"Roy's Keen" as written by and Steven Patrick/whyte Morrissey....
(Go on!)
He's romancing you
And chancing his arm
He'll be here
Smiling on time
He's romancing you
And chancing his arm
He'll be here
Smiling on time
Roy's keen oh Roy's keen
Roy's keen oh Roy's keen
We've never seen a
Keener window-cleaner
Back up the ladder
Into each corner
Dunking the chamois
Just think of the goodwill
The ladder's a planet
Roy is a star, and
I am a satellite
(But that's alright)
He can hold a smile for as long
As you require (even longer)
He can hold a smile for as long
As you require (even longer)
Roy's keen oh Roy's keen
Roy's keen oh Roy's keen
We've never seen a
Keener window-cleaner
Back up the ladder
Into each corner
Dunking the chamois
Just think of the goodwill
The ladder's a planet
Roy is a star, and
I am a satellite
I will be set alight
Don't say you'll hold it steady
Then you let it go
Don't say you'll hold it steady
Then you let it go
Oh...

You're up the ladder
Into each corner
Foot in a bucket
We trust you to wreck it
Even when it's under your nose
Well, you just can't
See it, can you?
Well, it's here
Right under your nose
And you just can't
See it, can you?
La la la la...
Roy's keen, Roy's keen
La la la la...
Roy's keen, Roy's keen
La la la la...
Roy's keen, Roy's keen
La la la la...
Roy's keen, Roy's keen
We've never seen a
Keener window-cleaner
Oh...
La la la la...


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Roy's Keen" as written by

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

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Roy's Keen song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think this is one of Morrissey's most under-rated songs, along with Maladjusted being an under-rated album. I also think it's one of his most explicit songs and has some utterly filthy references. The filth, however, is buried in innuendo, so much so that he even has the balls to insult the listener by saying at the end of the song that they're too stupid to see what the song is about ("Even when it's under your nose, Well you just can't see it, can you?").

    As regards the character, Roy, I don't think there's any allusion to it being footballer Roy Keane. If anything I reckon it was one of those good-idea-at-the-time things, to make a play on the footballer's name. The key might be in that the character is "keen", as in willing to help, and that in chosing a name for the star of the song, our eager boy, he could have chosen anything. So why not the obvious: Roy? Thus supplying a layer of "Is this about Roy Keane?" intrigue.

    The lyrics themselves, on the surface, depict a popular, charasmatic, flirtatious windowcleaner who is always at hand for his "service". Morrissey must have been amused enough by the 1974 film Confessions of A Window Cleaner to be influenced into writing this song. This is not surprising as he's know to have a strange fondness for the Carry On films of a similar ilk - cheeky, bad taste Bristish sex comedies of the 60s/70s.

    The smut in the song uses - of all things - window cleaning as a metaphor for sex. "Up the ladder", "into each corner", "dunking the chamois" - all blatant, crude (and funny) penetration references. "He can hold a smile for as long as you require (even longer)" - Roy has the ability to sustain an erection until he's provided you with an orgasm - and he can keep on going after, such is his sexual prowess.

    However, there are lines in the second half of the song which suggest Roy is not the gigilo the rest of the song makes him out to be. Again with the window cleaning euphemisms: "Don't say you'll hold it steady then you let it go" - Roy loses his erection or stops short before his client has climaxed, after promising to deliver the goods. "Foot in a bucket, we trust you to wreck it" - Roy's bedroom skills are not so finely honed after all as he turns off his client's desire with a clumsy manouver.

    …And then Morrissey's accusation that the song is lost on the listener. Well, that's always been my interpretation of "Even when it's under your nose, Well you just can't see it, can you?", but it may be addressing Roy's seducees not having the wit to see that Roy's promises of carnal deliverence were never going to be delivered from such a rough and ready cheeky chappy.

    All in all a total gem of a song. Such a shame that it was never regarded as so and that, in contrast, it has been critiscised as being one of his worse. He must have smiled to himself though when he heard it on the radio during its brief existance as a single. Not often "dunking the chamois" gets past the censors. Pure, filthy class.
    tony_mon January 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song quite surely alludes to Roy Keane.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    marquiceriseon October 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis was released around the time when Roy Keane's name was being chanted on the terraces every week in Ireland and Manchester. It's simply about a clumsy window cleaner that Morrissey had in the U.S. whom he fancied but who wasn't gay. Although he did flirt his best every time he had the chance but never got lucky!
    fannyGon March 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song makes me laugh every time i here it...its obvisously nothing to do with roy keane the footballer....more likely some window cleaning aqqiantance....the reframe at the begining is hilarous
    tabtom1on December 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "Go on!" in the of the song sounds REALLY, really familiar to me, but neither I nor my friend can figure out what it is? Does anybody know?
    Paigiepwnson August 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust like to say Tony M's review rocks, never though of it like that but I certianly will now. I could never take this song seriously enough to interpret or dissect it. The play on Roy Keane's name certainly does seem very ill advised over 10 years later but its bearable enough.

    This is probably Morrissey's catchiest and most jovial tune. Can't help but sing along!
    PrettyPettyThiefon April 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWhen I interpret this song I think about the double, rather triple, meaning of the word 'keen'.
    1. Having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm.
    2. Wail in grief for a dead person.
    3. An Irish funeral song accompanied by wailing in lamentation for the dead.
    I think Roy is a window-cleaner who always looks happy to his clients "Smiling on time" "Romancing you" trying to get his clients to think he is happy so that they'll keep hiring him. To them he appears to be keen and eager to work.
    But in truth, Roy's life is very mundane and he is actually quite depressed. While he looks keen on the outside, he is keening on the inside.
    "Even when it's under your nose well, you just can't see it, can you?" Even though it should be quite obvious that Roy is depressed, his clients just can't see past his fake happiness.
    Prehaps Roy is so depressed that he kills himself and this song is also 'Roy's Keen' as in Roy's funeral song.
    GothTrekkieon April 17, 2012   Link

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