"I Don't Owe You Anything" as written by Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey....
Bought on stolen wine
A nod was the first step
You knew very well
What was coming next

Bought on stolen wine
A nod was the first step
You knew very well
What was coming next

Did I really walk all this way
Just to hear you say :
"Oh, I don't want to go out tonight" ?
"Oh, I don't want to go out tonight"

Oh, but you will
For you must

I don't owe you anything, no
But you owe me something
Repay me now

You should never go to them
Let them come to you
Just like I do
Just like I do

You should not go to them
Let them come to you
Just like I do
Just like I do

Did I really walk all this way
Just to hear you say :
"Oh, I don't want to go out tonight" ?
"Oh, I don't want to go out tonight"

But you will
For you must

I don't owe you anything, no
But you owe me something
Repay me now

Too freely on your lips
Words prematurely sad
Oh, but I know what will make you smile tonight

Life is never kind
Life is never kind
Oh, but I know what will make you smile tonight


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"I Don't Owe You Anything" as written by Johnny Marr, Steven Patrick Morrissey

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

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I Don't Owe You Anything song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +4
    My InterpretationWell I seem to have taken something rather different out of this song so I'll try and analyze it.

    The song begins with the narrator getting drunk and making a move (probably not the first time) on a girl. After the move is made the girl replies "Oh, I don't want to go out tonight" but the narrator knows she is just letting him down gently as he knows she always goes out ('But you will for you must'). The narrator then gets quite angry presumably from putting the effort in pursuing this girl only to be let down and feels he is owed something (but you owe me) after the time spent pursuing. This is punctuated by the 'you should never go to them, let them come to you' implying this woman is someone who is often pursued but doesn't do the chasing, the narrator ironically states 'just like I do' as if to say he lets woman come to him but realistically they don't come to him and he hates getting hurt having to make the move.

    After the repeated verse we are then presented with the lines 'too freely on your lips' implying she often lets guys down quite freely as she knows she has a lot of options. The narrator then states 'Oh, but I know what will make you smile tonight' implying that she will be going out tonight (even though she said she wouldn't) and finding another guy that isn't him to make 'her smile'.

    Well anyone just my interpretation I can see how the lyrics might be considered to be about an alcoholic girl the narrator is taking advantage of etc. but I just don't see enough allusions in the song to alcohol use other than the narrator 'being bought on stolen wine' at the start leading me to believe this is an unrequited love song about a desirable girl that goes out nightly to find guys but will never accept the narrator.
    Rimbaudesqueon February 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSorry, you all need to do a little research. The song is an account of the early relationship between the Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. A read through Emlyn Williams' Beyond Belief will verify as much. (There will be more of these little gems on my forthcoming Smiths' Manchester walks. Watch the 'Net! - Ed.)
    EdGlinert1on March 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a grower. When your obsessed like me, you end up getting fed up slightly ( never completly!) of the singles, and move ito under-rated album tracks. Worthy of an honourable mention :]
    butterflykiss84on March 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the best Smith's tracks, beautiful guitar, the melody, Morrissey's voice. To me this song is about a relationship with somebody who is depressed.
    mourninggloryon July 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about someone who was rejected...but only temporarily. mmmm the power of alcohol
    needafixon September 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentah, the power of unrequited love...
    Contristoon June 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA relationship that began with a drunken encounter, and the narrator turning it into something it's not. The narrator believes that since he purchased the alcohol his signifigant other owes him. mourningglory is right though, the person is depressed but their escape is alcohol, and the narrator sees only that the alcohol makes the other happy.

    To me, when he says "Did I really walk all this way?" it sounds oddly like a threat.
    Joelhughes2006on June 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song seems really pleasant and lightweight compared to other songs fro the smiths debut, but there's quite a nasty undercurrent to it. i think the singer is driven by his own selfish reasons to visit the person in question rather than by any desire to
    help them.
    Boss Manon July 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I don't owe you a thing."

    -"A Taste Of Honey", by Shelagh Delaney
    marquiceriseon December 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...this song is famous for making Mike Joyce (Smith's Drummer) cry whilst playing on stage in 83.
    CharmingManon February 24, 2006   Link

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