"How Soon Is Now?" as written by and Steven Patrick/marr Morrissey....
I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"How Soon Is Now?" as written by Johnny Marr, Steven Patrick Morrissey

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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How Soon Is Now? song meanings
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  • +23
    My InterpretationHere's what I think:


    "I am the son
    and the heir
    of a shyness that is criminally vulgar"

    I'm a product of my own shyness. What you see now, my behaviour now, is the consequence of years and years of shyness and being scared to deal with people.

    "I am the son and the heir
    of nothing in particular"

    But it's nothing important, really. Just like me.

    "You shut your mouth
    how can you say
    I go about things the wrong way
    I am human and I need to be loved
    just like everybody else does"

    This is towards the people who are always giving me advice about how to get women
    and tell me what I'm doing doesn't work, that I need to do such and such.
    But then, I want people who love me for who I am, not who I appear to be.
    Who are they to tell me my methods are wrong?

    "There's a club if you'd like to go
    you could meet somebody who really loves you
    so you go, and you stand on your own
    and you leave on your own
    and you go home, and you cry
    and you want to die"

    This is really self explanatory (and highly biographical for me...)
    I go to a club, which is supposedly the dating scene or whatever, but then
    nobody really gives a shit about me and I'm too self-conscious to start dancing
    because I've tried it before and only made a fool out myself.
    So I stand there alone. Then I go home. Cry. Want to die.

    "When you say it's gonna happen "now"
    well, when exactly do you mean?
    see I've already waited too long
    and all my hope is gone"

    People are always telling me that "oh you'll find someone one of these days"
    Yeah, but when? I'm tired of looking and always come up with empty disappointment.
    Nobody's interested in me and the girls I get interested in don't really care about me.
    So I think I won't get anyone, cause when I really really want it to happen, it never does.

    (Here's when I start listening to "Please please please, let me get what I want")
    rockyhowardon January 07, 2012   Link
  • +17
    General CommentI agree that the song is about crippling social anxiety and the desire to connect with others. Other people offer advice about meeting people and they don't understand the fear. It is almost impossible to explain to another person what it feels like, but this comes close.
    The song is hauntingly beautiful.
    R.Goddesson May 03, 2013   Link
  • +9
    General CommentI didn't know that Morrissey was gay until I read this site, so I understood this song (and all others) differently to many of you. It's strange, everyone seems to think that every song is about Morrisey's sexual orientation. I interpreted this song similarly to BobC in the feeling of alienation in clubs and bars but not because of sexuality but because Morrissey feels the "need to be loved" and the sort of things that happen in clubs/bars cannot deliver this to him. So, Morrissey did not accost people in these establishments, hence being the "heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar", and when he asked his friends about why he was having difficulty having love, people criticised him for his standoffish attitude which caused him to respond "How can you say I go about things the wrong way?".

    Of course, art can be interpreted in different ways and I do see the gay side now. I suppose that what I wrote could be true regardless of Morrissey's sexuality.
    spamuellon June 20, 2004   Link
  • +7
    General CommentEveryone's reading far too much into the whole homosexuality thing. My take on it is this:

    - You're unconfident, socially awkward (i.e. 'shyness that is criminally vulgar') and aren't from some massively rich background or anything that might otherwise compensate
    - You vent your frustration at the fact you're still single and lonely but your friends condescendingly tell you that it's because of your attitude, but even if they might be right, you don't want to hear it because you know you deserve to be loved; to you it's a basic right
    - People seem to hook up with other people at bars and clubs etc, so you go there but you feel awkward, intimidated and/or alienated and as you see everyone else making out and enjoying themselves, you go home and feel utter despair (or some variant on that scenario)
    - Friends say "oh don't worry, you're bound to find someone" but after all these years still, nothing, and it feels like all hope is lost
    NeglectedFieldon December 09, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General Commenti never really gave this song much thought.
    now it makes me want to cry hearing it.

    to me it's about social anxiety or shyness, and the inability to make friends. people always tell you the reason you can't make friends is because you don't go out and try to meet people. but i want someone to love me for the shy person i am, not the person i have to pretend to be to talk to people. everyone always says "it'll happen eventually," and my family wants me to just hurry up and find someone. so oi try to go out, but nothing changes. nothing ever changes. i go home and cry about it, because i know it'll always be that way. everyone acts like i'll magically stop being shy, but i accept the fact that i won't.

    this song's very personal to me now that i think about it
    ive always not really liked this song, 'cause it's their most popular and i thought it was overrated
    but now i really really love it
    starstuffon April 01, 2013   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationIt's about social anxiety. "The son and heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar...."
    vixenrougeon February 12, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIn the States--this is definately the Smith's Big Song. I was just coming out at the time and I hated the gay life so I retreated into the underground club scene and this song was singing my life. I'd go to a gay bar and feel alone and scared and lonely. I remember distinctly feeling like straight people thought we weren't human and didn't know that we wanted to love another person just like they did. Then when I went out to gay bars I saw all the promiscuity and predatory behaviour and I knew I'd never find anybody worth a damn in those places. Now that I'm a grown up I don't feel like that at all and have had great relationships, but at thetime "How Soon is Now" summed it all up.
    BobCon June 21, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWhen you say it's gonna happen "now"
    Well, when exactly do you mean ?
    See I've already waited too long
    And all my hope is gone

    It really doesnt get any better than those lines right there! This is such an awsome song!
    MoonNStar5ron July 13, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is every single one of my weekends as a single college student.
    SilenceisSilveron February 14, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe composition of the song could be reflecting the theme- you have long periods of instrumental where Morrissey's shyness has rendered him silent and everyone else is talking over him, interjected with the occasional murmured statement or passionate exclamation when provoked by constant questioning. The repetition of the verses could be his attempts to make himself more understood, feeling that because he is quiet people take little notice of his words when he does speak.
    manic4manicson April 28, 2013   Link

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