"Black-Eyed Susan" as written by and Steven Patrick/whyte Morrissey....
Black-eyed Susan
You make us nervous
Because we're very aware that you do not care

Oh, Black-eyed Susan
What don't you believe in?
"No is always easier than Yes"
Whoo !

Black-eyed Susan
You must insist :
You are a born-again atheist, oh

Oh, heavy-rings on
Bitten fingers
Black-eyed Susan sometimes
Shakes to break
So, watch it

Oh...
Black-eyed Susan
Rest and do nothing
'Cause it's the only thing that you do quite well
Aah...

Black-eyed Susan
Rest and do nothing
'Cause it's the only thing that you do quite well
Aah...

Black-eyed Susan
Rest and do nothing
'Cause it's the only thing that you do quite well
Aah...

Black-eyed Susan
Please remember
We were the first
We were the first
Oh...


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Black-Eyed Susan" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Black-Eyed Susan song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentApparently this is based upon The Buckingham's "Susan".


    "I am a born-again atheist."
    Attributed to Gore Vidal.
    marquiceriseon December 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWeird and fascinating song from Mozza....in the sense that the middle breakdown is totally random and not really in keeping with the whole song. That alone makes it so fascinating to me personally. Then there's the fact that whoever Susan is, imagine that "doing nothing" is the only thing that "you do quite well"!! By saying "quite well" it implies that she ain't particularly good at that either! Great song, whatever it's meaning...
    djneeon March 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentisn't about siouxie (Susan Janet Ballion)? and the record of interlude?
    tornetaon June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    This would have to be up there in my top ten Morrissey songs. I've only ever read speculation that it could be about Siouxsie Sue or a member of the Buckinghams but whatever the inspiration the song stands up without the need to know any background knowledge.

    Black Eyed Susan describes the character Susan: an opinionated, humorous and ultimately lazy goth. She is known for her heavy use of dark eye shadow (hence the nick name of the song title) and clunky, metal jewellery. She is a worrier and bites her nails habitually.

    The song is being addressed to Susan by one of her friends, seemingly a fellow member of a girl gang. Her friend depicts Susan as a notorious trouble maker within the gang ("You make us nervous"), recklessly pursuing her latest moral quest and picking fights with rival gangs. Susan is a die hard sceptic and has no time for fairy tails, conspiracy theories or advice and is criticised by her friend for always taking the easier option of being a Doubting Thomas than opening up to an idea and running the risk of belief. Susan's most predictable joke is that she is a "born-again atheist"; she thinks this is funnier than her friends do. Susan is also a bit of a loose cannon, and can become violently emotional on certain issues; her friend warns us to be careful what we say to Susan…

    After painting this picture of this Sisters of Mercy t-shirt wearing armchair revolutionary the song enters a drugged up, fantasy hallucination for a few moments when the music stops and is replacd by strange sound effets - a bold move in the song structure. Arguably this manoeuvre can be a little annoying as nothing really happens for a while and one is just waiting for the last part of the song to begin again. But artistically it works as it suggests memories of pranks and past mischief - perhaps the soundtrack to Susan as she takes an afternoon dose on the sofa? The gap perhaps gives the song a dramatic pause, where we have to wait to see what happens next. Without it the song may be considered too short in length and rather than having the usual middle eighth break or guitar solo, we have had something more daring and tantalising.

    …And then the song kicks back in again. The last repeated verse hammers it home that Susan's friends are unhappy with her lackadaisical approach to life, that despite all of her talk of what's wrong in the world she does nothing about it. And so we have it that all Susan's friend can do is list Susan's faults … until the last line in the song: "Please remember we were the first, we were the first". This suggests that Susan and her gang were once part of, or indeed, the founders of a movement of some sort. I imagine that they were the first ones to hang around some previously unfashionable café or bar which over the years gathered in reputation and was now the place to be seen in. Perhaps they were the first group of people in the town to embrace a certain look - goth, punk, glam? - which then became the norm. Or maybe they were among the first audiences to witness a now legendary band from Manchester…? Whatever it was - they were the first. And Susan was part of it.

    The song could be a beseechment for Susan to get her act together. Her friend had to hold up the mirror of indictment to show Susan's lack of action despite her untapped well of potential to get her to snap out of it. She does this before reminding her of the way things once were, perhaps before Susan's lapse into cynicism.

    It warms my heart that this washed up goth who everyone jokes about was once a step above the pack with her cool pals and that her friend cares enough about her to remind her of this. I don't know why this moves me so much but it is testimony to Morrissey's genius, that he can get across so much with so few words in such a simple song. And this was a B-SIDE.
    tony_mon January 23, 2009   Link

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