"The Queen Is Dead" as written by and Steven Patrick/marr Morrissey....
Oh! Take me back to dear old Blighty,
Put me on the train for London Town,
Take me anywhere,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham
But I don't care,
I should like to see my

I don't bless them
Farewell to this land's cheerless marshes
Hemmed in like a boar between arches
Her very Lowness with a head in a sling
I'm truly sorry, but it sounds like a wonderful thing

I said Charles, don't you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your Mother's bridal veil?
And so, I checked all the registered historical facts
And I was shocked into shame to discover
How I'm the 18th pale descendant
Of some old queen or other

Oh, has the world changed, or have I changed?
Oh has the world changed, or have I changed?

Some nine-year old tough who peddles drugs
I swear to God
I swear, I never even knew what drugs were
So, I broke into the palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said, "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said, "That's nothing, you should hear me play piano"

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But when you're tied to your Mother's apron
No-one talks about castration

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
Like love and law and poverty
Oh, these are the things that kill me

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But the rain that flattens my hair
Oh, these are the things that kill me

All their lies about make-up and long hair, are still there

Past the pub who saps your body
And the church who'll snatch your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb
Past the pub that wrecks your body
And the church, all they want is your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb

Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"The Queen Is Dead (Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty) [Medley]" as written by Johnny Marr Steven Morrissey

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

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The Queen Is Dead song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentShortly before this album was released, some guy called Fagin broke into Buckingham palace and actually found his way into her very lowness's bedroom and sat on her bed talking to her for about ten minutes before the alarm was raised (wouldn't you love a transcript?)
    I think the sponge and rusty spanner line is mocking the lack of security at the palace...just another sign of the declining importance of the Monarchy in Britain.
    The bit about Charles and the wedding veil could be the singer asking Charles is he really as stiff and correct as he appears or does he have crazy fantasies and ideas like the rest of us...is he a human-being! At least Morrissey is polite enough to ask.

    God save the queen! Eh, John?
    Boss Manon July 17, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General Commentthis song is a total anthem. it combines morrissey's wit, sarcasm, anti-monarchy sentiments, a quick bit of animal rights, freud, sexuality, class warfare and more so i'm just going to ramble about those now.

    i like the bit about the nine yr old who peddles drugs as it reminds me of my home town {yeah it's kind of rough, the dealers get younger all the time} but also makes a really nice contrast with him finding out he's related to 'some old queen or other'.

    him finding out he's related to a royal family of some sort is classic moz irony. he's trying to make a case about nationalism and how ridiculous the monarchy is but finds himself ashamedly connected to it.
    the class stuff is always pretty interesting in moz/smiths songs but here it is paticularly pertinent. he mentions two institutions in working class life - the church and the pub - yet people feel lonely without the queen. a connection could be made that britain sees the queen as like a mother, from whose apron strings we cannot be disentangled.

    the WW1 song at the beginning is also interesting for two reasons - because of the nationalist sentiment drummed up during such a huge war effort, and because of the important role of the monarchy in symbolising national unity and strength during the time - perhaps why the 'boys' feel so 'lonely on a limb' once the queen is declared dead.

    on another note, for britishers, can you believe David Cameron {current conservative/opposition/pro-monarchy leader} has this album on his I-pod? what a crapbag.
    tinfoilon February 25, 2006   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis song is about the codependent relationship between the royal family and its subjects. There was a time - war time as M points out - when the Family and the population were united. Now the Family is hopelessly out of touch, stuck in the past, and in denial of human emotions ("Charles don't you ever crave") and circumstances ("nine year old who peddles drugs"). The Family is vaguely aware of this disconnect and so they periodically appear in garden walk TV interviews where they launch into talks about precious things, but still they come across as insincere, stuck up, and outdated. But the population is not without blame. It would rather medicate in pubs and cling to the church being incapable of renewing or creating a "healthy national spirit" and so the codenpendency continues.
    When I first heard the phrase "sponge and a rusty spanner" it made me think of sponge as a methaphor for female and spanner as male, but I've abandoned that idea.
    MissForstaaelseon November 29, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMorrissey is the only one that can be so self-dreprecating and humorous and seem totally serious when singing it. Love it.
    periwinklebydayon November 11, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI didn't like this song when I first heard it - but it has grown on me so much. Some of the lines in this are just plain fantastic. I love the bit about the Queen saying that Morrissey can't sing and him replying about his awful piano playing! ;]
    butterflykiss84on August 18, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is fucking epic.
    NateKalbachon June 18, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe scene in this song, Morrissey entering the palace, was inspired by the disturbed 'Michael Fagin, who not only broke into Buckingham Palace,butactually entered th Queen's boudoir and chatted with her over a cigarette before being led away. Thereafter, the easy entrances to the palace grounds were reinforced by barbed wire, less scaleable walls and more vigilant surveillances.
    marquiceriseon January 13, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWell I've always thought the spanner and the sponge referred to the castration of Charles etc. As in,
    making sure the royal line ends. He refers to the castration literally. I think the queen is murdered during the walk. He forces her outside "to have a chat". "Let's go for walk where it's quiet and dry", but it rains... (Also mocks his own vanity indeed.)
    Duffoon October 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPerhaps Morrissey had in mind the idea of a National Anthem. In the UK it is "God Save The Queen" - of which the clear opposite is "The Queen is Dead". Morrissey probably reckoned a national anthem ought to close with "life is very long when you are lonely" on repeat. -it certainly hits hard. Interestingly Radiohead did a song called "The National Anthem" i think that is not dissimilar - in fact a cousin or baby brother song.
    ScottishAngleon January 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti just thot this was a lovely punsey but just as gritty anarchy song, a little late in the wake of punk.... and i love the way he takes it so lightly using words like a sponge and a rusty spanner.....and yah the bit about the singing and the piano... hahaha
    i think its great he managed to get away with publishing these lyrics. especially lines like "her very Lowness with her head in a sling
    I'm truly sorry but it sounds like a wonderful thing " and "I say Charles don't you ever crave
    to appear on the front of the Daily Mail
    dressed in your Mother's bridal veil? "
    Shobinaon May 21, 2004   Link

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