"The Never Played Symphonies" as written by and Steven Patrick/whyte Morrissey....
Reflecting from my deathbed,
I'm balancing life's riches...against the ditches
And the flat gray years in between
All I can see are the never laid,
That's the never played symphonies

I can't see those who tried to love me,
Or those who felt they understood me
And I can't see those who
Very patiently...put up with me

All I can see are the never laid,
Or the never played symphonies

You were one
You were meant to be one,
And you jumped into my face
And laughed and kissed me on the cheek
And then were gone, forever...not quite

Black sky in the daytime
And I don't much mind dying,
When there is nothing left to care for...anymore
Just the never laid
The never played symphonies

You were one
You knew you were one
And you slipped right through my fingers
No not literally,
But metaphorically
And now you're all I see...as the light fades...

Lyrics submitted by enolf

"The Never-Played Symphonies" as written by Alain Gordon Whyte Steven Morrissey

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

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The Never Played Symphonies song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningI for one think that the song is about us fans and our relationship to Morrissey.

    "You were one
    You were meant to be one,
    And you jumped into my face
    And laughed and kissed me on the cheek
    And then were gone, forever...not quite "

    For all of us who has ever get to met or see Morrissey,and that has looked up to him for years. I think it's about that we are always with him and that he is always with us, not matter what. This song is so beautiful - both the lyric and melody!
    fluffpudelon November 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the lines
    "The never-laid, that's the never played symphonies"
    I think this is about suicide/death...and the the fact that before you die...you (or at least Moz) think of all the failures in life, rather than the good times.
    enolfon March 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe beginning really reminds me of Yeat's "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death"
    tamninon June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgood point. and its not far fetched that mozza might have been thinking of it.
    layne1012on March 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about all the things that could have happened in your life but didn't.
    xcatson August 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The Never Played Symphonies"

    "Reflecting from my deathbed
    I'm balancing life's riches against the ditches
    and the flat gray years in between
    All I can see are the never-laid
    That's the never-played symphonies"

    As Morrissey is facing death after a long and amazing life he is weighing up the successes he has had with the miseries he suffered before (and during) his success. But despite the highs and lows the only thing he is drawn to are the songs that he hasn't written - the ideas and works in progress that one day he wanted to arrange and perform but which will never be recorded or heard except in his mind.

    "I can't see those who tried to love me
    All those who felt they understood me
    and I can't see those who very patiently put up with me
    All I can see are the never-laid
    Or the never-played symphonies"

    During this evaluation of his life he is not concerned about his family, friends or loved ones. All the people who admired him - fans, colleagues, confidants etc - who tried to get close to him over the years mean nothing. All he can think about are the songs he wanted to write.

    "You were one, you meant to be one
    and you jumped into my face and laughed
    and kissed me on the cheek and then were gone forever
    ...not quite"

    One of the songs he wanted to complete was about a fan who broke through his security and managed to kiss him before bring whisked away. Out of the thousands of adoring fans who try to get near to him year in year out, the few seconds of this one cheerful fan remained in his memory. His tribute to the fan is this song. "Gone forever … not quite" meaning that the fan has been immortalised in this song.

    "Black sky in the daytime
    and I don't much mind dying
    When there is nothing left to care for anymore
    Just the never-laid, the never-played symphonies"

    As the end approaches and blindness takes over, he is at ease and has no fear of death. All the things he cared for when he was alive he no longer has to care for as his life is ending, and so he doesn't. But even slipping from this mortal coil doesn't stop him from thinking about the songs he will never write.

    "You were one, you knew you were one
    and you slipped right through my fingers
    No not literally but metaphorically
    and now you're all I see as the light fades"

    Particularly, he is thinking about the song he wanted to write about this one fan. He even comes up with a cheeky euphemism which he would have used in the song… And when he finally dies his last thought is with this one fan and the song under construction which will never be heard (Not quite, indeed).

    In this song he is telling us that his music and the effect it has on people who it touches is the most important thing in his life - more so even than the legions of people who adore him and those who have entered his personal life. The song has an abstract quality in that the song itself is one that he will be wishing he had the time to write on his deathbed.
    tony_mon September 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm possibly interpreting it too literally, but might it not be about Beethoven on his deathbed? The line "Black sky in the daytime" certainly ties in with the description of the day Beethoven died:

    "That day was tragic. There were heavy clouds in the sky… around 4 or 5 in the afternoon the murky clouds cast darkness in the entire room."

    And Moz has mentioned the great man in an album title before!
    sproutboyon January 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is about infatuation and sex. He repressed and denied himself his whole life. Despite the adoration and willingness of so many, he was aloof toward them and chose instead to pine for a romantic and sexual connection with some idealized lover. I think perhaps he may have chosen actual people to represent this lover over the course of his life. Like a masochist he puts them on a pedestal and then waits and expects to be denied or thwarted. Then he sinks into despair. As a woman, I can relate very strongly with this. I think now he regrets lost opportunities but he still also has not let go of the need for the idealized lover to save him. Morrissey wants to be united with his knight in shining armor, his true love, his soul mate, his heart's desire. He now feels old and regretful that it never happened for him. He also wants to experience or wishes he had experienced mind blowing sex with someone he is fully infatuated with. I do not in any way think this song is about music. It is about lost opportunities for emotional and sexual connection. :) Then again perhaps I am just another one of those people who thinks I understand him. ((Morrissey))
    Kelly20on November 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeen thinking about this song. I offer somewhat of a flip side to my comment above. I wonder if it really could just be that he is thinking about missing out on opportunities to have anonymous sex with an attractive young person (like so many of his most ardent fans over the years- and like the image in the lyrics of the charming fan at his concert who kissed him and was gone). Now that he is old(er), he regrets that he did not partitipate when he and they were in their prime. Maybe his problems developing intimacy with people got in the way of enjoying physical connections and he wishes he just had sex for sex's sake. In my opinion, people who are always pained and disappointed by intimacy do tend to find some satisfaction in casual sex. This way one can attach any qualities they want to an individual without being disappointed by the reality of who they really are. For example- a handsome fan at a show who is sexually infatuated with you is very seductive but get to know him more than physically and you may discover he is a total idiot. Humans ALWAYS disappoint. That is why we have celebrity/literary/musical idols and why we worship fairy tale religious figures. We attribute the qualities we want in someone to them. It is also why beautiful dead people make such great idols (James Dean, Marilyn, Morrison, Elvis). Beauty is easy to adore and mystery (dying tragically young) adds to the infatuation. ACTUAL people disappoint.
    Kelly20on December 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI still like to think this as simply about us. We are the "never played symphonies" as we stare at him from the audience.

    'You were one, you meant to be one
    and you jumped into my face and laughed
    and kissed me on the cheek and then were gone forever
    ...not quite'

    I LOVE this - for everyone who has ever made it onto the stage and touched the man. He knows we are still out here.
    weareaccon March 24, 2011   Link

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