"Sheila Take a Bow" as written by Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey....
Is it wrong to want to live on your own?
No, it's not wrong - but I must know
How can someone so young
Sing words so sad?

Sheila take a, Sheila take a bow
Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear
And don't go home tonight
Come out and find the one that you love and who loves you
The one that you love and who loves you
Oh...

Is it wrong not to always be glad ?
No, it's not wrong - but I must add
How can someone so young
Sing words so sad ?

Sheila take a, Sheila take a bow
Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear
And don't go home tonight
Come out and find the one that you love and who loves you
The one that you love and who loves you

Take my hand and off we stride
Oh, la...
You're a girl and I'm a boy
La...
Take my hand and off we stride
Oh, la...
I'm a girl and you're a boy
La...

Sheila take a, Sheila take a bow
La...
Throw your homework onto the fire
Come out and find the one that you love
Come out and find the one you love


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Sheila Take a Bow" as written by Steven Patrick/marr Morrissey

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

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Sheila Take a Bow song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThis is obviouisly based on teenage angst- 'Throw your homework onto the fire' and the anger that they go thru 'Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear
    And don't go home tonight'

    Charlotte-Molkoon July 08, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Comment"Interesting enougth this film is about a teenage pregnant girl and her realationship with a young gay man.Thay love each other but in the end the pressures from the outside (mostly the girl's mum) forces them to separate. "
    Mark Simpson has a very interesting theory in his book "Saint Morrissey" that Morrissey identified strongly with the main character of the play - the girl, Jo. From what I know about the play and the character, it seems quite probable: she has an overbearing mother, she is bored in school and generally unhappy, then, wishing some excitement in life, she has a one-night stand (with a black sailor who she would not see again) which leaves her pregnant. Then she finds real love as non-sexual love. Unhappy teenager, sick of school and family, trying to escape an overbearing parent, looking for love - sounds a lot like "Shakespeare's Sister" as well as "Sheila Take A Bow".

    ISheila is probably a nod to Shelagh Delaney, and I totally agree that the girl Sheila is the imagined "female Morrissey" (kind of like the girl in the "Everyday Is Like Sunday" video, don't you think?) and that all he tells her can be said to him as well. He seems to be speaking to himself in several of his songs, adivising himself: Accept Yourself, Handsome Devil ("there's more to life than books you know", in Moz's words the song is aimed at a scholar who should get more physical instead of jsut reading), Sheila Take A Bow, you migh say Ask as well.

    She might also be his ideal partner:
    "Take my hand and off we stride/ You're a girl and I'm a boy"
    /Take my hand and off we stride / I'm a girl and you're a boy " - the switching of gender roles back and forth (nicked by Massive Attack 10 years later in Protection LOL) is very much in tune with Morrissey's views, too. In Girl Afraid we see that traditional gender roles hinder understanding and contact between two people who like each other. Here we see that traditional gender roles should be disposed of,, in order for people to trully understand themselves and each other.
    nightanddayon December 29, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentdrop everything and go to your lover
    prue4everon October 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who has been stung by love and is apprehensive about getting close to anyone else as a result. I think he is telling the girl in question that she isnt wrong to feel hurt but is still encouraging her to get back in the saddle and move on with her life...then again maybe only reminds me of that because my friend played it constantly after i split up from my boyfriend.....
    cherylukon December 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song refers to Sheilagh Delany, who's on the cover of "louder than bombs" . Morissey seems to be slightly obssesed about her and the movie "a touch of honey" that she scripted.Interesting enougth this film is about a teenage pregnant girl and her realationship with a young gay man.Thay love each other but in the end the pressures from the outside (mostly the girl's mum) forces them to separate.
    Birdyon December 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about, a boy who simply loves a girl, and wants nothing more than to be with her,
    'throw your homework onto the fire', 'don't go home tonight'.

    'take my hand and off we stride'. it means, we need nobody else, just the two of them together.
    My View anyway :)
    jmarron August 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhy he said to Sheila "take a bow"? What it means is this case?
    LilianVon October 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know if anyone will agree with me, but I always understood this song to be a sort of feminist cry.
    If you listen to what the words mean, they're saying, "Do what's unexpected! Don't just follow with what you're 'supposed' to do, be a change." Sheila wants to "live on her own", in other words, live independently, support herself. She is "not always glad", which means she isn't just satisfied with what she is and what she will become, she wants more, she wants to be more.
    Then in the end, when it says, "I'm a girl and you're a boy", I think it's supposed to mean that our gender doesn't matter, whether I'm a girl or you are, whether you're a boy or I am, we're the same, and we can be happy together ("Off we stride").
    uncensoredon August 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou are all wrong, sheila is a girl from San Francisco, who survived terrible abuse and abandonment much to early. Along with her siblings, the lyrics of the smiths songs, directed them in a hopeful direction of survival, in realizing, they were
    not in an isolated situation. That a personality, famous and far removed, cared enough, to reach out and outline a road of hope, and friendship. In that simple song, morrissey, saved a life.
    sheilabean67on August 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentalthough it seems it is based on fact, which it probably is, I think it's applicable to anyone, abused or not. At one point in our lives or another we all feel it's too much, we have too many responsibilities/burdens (homework), we feel unloved, unattractive, pessimistic and hermited. Through all this we keep a strong front, but there comes a time where we need to "take a bow" because it is impressive what we were doing, but of no use to us or anybody else any longer. So we throw the burdens and false responsibilities onto the fire and see things the way they actually are. In truth, there is ALWAYS someone who loves you and who will fancy you, so we need to drop the insecurities and the labels we put on ourselves and other people, as shown in the "take my hand and don't be shy" lines. Lalalalalalalala...
    youngoneon September 02, 2012   Link

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