H.

  • A recording of him reading his poetry was supposedly played during intermission on a portion of the 2009 Tour Of Refusal.
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Auden's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from one of his poems.

Austen, Jane

  • In an interview published in an early 2007 issue of the LA Weekly Morrissey replied to the question "I love Jane Austen. She's a genius. Do you agree?" with the answer "Oh, good grief, yes."

Baldwin, James

  • Morrissey expresses his admiration for this author and social critic in his "Autobiography".
  • A video of James Baldwin was shown before Morrissey concerts on his 2014 tour.

Barrett Browning, Elizabeth

  • She has a poem titled "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." a line very similar to the first line in the Smiths' "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" ("learn to love me, assemble the ways").
  • Morrissey used the poet's original words in the liner notes to the 2009 reissue of his "Southpaw Grammar" album.

Behan, Brendan

  • He gets namechecked in Morrissey's song "Mountjoy".
  • In a 2014 interview to Hot Press magazine, Morrissey said "I love the fact that he didn't think that heterosexuality resolved anything at all, meaning, I assume, that he didn't think it was enought just to be heterosexual. You read him and you are immediately convinced that the rest of the world is suffering a mass mental illness. I love writers like that."

Belloc, Hillaire

  • Morrissey used a quote from Beloc's "Cautionary Tales For Children" in his essay titled "James Dean Is Not Dead".
  • Belloc was mentioned alongside nine other 'symbolists' in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", Morrissey's top ten films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Belloc's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from some of his poems.

Bennett, Alan

  • His teleplay "I'm Afraid Of Virginia Woolf features the line "Nature has a language, you see, if only we'd learn to read it" which Morrissey adapted for his song "Ask".
  • His teleplay "Doris And Doreen" (aka "Green Forms") features a running gag about Newport Pagnell, a likely inspiration for the mention of those words in the song "Is It Really So Strange?".
  • His play "Forty Years On" provided inspiration for the etching found between the run-out groove of the "Girlfriend In A Coma" single: "And never more shall be so".
  • The play also contains the line "One generation treading on the toes of the next - that's what tradition means" the latter part of which Morrissey took on loan when writing the lyrics for the Smiths song "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish".
  • The latter play also contains the line: "I was distantly related to the Woolf family through some Alsatian cousins", which may have inspired the title to Morrissey's song "Alsatian Cousin".
  • Bennett's teleplay of Oscar Wilde's "A Woman Of No Importance" was mentioned by Morrissey among his favourites in an article titled "Headful Of Heroes: Cathode Rays" printed in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME.
  • In an interview printed in the May 1994 issue of Select magazine Morrissey said: "Put it this way, Mozzer, you have a card from Dirk Bogarde here. You have Alan Bennett sitting in your kitchen having tea. You have David Bowie having sung one of your songs quite beautifully. What else are you looking for? What right do I have to be sour-faced and complaining, queuing up at Waitrose in Holloway being annoyed because somebody in front of me has got a leg of lamb? What more could there be?"
  • In an interview published in (source needed), Morrissey said he was ready to retire/die, now that he had had tea with Alan Bennett. This happened in the early 1990s when Morrissey owned a house in Camden one street away from Bennett's house, and the two would call on each other for tea.
  • His play "Habeas Corpus" features the words "You are my quarry", which may have inspired Morrissey for the title of his album "You Are The Quarry".
  • Bennett was the first artist invited by Morrissey to perform at the 2004 Meltdown festival which he curated. When discussing the event in an interview published in Time Out magazine at the time Morrissey said: "All praise for Alan Bennett is useless he is beyond all review and beyond analysis by dull people like me. He is a non-stop genius and I am proud to have swept his backyard."
  • In a 2005 interview (source needed) Morrissey said "I was the dull, fat kid in spectacles sitting in a Manchester council house who caught the first transmission of his plays in 1978-1979 and I was thunderstruck because it was the first time I'd seen what I pitifully considered to be my sense of humour on screen... He's so terribly funny that when he writes a line full of biting sadness it cuts through all the more. I also like the fact that he doesn't seem to envy or even much care for other writers."
  • Morrissey mentions his friendship with Bennett in his "Autobiography".

Betjeman, John

  • Betjeman's poem "Slough" (from "Continual Dew") contains the line "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough" which very likely inspired the similar line in Morrissey's song "Everyday Is Like Sunday", although Morrissey replied to that suggestion "That never really occurred to me" in an interview published in Melody Maker in March 1988.
  • In an interview published in the January 1995 issue of Q magazine, when asked about the last person he slept with, Morrissey replied "Me lodger", which is also the title of a Betjeman poem. Then, when asked about the music he would have played at his funeral, he said "John Betjeman reciting 'A Child Ill' ."
  • A 1973 recording of the poem "A Child Ill" was actually played right before Morrissey walked on stage on his 2002 tour.
  • In an interview published in Word magazine in 2003, Morrissey showed the interviewer what he had been listening to in his car, a cassette of collected interviews of John Betjeman.
  • The recorded poem "A Child Ill" was also included on the Morrissey-compiled "Songs To Save Your Life" a covermount cd given away with an issue of the NME in 2004.
  • In a Q&A published on the True-To-You website in January 2006 Morrissey answered the question "Who do you admire lyrically?" with "Nobody in pop or rock. Elsewhere, the poet John Betjeman."
  • The inspiration for the use of the words "retroussé nose" in the song "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" may be attributed to the mention of those words in Betjeman's "The Olympic Girl".
  • On an appearance on BBC2's programme The Culture Show in 2006, Morrissey said that Betjeman was one of his all-time heroes.
  • In an interview to Radionica (Columbia) in early 2012, Morrissey said "There are no modern poets. Poetry published in Britain is a joke. John Betjeman was our last great poet. He was magnificent." (translated from Spanish)
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Betjeman's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from one of his poems.

Blake, Nicholas

  • The title of his novel "The Smiler With A Knife" may have inspired Morrissey's song title "Smiler With Knife". The words are originally from Chaucer, but the novel's detective protagonist is called Nigel Strangeways, which hints at the novel being a closer influence than the original Chaucer line.

Blake, William

  • A version of his poem "And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times" (set to music by Hubert Parry under the title "Jerusalem") sung by the Borstal inmates in the film "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner" was Morrissey's walk-on music on the 1995 Boxers tour. He repeated this on a few dates of the 3rd American leg of the Greatest Hits tour.

Bradbury, Malcolm

  • There has been speculation that his novel "Eating People Is Wrong" may have had an influence on Morrissey, or at least have been appreciated by him. The book's main character is a misfit who repulses some, but regarded as a genius by others who write poetry. The book mentions Oscar Wilde and Keats, and features the line "Look, I'm a human being, you know, said Louis. I need love like everyone else..." which may have been reused by Morrissey in "How Soon Is Now?"

Brontë, Charlotte

  • Her book titled "The Professor" includes the line: "In the midst of life we are in death", a line used by Morrissey in his lyrics for the song "Sweet And Tender Hooligan". However it must be said that this line is originally from the Book Of Common Prayer.
  • Morrissey often mentioned the Brontë sisters in interviews in the early 1990s.
  • In an interview published in the April 1994 issue of Q magazine he said that "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" can make him cry.

Brontë, Emily

  • In an interview given to LA's radio station KROQ in 1990 Morrissey mentioned that he liked Brontë's "Wuthering Heights".
  • In a questionnaire appearing in the tourbook sold on the Kill Uncle tour Morrissey mentioned her name in a list of favourite writers. He actually often mentioned the Brontë sisters in interviews in the early 1990s.
  • In an interview published in the April 1994 issue of Q magazine he said that "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" can make him cry.
  • The line "I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home" from "Wuthering Heights" was very likely lifted by Morrissey for his own "Satan Rejected My Soul".
  • In the dying scene at the end of "Wuthering Heights" the character of Catherine says "You have killed me!" closely followed by "I forgive you", which recalls lines from Morrissey's song "You Have Killed Me".

Brown, Gareth

Brown, Rita Mae

  • In "Morrissey & Marr - The Severed Alliance" biography of the Smiths, author Johnny Rogan mentions at some point that Morrissey was reading her book "Rubyfruit Jungle" which also happens to be one of Myra Hindley's favourites.

Brown-Miller, Susan

  • In an interview published in the 4 June 1983 issue of Sounds magazine Morrissey said "... I just so happen to be completely influenced by feminist writers like Molly Haskell, Marjory Rose and Susan Brown-Miller. An endless list of them! I don't want to GO ON about feminism but it is an ideal state. It will never be realised beyond that because this society detests strong women. You just have to look at the Greenham women. This is a society that only likes women who faint and fawn and want only to get married. I'm not neurotic about it, but it is an integral part of the way I write."
  • Her book "Against Our Will" was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.

Buford, Bill

  • His "Among The Thugs" book about football hooligans supposedly inspired Morrissey's "We'll Let You Know" and "The National Front Disco". The words "National Front disco" do indeed appear in the book.

Capote, Truman

  • A photo of Truman Capote taken by Cecil Beaton in 1949 was used for the cover of the Smiths' "Boy With The Thorn In His Side" single. The author was often mentioned by Morrissey in interviews as one of his favourite authors at the time.
  • In the December 1992 issue of Details magazine the author of the article said that Morrissey "likes Truman Capote (Conversations With... rather than In Cold Blood)". Incidentally "Conversations With Capote" mentions Morrissey favourites "The Member Of The Wedding", "The Collector" and Oscar Wilde.
  • "Moonriver", the theme to the film adaptation of Capote's "Breakfast At Tiffany's", was covered by Morrissey.
  • In a Q&Q published on the True-To-You website in September 2006 Morrissey wrote "(...) and I'm not even sure if Truman was a writer at all, or just someone who sneaked around and watched. But he was funny."

Christie, Agatha

  • She was included by Morrissey in a list of favourite people titled "Odd Fellows" published in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME. He probably appreciated her personality more than her work.

Collins, Wilkie

  • The sentence "A strip of ground hemmed in between a marsh on one side and the sea on the other" in his novel titled "No Name" bears a strong resemblance to the lines "Farewell to this land's cheerless marshes, hemmed in like a boar between arches" in "The Queen Is Dead". It must be said that this might just be a coincidence.

Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur

  • In an interview given to KROQ radio in 1997, when asked if he enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, he answered : "I find them fascinating, really fascinating. Very cozy and very English and very drizzly and rainy and safe. Quite funny."

Coward, Noel

  • He has a short story titled "Stop Me If You've Heard It", available in his "Star Quality" short story compilation. This might have inspired the title of the Smiths song "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before".
  • See the 'music' section for much more on Noel Coward.

Davies, Hunter

  • His biography of the Beatles, the only authorised biography of that band, includes this comment by John Lennon about his marriage to Yoko Ono: "Intellectually, we knew marriage was a stupid scene. But we're romantic and square as well as hip and aware." The latter words ("Romantic and square is hip and aware") were etched between the run out grooves of the Smiths' "William Is Was Really Nothing" single, although the choice is attributed to Johnny Marr and not Morrissey.

Dawson, Les

  • The title to "The Malady Lingers On And Other Great Groaners", this Mancunian comedian's collection of puns may have inspired the title of Morrissey's second video collection "The Malady Lingers On". However it must be said that Terrence Pettigrew's "Raising Hell: The Rebel in the Movies" is a likelier source (see further down this list).

Delaney, Shelagh

  • Shelagh Delaney's work is where Morrissey lifted the most material, particularly in the early days of the Smiths.
  • She was mentioned alongside nine other 'symbolists' in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", Morrissey's top ten films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME. Her "The Lion In Love" was included in that feature's 'books' sub-section.
  • Delaney's "A Taste Of Honey" features the following lines which were adapted by Morrissey mainly for the Smiths' "Reel Around The Fountain" and "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", but also other songs: "I dreamt about you last night, and I fell out of bed twice"; "You told me not to trust men calling themselves Smith."; "That river, it's the color of lead."; "I'm not sorry and I'm not glad"; "Oh well, the dream's gone, but the baby's real enough"; "It's a long time, six months"; "You can't just wrap it up in a bundle of newspaper. And dump it on a doorstep."; "I'll probably never see you again"; "I don't owe you a thing"; "As merry as the day is long"; "Sing me to sleep"; "You want taking in hand"; "It's your life, ruin it your own way.".
  • Delaney's "The Lion In Love" features the lines "I think we've courted long enough, it's time our tale was told"; "I'll probably never see you again"; "Cash on the nail"; "Anything's hard to find if you go around looking for it with your eyes shut"; "I'd sooner spit in everybody's eye"; "I'll go out and get a job tomorrow / you needn't bother" ; "Nell: And getting nowhere fast. Andy: These things take time."; "Pagliacci - that's me"; "Shall I tell you something? I don't like your face"; "ten-ton truck"; "Do I owe you anything"; "Tied to his mother's apron strings" which also appear in similar form in various songs penned by Morrissey. The line "So rattle her bones all over the stones, she's only a beggar-man whom nobody owns" also appears almost word for word in Morrissey's "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" although it must be said that this line had previously appeared in James Joyce's "Ulysses" and even earlier in English poet Thomas Noel's "The Pauper's Funeral". Still, Morrissey's most direct inspiration is very likely the Delaney source.
  • The lines "The devil finds work for idle hands" and "..leaves me bereft..." from "Sweetly Sings The Donkey" both appear in Morrissey's lyrics although this may just be coincidence.
  • A still of Rita Tushingham from the film adaptation of "A Taste Of Honey" was used for the artwork of the Sandie Shaw/Smiths single "Hand In Glove".
  • Morrissey mentioned Shelagh Delaney as one of his heroes in the 1985 Meat Is Murder tour programme.
  • In an interview published in the 7 June 1986 issue of the NME Morrissey said: "I've never made any secret of the fact that at least 50 per cent of my reason for writing can be blamed on Shelagh Delaney who wrote 'A Taste Of Honey'. And 'This Night Has Opened My Eyes' is a Taste Of Honey song - putting the entire play to words."
  • Morrissey might have had Shelagh Delaney in mind when he wrote "Sheila Take A Bow"
  • An image of Delaney was used for the artwork of the Smiths' "Louder Than Bombs" album.
  • A photo from the jacket of a 1961 edition of her first play "A Taste Of Honey" was used for the artwork of the Smiths' "Girlfriend In A Coma" single.
  • A still from the film adaptation of Delaney's "Charlie Bubbles" was used for the artwork of the "William Is Was Really Nothing" single reissue.
  • The song "The Boy Racer" might have been inspired by Delaney's play "Dance With A Stranger".
  • In a 2006 interview to Mojo magazine, Morrissey said "A spark of me was always very, erm, unsure and that's when I think you rely on other people's ideas. I mean, I know I overdid it with Shelagh Delaney. It took me a long, long time to shed that particular one.
  • In "The Lion In Love", the character named Banner says "I'm thinking", and is answered by Kit asking "What with?". This seems to have inspired Morrissey when he wrote the lyrics for "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell".
  • A video interview of Delaney was shown during intermission on portions of the 2009 Tour Of Refusal. The interview was lifted from the documentary "Shelagh Delaney's Salford".
  • Morrissey in an interview (source needed): "There's one person called Shelagh Delaney whom nobody's ever heard of. She had a massive influence on me and I've only actually got three books by her... three pieces of work. 'A Taste Of Honey' I can recite now if you like - word for word - it'd take a long time. Yes it had a massive influence upon me."
  • Following her death in 2011, Morrissey wrote an eulogy for her which was published on the True-To-You website and used an image her as a stage backdrop.
  • It is no surprise that Morrissey mentions in his autobiography his teenage discovery Delaney's plays.

de St-Exupery, Antoine

  • Morrissey is seen reading James Dean's favourite book "The Little Prince" in his video for the song "Suedehead".

Dickens, Charles

  • In an interview published in the November 1992 issue of Spin magazine Morrissey answered the question 'What are you reading at the moment?' with "Well, Oliver Twist and a few peculiar magazines, but just because I'm reading them, I'm not necessarily enjoying them. I'm trying to find out what's in them. But Oliver Twist is the thing I'm reading on the plane. (interviewer: Why?) Charles Dickens is very exciting to me, because he was a terribly gloomy character, terribly embittered, and quite depressed. (...) What a fantastic combination. I love the grim, dim description of the East End, all those murky, winding passages, full of desperate characters - like our friend Fagin."
  • In the December 1992 issue of Details magazine the author of the article said that Morrissey was "...now deep into Dickens and is looking for his obscure novel called Our Mutual Friend."
  • In 1994 a sample from the film adaptation of Dickens' "Oliver Twist" was used in Morrissey's "Billy Budd"
  • The famous opening line of Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" was adapted by Morrissey for his own "I Know Who I Love" ("having had the worst of times, now I want the best of times").
  • "Bleak Moor Lies", the title of one of the chapters from Morrissey's upcoming autobiography (published in a book that accompanied the Tate St Ives exhibition 'The Dark Monarch, Magic and Modernity in British Art'), was taken from Dickens'"Dombey And Son".
  • "Ask For Toughey" from his novel "Bleak House" is etched between the run-out grooves of the LP edition of the compilation "The Very Best Of Morrissey".
  • In a 2012 email interview to Billboard magazine, Morrissey mentioned "Bleak House" as being the last great piece of literature that he read.

Dickinson, Emily

  • Morrissey's lyrics at the end of "In The Future When All's Well" are a possible nod to Emily Dickinson's "A Long Long Sleep, A Famous Sleep".

Didion, Joan

  • In the December 1992 issue of Details magazine the author of the article said that Morrissey "likes Joan Didion".
  • It has been speculated that her novel "Play It As It Lays" may have inspired "At Amber" but there is no evidence to that effect.

Douglas, Lord Alfred

  • His poem "Two Loves" features the line "He lieth, for his name is Shame" which may have inspired Morrissey's "Shame Is The Name". Lord Alfred Douglas was Oscar Wilde lover. See Oscar Wilde further down this list.

Dowd, Maureen

  • In a statement to the True-To-You website in February 2006, in answer to the question "Who is your favorite author today?" Morrissey replied "I like the American columnist Maureen Dowd - I think she's very funny, but then I read that she enjoyed eating chicken legs and .... well....that was the end of that romance."

Dunn, Nell

  • According to biographer Simon Goddard, the Morrissey quote about wanting to be remembered as "Manchester's answer to the H-Bomb" (found in the Kill Uncle tour programme) may have been adapted from Nell Dunn's "Up The Junction" which features the line "Britain's answer to the H-Bomb".

Eliot, George

  • Morrissey very likely lifted the classic opening line in "How Soon Is Now?" from George Eliot's "Middlemarch": "To be born the son of a Middlemarch manufacturer, and inevitable heir to nothing in particular".
  • She was included by Morrissey in a list of favourite writers titled "Old Masters" published in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME.
  • The words "George Eliot knew" were etched between the run-out grooves of the UK 7" and 12" editions of the "Piccadilly Palare" single.
  • In an interview given to LA radio station KROQ in 1990, on the subject of George Eliot, Morrissey tricked Richard Blade (the interviewer) by asking him "Do you know his work?". When Blade answered "Yeah, sure." Morrissey retorted "He's a woman."
  • In a questionnaire appearing in the tourbook sold on the Kill Uncle tour Morrissey mentioned her name in a list of favourite writers.

Fallada, Hans

  • The title to the German post-war novel "Little Man, What Now" seems to have inspired the title of the Morrissey song (but not the content).

Farrell, Warren

Fowles, John

  • The words "Half A Person" might have been taken on loan from his book "The Collector": "Caliban is only half a person at the best of times."
  • Morrissey is a big fan of the film adaptation of the latter book. See cinema section.

Friday, Nancy

  • In a 1987 interview published in Record Mirror, Morrissey asked the interviewer "Do you know Nancy Friday? Her most famous book is 'My Mother, Myself', which you've surely stumbled across; it's been everywhere for years. You've not read it? I'm stunned! So this book is about jealousy, and it's remarkable, I'm just underlining everything. What's it about? I don't know how to describe it, let's just say that I'm learning so much from it. (...) I tend to find jealousy where it doesn't exist, within circles of people, which is a great barrier. But I think everyone has their particular traits, and I don't think jealousy is particularly negative. But I only learned that through reading Nancy Friday."
  • In an interview given to LA radio station KROQ in 1990 Morrissey said that he liked the books by Nancy Friday. It has been reported or speculated that Morrissey is a fan of "Women On Top".

Gaute & Odell

  • Smiths biographer Johnny Rogan said that, according to epistolary diaries, when Morrissey was 20 years, 7 months and 27 days (an age mentioned in the Smiths song "Never Had No One Ever") he was reading "The Murderer's Who's Who".
  • The book was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • The book was also noticed in Morrissey's bookshelves by journalist Elissa Van Poznak when she met the man at his home for an interview that was published in the July 1984 issue of Face magazine. Questioned about it, Morrissey replied "I'm never interested in those murders where the wife poisons the husband and the husband suffocates the wife. Very extreme cases of murder have to be a constant source of bewilderment; where the police burst into a flat and find seven bodies in the fridge. It's not amusing, though you titter, it's a magnificent study of human nature although I wouldn't want to be so close to the actual study that I'm squashed in the fridge (chortle)."
  • The book details the crimes of many people, including some that have been mentioned by Morrissey, such as Jack The Ripper, the Kray Twins, the Moors Murderers and James Hanratty (Morrissey wrote a song titled "Hanratty" in 1997 which remains unreleased to this day).

Gide, André

  • He was included by Morrissey in a list of favourite writers titled "Old Masters" published in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME.

Goethe

  • Goethe famously exclaimed upon entering Rome "Nun bin ich endlich geboren!", which translates to something close to "At last I am born!". Morrissey was probably aware of this when he wrote his "At Last I Am Born" in Rome.

Green, Henry

  • His novel "Loving" featuring a scheming pantry boy and the theft of a ring may have had an influence in the creation of "This Charming Man", although Morrissey has never mentioned this book in any interview.

Greene, Graham

  • Characters Dallow, Spicer, Pinkie and Cubitt in Greene's "Brighton Rock" are mentioned in Morrissey's song "Now My Heart Is Full".
  • It can be speculated that Morrissey might also appreciate Greene's novel "A Man Of No Importance". The story is about a gentleman infatuated with Oscar Wilde and his works, like Morrissey is. The film adaptation stars Albert Finney (one of Morrissey's favourite actors) in the main role.
  • His novel "A Burnt-Out Case" features the line "You are the Querry", which may have inspired Morrissey's album title "You Are The Quarry". The main character in this novel, Querry, is a celebrity architect in Europe, but he's living in a remote part of central Africa where no one knows him. He's eventually recognized with the line, "You are the Querry..?" It seems to signal the end of his reclusive existence and his return to his former profession with the eventual hounding by the press, etc., that he had tried to leave behind. This echoes quite well Morrissey's album which marked his return into the spotlight after being without a record contract for seven years.

Greer, Germaine

  • In an interview published in the 27 September 1986 issue of Melody Maker Morrissey answered the question "Do you like strong women?" with "Yes, I do... Germaine Greer for instance. I would like to eventually turn into Germaine Greer." Morrissey was actually at the time sometimes compared to Greer because of his views on celibacy.

Hall, Radclyffe

  • The chant of "Steven! Steven!" at the end of Morrissey's song "Will Never Marry" might be a reference to the conclusion of her book "The Well Of Loneliness".
  • A line found in Morrissey's song "Yes I Am Blind" was lifted from the latter book.
  • In a questionnaire appearing in the programme sold on the Kill Uncle tour Morrissey mentioned her name in a list of favourite writers.
  • Morrissey quoted half a page from "The Well Of Loneliness" in the intro of "Morrissey shot", the collection of photographs taken on the Kill Uncle tour by his friend Linder Sterling.
  • In an interview to Q Magazine in April 1994 Morrissey answered the question "Are you moved to tears very easily?" with the answer "Yes, very, very easily. As a very dull example... the film Jane Eyre I sat through by accident a couple of years ago and was shocked that the floodgates opened. I'm extremely sensitive to art and I'm not ashamed to say that Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights or The Well Of Loneliness stir within me very powerful passions, but that doesn't mean that I'm an ineffectual six-stone weakling and the suggestion irks me constantly."
  • In concert on 14 September 2002 Morrissey told the audience before going into the encore: "all I ask in life is that God blesses you, that Nico blesses you, that Radclyffe Hall blesses you, that Johnny Thunders blesses you, that Oscar Wilde blesses you..."

Hardy, Thomas

  • In an interview published in February 1984 (source needed), Morrissey said "I can mention books by certain people that have set me alight. For instance, Thomas Hardy's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' set me alight but 'The Mayor Of Casterbridge' didn't."
  • In an interview published in the November 1990 issue of Vox magazine Morrissey said "...there's a famous quote in Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd where Bethsheba Everdene says, 'I shall be breakfasted before you are afield. In short, I shall astonish you all.' It has no relevance, of course, but I honestly believe that once they've raked away all the nonsense, I'll still be here."

Haskell, Molly

  • The lines "to the depths of the criminal world" and "not once but twice" from the Smiths' "Miserable Lie" are found in Haskell's "From Reverence To Rape". Another line in the book seems to have inspired lyrics in "These Things Take Time": "she knew where she had come from and where she belonged". The words "oscillate wildly", "half a person", "tremulous", "flower-like" and "self-validation" are also found in the book.
  • In an interview published in the 4 June 1983 issue of Sounds magazine Morrissey said "... I just so happen to be completely influenced by feminist writers like Molly Haskell, Marjory Rose and Susan Brown-Miller. An endless list of them! I don't want to GO ON about feminism but it is an ideal state. It will never be realised beyond that because this society detests strong women. You just have to look at the Greenham women. This is a society that only likes women who faint and fawn and want only to get married. I'm not neurotic about it, but it is an integral part of the way I write."
  • Her book "From Reverence To Rape" was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • At some point into "From Reverence To Rape" the author discusses the movie The Collector - which happens to be one of Morrissey's favourites - and the line "pin and mount me like a butterfly" which Morrissey reused in the song "Reel Around The Fountain".

Herrick, Robert

  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Herrick's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from some of his poems.

Housman, A.E.

  • Housman was mentioned by Morrissey's as his favourite poet in the Maladjusted press release in 1997 as well as in an interview to given to KCXX in San Bernardino, California on 9 August 1998.
  • At the end of "The National Front Disco" in the set performed in Vancouver on 5 October 1992 guitarist Boz Boorer read from Housman's "A Shropshire Lad". He has done so on other dates of that tour. The poem is read by a character in the movie "Yield To The Night", one of Morrissey's favourites.
  • His "Here Dead We Lie" features the line "Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose", a line Morrissey used in his song "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed".
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Housman's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes extensively from some of his poems.

Hughes, Shirley

  • According to an interview published in the May 1994 issue of Select magazine, while at Hook End Manor recording b-sides for the "Hold On To Your Friends" single, Morrissey had an audio book of "Alfie Lends A Hand" by Shirley Hughes read by Thora Hird.

Keats, John

  • In a photo shoot for Mojo magazine in 2006 Morrissey was photographed next to Keats' tombstone. However Morrissey biographer Len Brown presents this as an homage to Oscar Wilde and not really to Keats. Morrissey might have actually been following in the steps of Wilde who had done the same in his own lifetime.

Kerouac, Jack

  • Morrissey might have lifted the title to the song "Pretty Girls Make Graves" from Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums".

Knight, Nick - "Skinhead"

Lawrence, D.H.

  • The title to Lawrence's novel "A Boy In The Bush" is also found in the Smiths' song "Handsome Devil".
  • A biography of Lawrence written by Emily Hahn ("Lorenzo: D.H. Lawrence and the Women who Loved Him") has the line: "Back in the Villa Bernarda, Frieda was not as quiet and friendly as Lawrence seemed to think. She was happy to be with the girls, but when she got a card from Lawrence that might well have been an olive branch -- a picture of Jonah threatened by a whale, with the message, "Who is going to swallow whom?" -- she may have smiled, but she did not relax. She was still angry." This information was originally taken from the "Not I But the Wind" biography of Lawrence written by his wife Frieda.
  • It is speculated that the line "everything she wants costs money" from the song "Girl Afraid" was lifted from his novel "Sons And Lovers".

Lawson, Henry

  • His poem "At The Beating Of A Drum" contains the line "When our sons shall rush to danger at the beating of the drum", a likely influence on the 'rush to danger' line in "Now My Heart Is Full".

MacGill, Patrick

  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for MacGill's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from one of his poems.

Marshall, Arthur

  • He was included by Morrissey in a list of favourite writers titled "Old Masters" published in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME.

Maybrick, James

  • The Diary of Jack the Ripper, which Morrissey was photographed holding (presumably in a bookshop) has a number of references to the author being in love with "Bunny". Given his interest in Jack The Ripper, this may be behind the line "but Bunnie I loved you" in Morrissey's "Now My Heart Is Full".

McCullers, Carson

  • In a 2012 email interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Morrissey said "'The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers was a big turning point for me when I was about 12.

Melville, Herman

  • Melville's "Moby Dick" features the line "And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned." This might have inspired the line "I found a fountain of youth and I fell in" in Morrissey's "Oh Well I'll Never Learn". In the original tale Narcissus does not fall in the fountain. He only does so in Melville's classic and that Morrissey song.
  • "Moby Dick" is seen in Morrissey's video for "Interesting Drug".
  • The title of Melville's novel "Billy Budd" was reused by Morrissey for one of his songs. The film adaptation of the book starred Terence Stamp, one of Morrissey's favourite actors.
  • Incidently, there is a collection of Melville poems titled "John Marr And Other Sailors". This, along with the "12 years on" line in the song "Billy Budd", prompted fans to believe the song was about Johnny Marr.

Miller & Swift

  • "The Handbook Of Non-Sexist Writing" was mentioned alongside nine other books in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.

Move, The

  • A video of the band The Move was shown before Morrissey concerts on his 2014 tour.

Naughton, Bill

  • The title of the "Late Night On Watling Street" collection may have inspired Morrissey for the title of his song "Late Night, Maudlin Street".
  • It is speculated that Naughton's play "Spring And Port Wine" may have inspired "Well I Wonder". There is no evidence to that effect however.
  • He wrote the screenplays to "The Family Way" and "Spring And Port Wine", two of Morrissey's favourite films.

Nichols, Jack

  • "Men's Liberation" was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • Morrissey mentioned in some interview (source needed) that he read the latter book at the age of 14.
  • The book includes the line "We are here and it is now", a line found in "Stretch Out And Wait".
  • The book may also have supplied Morrissey with the pun "The Impotence of Ernest", the words found etched in the vinyl editions of the "William Is Was Really Nothing" single and the "Hatful Of Hollow" album.

Nicholson, Viv

  • She was mentioned alongside nine other 'symbolists' in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", Morrissey's top ten films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • Her biography "Spend Spend Spend" contains the line: "We walked for miles, round the backs, right over the iron bridge and down underneath it on the towpath. We were kissing away and touching and getting really sore lips" which was adapted by Morrissey for the song "Still Ill".
  • Viv Nicholson appeared on the cover of two singles by the Smiths, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and "Barbarism Begins At Home".
  • She was thanked in the credits of the "Meat Is Murder" album.
  • She was mentioned by Morrissey in 1985's Meat Is Murder tour programme as one of his heroes.

Orton, Joe

  • The title of the Smiths song "Death At One's Elbow" was lifted from Orton's diaries. The song's lyrics seem to have been vaguely inspired by the events that ended Orton's life.
  • Morrissey's "Hairdresser On Fire" is rumoured to be based on Orton's play "The Boy Hairdresser" although Morrissey has denied this in an interview given to journalist Len Brown in 1988 : "No, it's just a very simple song about trying to get hold of a hairdresser."
  • During the Smiths days, Orton was at some point considered as a potential cover star by Morrissey, but was never used.

Osborne, John

  • A photo of Alan Bates from the stage version of the play "Look Back In Anger" was almost used for the cover of the Smiths' "William It Was Really Nothing" single. Photos of Richard Burton and Claire Bloom from the film version were almost used for the covers of the "Best...I" and "Best...II" albums.

Parker, Dorothy

  • She was mentioned alongside nine other 'symbolists' in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", Morrissey's top ten films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Parker's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from one of her poems.

Pearson, Hesketh

  • His Oscar Wilde biography "Oscar Wilde, His Life And Wit" aka "The Life Of Oscar Wilde" features an excerpt of a 1848 editorial by Wilde's mother Lady Jane Wilde (under the pseudonym Speranza): "a rush, a charge from north, south, east and west upon the English garrison, and the land is ours". This line, supposedly inspired by a traditional Irish battle cry, is a very likely inspiration for the Smiths song "A Rush A Push And The Land Is Ours".

Pessoa, Fernando

  • "The Book Of Disquiet" was mentioned by Morrissey as his favourite book of the time in an interview published in Les Inrockuptibles magazine in 2004.

Pettigrew, Terrence

  • Chapter ten in the 1986 book "Raising Hell: The Rebel in the Movies" is titled "The Malady Lingers On", the same title Morrissey used for his "The Malady Lingers On" compilation of promotional videos. Opposite is a photo of Steve McQueen (a Morrissey hero) taken from "The Great Escape". Considering the subject of the book and the Steve McQueen photo, this is a more likely inspiration for Morrissey than the Les Dawson entry above in this list, or even Marshall McLuhan's "The Medium is the Massage" which probably has the earliest use of the phrase (1967).

Plath, Sylvia

  • In an interview given on the "Hanging with MTV" programme in 1992 Morrissey was asked if he liked Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. He replied that he did like Sexton, "and as for Sylvia Plath, I think that her life was far more interesting than anything she ever wrote. Don't you think so?"

Proust, Marcel

  • Morrissey joined his friend Howard Devoto and his band Luxuria on stage on 13 March 1988 at the Town & Country and read from "Within A Budding Grove", the second volume of the Proust series "In Search Of Lost Time" ("À la recherche du temps perdu"). His bit lasted slightly less than a minute and preceded the band's performance of their song "Mlle".

Riley, James Whitcomb

  • In 1955, photos of James Dean by Dennis Stock published in LIFE magazine showed the actor reading a book titled (?) by Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley. In his "Suedehead" video Morrissey imitated this photo (among others) and posed reading the same book.

Rosen, Marjorie

  • In an interview published in the 4 June 1983 issue of Sounds magazine Morrissey said "... I just so happen to be completely influenced by feminist writers like Molly Haskell, Marjory Rose and Susan Brown-Miller. An endless list of them! I don't want to GO ON about feminism but it is an ideal state. It will never be realised beyond that because this society detests strong women. You just have to look at the Greenham women. This is a society that only likes women who faint and fawn and want only to get married. I'm not neurotic about it, but it is an integral part of the way I write."
  • Her book "Popcorn Venus" was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • The latter book mentions the films "Angel Angel Down We Go", "Little Man, What Now?" and "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" as well as the lines "how soon is now?", "reeling around the fountain" and "mine eyes have seen the glory of the flame of women's rage" from the 1973 movie "The Year Of The Woman".

Rothman, Esther

  • "The Angel Inside Went Sour" was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.

Selby, Hubert Jr.

  • One chapter in his book "Last Exit To Brooklyn" is titled "The Queen Is Dead". This may or may not have inspired the title of the classic Smiths song and album title.

Sexton, Anne

  • In the December 1992 issue of Details magazine the author of an article on Morrissey said that the singer "likes Anne Sexton".
  • In an interview given on the "Hanging with MTV" programme in 1992 Morrissey was asked if he liked Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. He replied positively about Anne Sexton.
  • She has a poem titled "The Operation", but there is no reason to believe that it has anything to do with the Morrissey song with the same title.

Shakespeare

  • In a private letter to penpal Robert Mackie in the early 80s (since leaked among fans and on the internet), Morrissey wrote "I always hated him".
  • Shakespeare's "Richard III" features the line "Hath twice done salutation to the morn" in act 5, scene 3. This was reused by Morrissey when he wrote the lyrics for "Cemetry Gates".
  • In "Macbeth" the character called Seyton says at some point "The queen, my Lord, is dead". This may or may not have inspired Morrissey for the song "The Queen Is Dead".
  • Shakespeare's has a story titled "King Lear" while Morrissey has a song called "King Leer".
  • The line "Here you'll find despair and I" from Morrissey's "Come Back To Camden" is very reminiscent of "Here I and sorrow sit" from Shakespeare's "King John".

Sitwell, Edith

  • Her 1933 collection of essays titled "English Eccentrics" contains the line "The riches of the poor" which may have inspired the same line found in the Smiths' song "I Want The One I Can't Have".
  • The Cecil Beaton cover photo from the Penguin edition of the latter book was used on t-shirts, a tour programme and backdrop on Morrissey's 1991 Kill Uncle tour.
  • A video of the Edith Sitwell was shown before Morrissey concerts on his 2014 tour.

Smart, Elizabeth

  • Her novella "By Grand Central I Sat Down And Wept" had un undeniable effect of Morrissey's songwriting. Many lines from it were reused as lyrics in Smiths and Morrissey solo songs, particularly titles released in 1985: "What She Said" ("I have learned to smoke because I need something to hold on to", "I wonder why no one has noticed I am dead and taken the trouble to bury me"); "Shakespeare's Sister" ("the rocks below could promise certain death", "our bones groaned", "I am going to meet my lover"); "Well I Wonder" ("it is the fierce last stand of all I have", "Lies gasping but still living", "do you hear me when you sleep", "cries out hoarsely my name in the night"); "The Headmaster Ritual" ("grabs and devours"); "Rubber Ring" ("The passing of time"); "Reel Around The Fountain" ("like butterflies on pins", "reel around the café"), "London" ("because you notice the jealousy of those that stay at home"), "Billy Budd" ("because of what was in our eyes") and "Late Night, Maudlin Street" ("They are taking me away in a police car", "Are you not convinced, inspector ? Do you not believe in love ?" and "Every yellow or scarlet leaf hangs like a flag waving me on"). The words "louder than bombs" are also found in there. The words "drab dress" also appear in both this novella and Morrissey's "Do Your Best And Don't Worry", but this might be stretching it too far.

Smith, Stevie

  • In an interview given on the "Hanging with MTV" programme in 1992 Morrissey mentioned that he appreciated her work.
  • Her most famous poem titled "Not Waving But Drowning" very likely inspired the title of Morrissey's "Lifeguard Waving, Girl Drowning" ("Nobody heard him, the dead man / But still he lay moaning: / I was much further out than you thought / And not waving but drowning"). It is also possible that her poem "My Heart Was Full" inspired "Now My Heart Is Full" from the same album.
  • Morrissey talks about his teenage love for Smith's poetry in his autobiography, and quotes from one of her poems.

Spark, Muriel

  • The title of her book "Girls Of Slender Means" may have inspired a line in the Smiths' "Nowhere Fast".

Stein, Gertrude

  • An image showing her and her partner Alice B. Toklas was briefly used by Morrissey as a backdrop on the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI.

Stevenson, Robert Louis

  • His novel "Treasure Island" includes the line "that was a good lay of yours last night. I don't deny it was a good lay" which may have inspired Morrissey when he wrote the words to "Suedehead".

Toklas, Alice B.

  • An image showing her and her partner Gertrude Stein was briefly used by Morrissey as a backdrop on the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI.

Tyler, Parker

  • A photo caption in his book "A Pictorial History Of Sex In Films" reads "it seems only a question of who is going to swallow whom", a line adapted by Morrissey in "Handsome Devil".
  • The latter book features illustrations that were also used for the Smiths' debut album and the "Hand In Glove" single with Sandie Shaw.
  • Tyler was mentioned by Morrissey as the person he would most like to meet in the 1985 Meat Is Murder tour programme.

Vidal, Gore

  • His pun "born-again atheist" was 'borrowed' by Morrissey who used it when he wrote the words to the songs "Black-Eyed Susan" and "Nobody Loves Us. However it must be said that the pun comes from a verbal quote and not from one of Vidal's novels.

Vollmer, Jurgen

  • The front and back images on the Smiths' compilation album "The World Won't Listen" were taken from his collection of photographs published under the title "Rock 'n' Roll Times".

Vonnegut, Kurt

  • "Slaughterhouse 5" includes the line "There's more to life than what you read in books" which might have inspired the similar line in the Smiths' "Handsome Devil".
  • The words "babies full of rabies" used by Morrissey in "Neal Cassady Drops Dead" originally appeared in Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle".

Walter, Margaret

  • Her collection of photographs titled "The Nude Male" includes one that Morrissey reused for the artwork of the Smiths debut single "Hand In Glove".

Waterhouse, Keith

  • It is generally assumed that the whole theme of his book "Billy Liar" or of the John Schlesinger movie adaptation inspired the lyrics for "William It Was Really Nothing".
  • The Smiths' "Frankly Mr. Shankly" is based on the poetry-writing Mr. Shadrack, the undertaker in the latter story.
  • The line "Let's go for a walk where it's quiet" has been reused in the Smiths' "The Queen Is Dead".
  • The line "...struggled valiantly to combat ignorance and disease" was recycled in "Vicar In A Tutu". This might only appear in the film adaptation of this book.
  • Given its subject it has been speculated that the story may also have inspired the songs "London" (train dock scene), "Cemetry Gates" (graveyard scene) and "Ordinary Boys" ("nobody but themselves").

White, Edmund

  • Biographer Len Brown states that in early interviews with Morrissey he considered Edmund White as an influence, and that his 1998 work "The Last Symphony" could well have inspired Morrissey's "The Never Played Symphonies".

Wilde, Oscar

  • Morrissey in an interview (reference needed): "'Most of my inspiration comes from outside music - especially literature and particularly Oscar Wilde."
  • Morrissey interviewed (reference needed): "He was so completely beyond wit, it's almost ordinary to just think of him as witty. He is to me the absolute ideal figure, and obviously it's the height of ostentatiousness - the desire to be compared. And, of course, it won't happen. But if I could make a personal choice - which, of course, I can't - it would be fat old Oscar."
  • Morrissey once signed a private letter to penpal Robert Mackie in the early 80s (since leaked among fans and on the internet) with the line "Aesthetically, Oscar Wilde".
  • One chapter in Morrissey's book "James Dean Is Not Dead" was given a quote by Oscar Wilde as a title. Wilde is also mentioned in Morrissey's book on the New York Dolls. See the "Morrissey as author" file for more information on the latter two titles.
  • Wilde was mentioned alongside nine other 'symbolists' in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", Morrissey's top ten films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME. His "Complete Works" was included in the 'books' subsection of that feature.
  • The words "Flower-like life" in the Smiths "Miserable Lie" were very likely lifted by Morrissey from Wilde's "De Profundis" ("...by his sweetness and goodness to her through the brief years of his flower-like life").
  • In the interview conducted in october 1983 and released on a flexi included in Japanese copies of the Smiths' debut album, Morrissey said that his favourite author was Oscar Wilde.
  • Morrissey, in an interview published in the 16 February 1984 issue of Smash Hits, said that he still found it "impossible to read a single line without swimming in tears. A day rarely passes when I don't listen to The Importance Of Being Earnest. I have it on tape."
  • In an interview published in the 4 May 1984 issue of Irish magazine Hot Press Morrissey said "I've read everything he wrote and everything written about him and I still find him totally awe-inspiring".
  • In an interview by Ian Birch published in the 21 June-4 July 1984 issue of Smash Hits Morrissey said: "My mother, who's an assistant librarian, introduced me to his writing when I was 8. She insisted I read him and I immediately became obsessed. Every single line affected me in some way. I liked the simplicity of the way he wrote. There was a piece called 'The Nightingale And The Rose' that appealed to me immensely then. It was about a nightingale who sacrificed herself for these two star-crossed lovers. It ends when the nightingale presses her heart against this rose because in a strange, mystical way it means that if she dies, then the two lovers can be together. This sense of truly high drama zipped through everything he wrote. He had a life that was really tragic and it's curious that he was so witty. Here we have a creature persistently creased in pain whose life was a total travesty. He married, rashly had two children and almost immediately embarked on a love affair with a man. He was sent to prison for this. It's a total disadvantage to care about Oscar Wilde, certainly when you come from a working class background. It's total self-destruction almost. My personal saving grace at school was that I was something of a model athlete. I'm sure if I hadn't been, I'd have been sacrificed in the first year. I got streams and streams of medals for running. As I blundered through my late teens, I was quite isolated and Oscar Wilde meant much more to me. In a way he became a companion. If that sounds pitiful, that was the way it was. I rarely left the house. I had no social life. Then, as I became a Smith, I used flowers because Oscar Wilde always used flowers. He once went to the Colorado salt mines and addressed a mass of miners there. He started the speech with, 'Let me tell you why we worship the daffodil'. Of course, he was stoned to death. But I really admired his bravery and the idea of being constantly attached to some form of plant. As I get older, the adoration increases. I'm never without him. It's almost biblical. It's like carrying your rosary around with you." In the same interview Morrissey says that a day rarely passed when he didn't listen to the "Importance Of Being Earnest" play on cassette.
  • The etched words "The Impotence of Ernest" found between the run-out grooves of the UK edition of the Smiths' "Hatful Of Hollow" album is a pun on the title of the Wilde play "The Importance Of Being Earnest".
  • In a Q&A printed in the tour programme for the 1985 Meat Is Murder tour Morrissey answered "Fatso Wilde" to the question "Favourite person".
  • The words "is that clever" and "everybody's clever nowadays" from the end of the Smiths' "Rubber Ring" were taken from an audio recording of Wilde's "The Importance Of Being Earnest" by John Gielgud.
  • The "Is that clever" etching found between the run-out grooves of side B of the UK edition of the Smiths' "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" single was lifted from Wilde's "The Importance Of Being Earnest".
  • The etched words "Talent Borrows, Genius Steals" found between the run-out grooves on side B of the Smiths' "Bigmouth Strikes Again" 12" single was taken on loan from Oscar Wilde.
  • The Smiths' song "Cemetry Gates" features the line "Keats and Yeats are on your side / but you lose because Wilde is on mine".
  • The line "bored before he even began" heard in the Smiths' song "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" was used in a biography of Oscar Wilde (which?). It is a very unlikely coincidence.
  • In an interview given while in San Remo in early 1987 Morrissey said that his favourite book was "Oscar Wilde: Complete Works".
  • The words "Paint a vulgar picture" came to Morrissey from Oscar Wilde.
  • A 1882 portrait of Oscar Wilde is seen in the videos for "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before".
  • Parts of Morrissey's "Late Night, Maudlin Street" were possibly lifted by Morrissey from Wilde's "De Profundis".
  • In a 1988 interview published in the NME, because the interview took place at the Cadogan Hotel where Oscar Wilde was arrested, Morrissey said "I'm almost quite speechless now, it's a very historic place and obviously it means a great deal to me... to be sitting here staring at Oscar's television and the very video that Oscar watched The Leather Boys on."
  • In an interview given to the NME in 1988 Morrissey said "...regardless of how he wrote and how he lived in the public sense, his private life was just as astounding. And that's the final judgement of all artists. (...) I've read practically everything (by and about him) and I have a vast collection of first editions, one signed by Ellen Terry, an old chick of Oscar's... Although he was the most intelligent [person] he simplified everything, therefore practically anybody could read Oscar Wilde and understand. He wasn't complicated yet he still left you lying on the bed panting because it was so real and truthful."
  • Morrissey wore an Oscar Wilde badge on Top Of The Pops when he appeared performing "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys".
  • A limited one-sided edition of Morrissey's "Interesting Drug" single featured an etching of Oscar Wilde on side B. The etching is a 1882 caricature of Wilde by Chas Kendrick.
  • The 'invalid friend' mentioned in Morrissey's "At Amber" may have come from Wilde's "The Importance Of Being Earnest" which features an 'invalid friend' named Bunbury.
  • Oscar Wilde was included by Morrissey in a list of favourite writers titled "Old Masters" published in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME. He actually listed Wilde under his prison number C.3.3.
  • Alan Bennett's teleplay of Oscar Wilde's "A Woman Of No Importance" was mentioned by Morrissey among his favourites in an article titled "Headful Of Heroes: Cathode Rays" printed in the 16 September 1989 issue of the NME.
  • Wilde's forgotten play "The Duchess Of Padua" is about a plot to kill a treacherous uncle, something that might have inspired Morrissey when he named his "Kill Uncle" album.
  • The "Nothing To Declare Except My Jeans" etching found between the run-out grooves of the UK edition of the "Kill Uncle" LP is a reference to a statement Wilde once made while traveling. When asked by a border patrolman what he had to declare, Wilde replied "I have nothing to declare except my genius".
  • In a questionnaire appearing in the tourbook sold on the Kill Uncle tour Morrissey mentioned his name in a list of favourite writers.
  • The photo used on the back of the "My Love Life" single shows "Oscar Wilde Campus" boxer shorts
  • Wilde's "Anyone can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature... to sympathise with a friend's success" echoes Morrissey's "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful".
  • The words "I am too much in love" from Morrissey's "Glamorous Glue" are also found in Wilde's "The Picture Of Dorian Gray".
  • In an interview given to Modern Rock Live on 3 August 1992 Morrissey mentioned "Pen, Pencil and Poison" and "The Decay Of Lying" as his favourites from Wilde.
  • Wilde's "The Tired Hedonists" may have inspired Morrissey's "The Lazy Sunbathers", at least for its title.
  • In an interview to Michael Bracewell published in The Observer in 1995 Morrissey said "There is somnething unstoppable about the Wilde story, and my own: the story probably has been told, but it's a very unusual story."
  • In an interview given to KROQ in 1997 Morrissey said "He was very special to me when I was younger because I think he was great writer, his life was extraordinary, and really probably the most prolific person in the history of literature. And, as time goes by, he becomes more interesting to people... He's the most quoted, perhaps even more so than Shakespeare really, because although people know Shakespeare quotes they don't really know what they mean."
  • In concert on 14 September 2002 Morrissey told the audience before going into the encore: "all I ask in life is that God blesses you, that Nico blesses you, that Radclyffe Hall blesses you, that Johnny Thunders blesses you, that Oscar Wilde blesses you..."
  • In the documentary "The Importance Of Being Morrissey" (the title of which a pun on the title of an Oscar Wilde play), Morrissey is seen having his hair cut in Mayfair as Oscar Wilde had done.
  • Morrissey biographer Len Brown suggests in "Meetings With Morrissey" that Wilde's prediction of his own catastrophe ("it wasn't possible to go any further, and it couldn't last") may have inspired Morrissey's "You Know It Couldn't Last". Similarly he hints that Wilde's line "It will all come back, I feel sure, and then all will be well" may have inspired Morrissey for "In The Future When All's Well".
  • In a photo shoot for Mojo magazine in 2006 Morrissey was shot next to John Keats' tombstone. However Morrissey biographer Len Brown presents this as an homage to Oscar Wilde and not really to Keats. Morrissey might have actually been following in the steps of Wilde who had done the same in his own lifetime.
  • Morrissey used an image of Oscar Wilde as a stage backdrop during festival dates in the Summer of 2006 (view full original or in situ 1, in situ 2).
  • It is no surprise that Morrissey's discovery of and love for the life and works of Oscar Wilde is extensively covered in his autobiography.
  • See also: Lord Alfred Douglas above in this list.

Williams, Emlyn

  • His book "Beyond Belief", a biography of Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, was mentioned alongside nine others in a list titled "Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer", a list of Morrissey's favourite films, symbolists, records and books published in the 17 September 1983 issue of the NME.
  • The lyrics of the song "Suffer Little Children" were written with many bits found in the latter book. One chapter is titled "Suffer Little Children", and another "Hindley Wakes". The book includes the words "find me, find me", "the two were a team", "white beads", "the all-pervading smell" of death and "wherever he has gone, I have gone".
  • Another chapter in the same book was titled "Idle Hands", a very likely inspiration for the line "The devil will find work for idle hands to do" found in the Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make?" from the same era. It must be said however that the line originally appeared in the Bible.
  • The above are all early creations, but early in his solo career Morrissey seems to have revisited the subject with his song "Michael's Bones". Hindley and Brady didn't kill anyone called Michael but the song seems to cover a very similar subject.
  • Finally, as a side-note, the couple who reported Bradley and Hindley are refered to in this book as the Smiths! So it can be safely speculated that it even inspired Morrissey when he was looking for a name for the band.

Williams, Heathcote

  • Once listed by Morrissey as being among his preferred "bedside [reading] material" (source needed).
  • His book "Whale Nation" is seen in Morrissey's video for "Interesting Drug".

Williams, Kenneth

  • In an interview published in the 3 December 1995 issue of Observer Life Morrissey had this to say about Kenneth Williams' diaries: "It was quite gruesome, quite gruesome. I've read it a couple of times and each time, it's been like a hammer on the head. An astonishlingly depressing book. It's incredibly witty and well done, but the hollow ring it has throughout is murderous, murderous."
  • The diaries feature the lines "Every day is something to be got through. All the recipes of the past are no longer valid. I've spent all my life in the mind. I have entered into nothing." The latter words were used by Morrissey in his 2006 song "You Have Killed Me".

Williams, Tennesse

  • The main character's sister in the play "The Glass Menagerie" is nicknamed Shakespeare. This might have inspired the title of the Smiths song "Shakespeare's Sister" although it is more likely that it was inspired by the "Shakespeare's Sister" character in the Virginia Woolf essay "A Room Of One's Own" (see further down this list).
  • An instrumental demo from the Miraval recording sessions (during which Morrissey recorded early versions of most of the material that would end up on his Southpaw Grammar album) featured a looped sample of someone reading from Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie". The sample is rumoured to be a radio adaptation read by Montgomery Clift.

Wolfe, Thomas

  • His novel "Look Homeward, Angel" contains the line "Over the stones rattle his bones, he's only a beggar that nobody owns!" which might have inspired Morrissey for the song "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" although this line has previously appeared in James Joyce's "Ulysses" and even earlier in English poet Thomas Noel's "The Pauper's Funeral". The story of the latter book is of a young man who longs to escape his tumultuous family and his small town existence, a recurring theme in Morrissey's reading and inspiration.
  • The title of his book "You Can't Go Home Again" was written by Morrissey on a blackboard in a schoolroom in Fairmount Indiana (home of James Dean) in the video for his song "Suedehead".

Woolf, Virginia

  • Her essay "A Room Of One's Own", in which she speculates that a gifted sister of Shakespeare's would not have made it in chauvinistic Elizabethan England, was a very likely inspiration in the creation of the Smiths song "Shakespeare's Sister".

(no author) - Book Of Common Prayer

  • A prayer of the burial service has the line "In the midst of death we are in life" or perhaps "in the midst of life we are in death" which echoes the line found in the song "Sweet And Tender Hooligan".

 

Quotes

In a 2012 email interview to the Boston Phoenix, when asked about converting to e-readers, Morrissey said "I'm incapable of reading anything without a pen in my hand. I underline words I don't understand, or passages I don't want to forget. Half the joy of reading is massaging the book in your hands. It will take me years to lose that."

 

With these lyrics, I feel like Morrissey is talking about someone following his/her passion and the one this person loves is not an actual person, but instead, is his/her dream, which in the case of Woolf's story would be Judith following her passion and love for writing and going to meet her "love" by joining and becoming a writer for a theatre company, which, she was, of course, rejected from and in the end was not able to grasp her "love" due to circumstances such as her sex. The part where Morrissey sings "No Mamma, let me go!" I feel is not literally referring to the person's mother, but is instead referring to the obstacles that stand in the person's way, although, a mother or parent can be seen as an obstacle. For Judith, her sex was her greatest obstacle and ultimate downfall.

In reality, William Shakespeare did have a sister, but her name was not Judith. Her name was Joan. Judith, in reality, was Shakespeare's daughter. In terms of Woolf's story, it is unknown whether her naming Shakespeare's sister in her fictional story Judith was a mistake or a deliberate conflation of the two women. I was wondering what you all think?

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