"Oh Phoney" as written by and Steven Patrick/armstrong Morrissey....
May this lovely letter
Reach its destination
If only
Question one is why do you
Pretend that you like me?
Oh Phoney
See how the outside
Contradicts what's inside
Oh ooh

Who can make Hitler
Seem like a bus conductor?
You do, oh Phoney you do

You sing a lovely song to a scale
And the words spell out my name
Oh Phoney
But then you kick me down below
Cause you know it won't show
How could you?

See how the outside
Contradicts what's inside
Oh ooh

Who can make Hitler
Seem like a bus conductor?

You do oh Phoney oh Phoney you do
You do oh Phoney oh Phoney you do
You do oh Phoney oh Phoney you do


Lyrics submitted by Brandnizzle2k4

"Oh Phoney" as written by Steven Morrissey Kevin Alexander Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Oh Phoney song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite rare Morrissey songs. I might be reaching a little bit on this interpretation but I wonder if some of the song is directed towards David Bowie. Obviously, Moz has been greatly influenced and is acquaintences with David Bowie. There seems to be a certain unease in their relationship, however, perhaps jealousy of each other. The tone of the song I think befits their relationship and the Hitler reference could perhaps be a nod to Bowie's infamous "Heil Hitler" moment during his Thin White Duke phase. A subtle kick under the table to Bowie, mentioning a low point of his career. And then "You Sing a lovely song to a scale and the words spell out my name" could be a reference to the joy Moz felt when Bowie covered "It's Gonna Happen Someday" -- quickly followed by the "kick me down below," Morrissey's inevitiable feeling of ineptitude towards his Idol. The two men are my favorite Pop icons so I'm probabely living in a fantasy world with this analysis...what do you think?
    davidbeauyon February 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you might be onto something. I've wondered about Moz's relationship with Bowie, because I've somehow got the idea that he.. really admires him, but in a sort of begrudging and resentfull way?
    kcsongbirdon April 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe song is definately about the two faced nature of many people. I think this song is great, and the 'who could make hitler, seem like a bus conducter,' is just true wit!
    JJKelsallon June 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think if the song is directed to a particular real-life person, it's most likely to be Tony Wilson. Not just because the Tony/Phoney pun is familiar but - think of how the lyric could apply to their strained relationship ("you pretend that you like me", which he did, in documentaries etc - and is it just me or does the song infer that these people have known each other for quite a while).
    For the other theory - Morrissey had not yet met (and fallen out with) Bowie when this song was written in 1989. And "I Know Its Gonna Happen Someday" was two or three years in the future - he hadn't even started writing with Mark Nevin yet.
    imrazoron July 30, 2015   Link

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