"First Of The Gang To Die" as written by and Steven Patrick/whyte Morrissey....
You have never been in love,
Until you have seen the stars reflect in the reservoirs
And you have never been in love,
Until you have seen the dawn rise,
Behind the home for the blind

We are the pretty, petty thieves,
And you're standing on our streets
Where Hector was the first of the gang with a gun in his hand
And the first to do time,
The first of the gang to die, oh my.
Hector was the first of the gang with a gun in his hand
And the first to do time,
The first of the gang to die, oh my

You have never been in love,
Until you've seen the sunlight thrown,
Over smashed human bone

We are the pretty, petty thieves,
And you're standing on our streets
Where Hector was the
First of the gang with a gun in his hand
And the first to do time,
The first of the gang to die,
Such a silly boy
Hector was the first of the gang with a gun in his hand
And the bullet in his gullet and the first lost lad to go under the sod

And he stole from the rich and the poor
And not very rich and the very poor.
And he stole our hearts away
He stole our hearts away,
He stole our hearts away

Lyrics submitted by Brandnizzle2k4

"First of the Gang to Die" as written by Alain Gordon Whyte Steven Morrissey

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

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First Of The Gang To Die song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentThis is obviously not an optimistic song.

    I think it's about gang violence because of love. This could be a song about LA gangs but the Hector character makes it much more universal. Hector is the first of the Troyans who has to confront the Greek hero Achilles in the Troyan war (Homeros' Ilias). The war started because of a woman, Helena. After Hector was slaughtered, the Greeks massacred all of Troy, which is basically the fault of love & mankinds weakness to love. This story is often looked at as the start of western literature and thus culture.
    Morrissey makes a comparison with today's gang violence in LA, stating that western culture (heroic stories about fighting for love, forbidden romances which result in murder etc.) has always been full of idiocy. Mankind's weakness for love makes us selfdestructive and we're proud of it , yay!
    Duffoon January 11, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMaybe there is a Spanish/South American connection with 'Hector' - apparently in Argentina he is treated like a God, and they even have a National Morrissey Day!

    As every nation should of course...

    "bullet in his gullet" - fantastic poetry, vivid shocking image. Damn him.
    FishesWillLaughon August 15, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is probably really naive of me but I feel as if this is another song about Morrissey's (often fetishistic) relationship with gang culture. Just like in 'Suedehead' he's discussing gang subculture.

    It feels like quite a romantic song. I adore that Hector 'stole all hearts away.' The characters seems so powerful and commands the most attention (even from the singer!) but he dies a tragic and presumably young death. It reminds me a little of Morrissey's relationship with James Dean, too.
    lemonlaceon April 27, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am a pain in the *ss, I know. But it is "Sunlight thrown" and not "form."
    Morrisseyon May 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"You have never been in love until you've seen the sun rise behind the home for the blind."

    that line cracks me up. what a bastard. it sounds like he's speaking from his perspective in that first verse. we all know Morrissey loves his irony, and it sounds like he's expressing that love in those first two couplets.
    thequeenisdeadon December 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI totally agree with Clark`s interpretation.

    "You have never been in love,
    Until you've seen sunlight thrown
    over smashed human bones"

    Death is an alegory for marriage. Indeed, marriage is death of passion, death of emotion, death of individuality. The image of smashed human bone inspires fear and disgust, just like the thought of marriage does. But when you are able to see beauty in this horrendous picture ("you've seen the sunlight thrown"), you know you are really in love.

    Gorgeous song.
    ilyon May 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was reading the lonely planet in South Africa and when i was reading about the Hector Peterson memorial in Soweto I read the words 'Hector was the first of the gang to die'. I am not saying that Morrissey trawls lonely planets for lyrics although that could explain Bengali in Platforms. Anyway i think this song is about Hector Peterson.

    He stole all hearts away possibly referring to the uproar he caused some might say a big swing towards the end of the Apartheid.

    The one lyric that stumps me slightly is With a gun in his hand. Maybe this refers to the damage he could do to the government with his protest/death! Anyway Rambling!
    7deadlyfrenchmenon October 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis Song remind me of early - mid 90s in my local neibourhood with the other friends of mine.
    We had that little kid gank
    Kids are kids and drag one another to do stupid stuff to proove to one another get attention and stuff.
    Small thieverys , street fights you dont realise wrong and right or the limits of the things you can do,you just drag each other and one day you can do something that can be serious without realising it.
    Hector in my mind represents that kid, the most wild , that he never was afraid cause he never thought of consecuenses, he just rushed to do what he was thinking and was always getting into trouble and always was barelly making it out.
    And that , in short its about kid ganks in poor neighboorhoods, parents work or they dont care and kids become like a pack.And its all great until something goes bad ;)
    Yobukankon May 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love everyone's interpretations!

    When I listen to it I always get a gang subculture theme and the loyalty/emotional ties people have when being or growing up in gangs- that's my impression anyway.
    I also love the beat to it, this song always gets stuck in my head.
    SteamedMemeson April 29, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt actually goes: "We are the pretty, petty thieves" and not "Pretty, pretty"
    Morrisseyon May 29, 2004   Link

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