"You Know I Couldn't Last" as written by Alain Gordon Whyte and Gary Day....
The whispering,
May hurt you,
But the printed word might kill you
The whispering,
May hurt you,
But the printed word might kill you
So don't let the blue,
The blue eyes fool you,
They're just gelignite,
Loaded and aiming right between your eyes
CDs and T-shirts, promos and God knows,
You know I couldn't last, Someone please take me home

The teenagers,
Who love you,
They will wake up, yawn and kill you
The teenagers,
Who love you,
They will wake up, yawn and kill you

So don't let the blue,
The blue eyes fool you,
They're just gelignite,
Loaded and aiming right between your eyes
CDs and T-shirts, promos and God knows,
You know I couldn't last,
Someone please take me home
There's a cash register ringing and,
It weighs so heavy on my back,
Someone please take me home

The critics who,
Can't break you,
They somehow help to make you,
The critics who,
Can't break you,
Unwittingly they make you

So don't let the good days,
Of the gold discs,
Creep up and mug you
With evil legal eagles,
You know I couldn't last,
Accountants rampant,
You know I couldn't last
Every -ist and every -ism,
Thrown my way to stay,
And the northern leeches go on,
Removing, removing, removing

Then in the end,
Your royalties bring you luxuries,
Your royalties bring you luxuries,
Oh but
The squalor of the mind,
The squalor of the mind,
The squalor of the mind,
The squalor of the mind


Lyrics submitted by Brandnizzle2k4

"You Know I Couldn't Last" as written by Alain Gordon Whyte Steven Morrissey

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

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You Know I Couldn't Last song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI don't know where you got that from. I was thinking it's Mozz showing us the bad side to becoming huge rock star.
    Kaguthon June 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGelignite is "a high explosive consisting of a gelatinous mass of nitroglycerin with cellulose nitrate added."

    Clearly this is about the ills of becoming a famous musician. The song is full of familiar rock star complaints--the cruelty and fickleness of critics and fans, marketing and merchandise distractions, feuds over royalties. But they are presented in a fresh and witty way, as is to be expected from Morrissey. I like the lines "the teenagers who love you, they will wake up, yawn, and kill you" and "the critics who can't break you, unwittingly they make you."

    Often people criticize stars who make such complaints about their fame, and I could see people dismissing this song in the same way-- "oh, Morrissey's too rich and famous now, boo hoo"-- but I think this is a genuine attempt by Morrissey to talk about the problems that he is dealing with now, just as writing about poverty and ennui in Manchester were genuine reactions to what his life was like at the time he wrote songs for The Smiths.
    upthera44on January 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMorrissey, you may be a huge fan but wtf was that all about. Must been on wacky at the time. Anywayz!, movin on. I agree with Kaquth
    mdeaveson November 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentstardom does not last forever. And when your fame dies, you'll be living the same way you used to.
    Calamityon January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe "northern leeches removing, removing, removing" and "evil legal eagles" lines are most likely referring to the Joyce/Rourke royalties case.
    cromartyon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the line "The teenagers, Who love you, They will wake up, yawn and kill you" I've been there before. You love a band so much. Its your favorite band in thwe world. You would sucks everyone's dick in that band and then one day you just don't care about the band anymore.
    BlueOatmealon February 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree this song is about, the side of fame most removed from the public, as well as the fickleness of consumers, with a tad of spite directed towards, the buisness end of the entertainment biz.
    muadDib76on February 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"You know I couldn't last." One of the phrases in the death note left by Candy Darling for Andy Warhol.
    hallospacegirlon March 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe critics who, Can't break you
    They somehow help to make you
    The critics who, Can't break you, Unwittingly they make you


    ilove this, & morrissey.
    kellyKILLUHon February 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song goes some way to answering Paint A Vulgar picture too - where he bemoans labels re-releasing albums and cashing in on merchandise etc. I don't know how many times I've seen people writing reviews on Amazon quote from that song questioning his integrity and here he's saying 'look, you knew I couldn't keep it up' in the end he wants to maintain the standard of living he's grown accustomed to, even if that means selling some of his more youthful ideals. Also, initially The Smiths were very anti-music video (promos) but since going solo he's made quite a lot of them. The -ist and -ism relates (amongst other things) to accusations of racism in the UK music press. Great song from a remarkably uncompromised artist, despite what he says in this song.
    thepowercuton June 09, 2011   Link

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