As merry as the days were long
I was right and you were wrong

Back at the old grey school
I would win and you would lose

But you've got everything now
You've got everything now
And what a terrible mess I've made of my life
Oh, what a mess I've made of my life

No, I've never had a job
Because I've never wanted one

I've seen you smile
But I've never really heard you laugh

So who is rich and who is poor?
I cannot say...oh

You are your mother's only son
And you're a desperate one
Oh...

But I don't want a lover
I just want to be seen...oh...in the back of your car

A friendship sadly lost?
Well this is true...and yet, it's false
Oh...

But did I ever tell you, by the way?
I never did like your face

But you've got everything now
You've got everything now
And what a terrible mess I've made of my life
Oh, what a mess I've made of my life

No, I've never had a job
Because I'm too shy

I've seen you smile
But I've never really heard you laugh

So who is rich and who is poor ?
I cannot say...oh

Oh...
You are your mother's only son
And you're a desperate one
Oh...

But I don't want a lover
I just want to be tied... oh...to the back of your car
To the back of your car
To the back of your car
To the back of your car
To the back of your car
To the back of your car
Oh...


Lyrics submitted by Idan

You've Got Everything Now Lyrics as written by Johnny Marr Steven Morrissey

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

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You've Got Everything Now song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +11
    General Comment

    When I was at school I was pretty good academically and also on the sports field. Well, lets be honest... I won everything. Since leaving school however, I've noticed that the people I thought of as morons and losers seem to be earning money, buying cars and forming relationships while my life is going nowhere fast. It's got to the stage where I'm willing to ride around in a car with this guy I never liked just so people think I have some kind of social life!

    Boss Manon July 14, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    Although everyone has their own interpretation and is welcome to it, I think this is one Smiths song that is pretty straightforward and requires little analysis. The song has very little to do with love, it is primarily about success and money. It runs pretty much like this:

    1) At school Moz felt superior (most likely intellectually) to this person.

    2) Now however, this person has it all (money? love? a career?) and Moz has nothing to show for all of his perceived superiority.

    3) "No, I've never had a job because I've never wanted one". This is the only clue in the song as to what the ambiguous "everything" he refers to in the title actually is. The other person has a job, something Moz has never craved but now makes this other person somehow now superior to him.

    4) Moz questions how real this person's supposed success is - "I've seen you smile but I've never really heard you laugh so who is rich and who is poor? I cannot say".

    5) Moz entertains the idea of entering (maybe re-entering) into a relationship with this person before concluding "I don't want a lover, I just want to be seen... in the back of your car". He explains that they were never really friends and he never really liked the other person's face (looks), but such is his envy that he is willing to do almost anything, the other person could even tie them to the back of their car, just as long as Moz could bask in some of their success for a while.

    If this wasn't written prior to the 1st album and all of the Smith's subsequent success, I would swear it was in the reverse perspective i.e. Morrisey is the one who has everything now and this is what he imagines his old friends from school think of him. Also he would be wary of them trying to get close to him simply because of his fame and success. That would also be a worthy interpretation if we didn't already know this was written before The Smiths' fame and success.

    For that reason, this song has to be about Morrisey's disillusionment with post-school existence, his refusal to get a job and ultimately his envy of other people's success. It's almost a prelude to "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful".

    PrettyPettyThiefon October 21, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    He has got everything now, or has he? He may have the material things but Morrissey never recalls him laughing. "Who is rich and who is poor, I cannot say". I don't really know what is he implying about the back of the car.

    cactusdaveon September 23, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i think the line "you are your mothers only son" refers to the two people in the song (the singer and the one he's singing about) being brothers but the rich sucessful one is their mothers only son in her eyes

    1imaginarygirlon October 30, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    "...as merry as the day is long." -A Taste Of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney Originally from Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing".

    marquiceriseon December 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I agree with eirikws...and as for the change in the last bit where it says "I just want to be tied to the back of your car," well...murder has been committed by tying a person or animal to the back of a car, so i think it's a morose comment hinting at the fact all of the crap mentioned in the rest of the song makes him want to die, and he wants the person he's singing about to put him out of his misery.

    delialon June 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I signed up to state that the "in the back of your car" line relates to not wanting to be with the person, but wants to feel wanted and be noticed by others, like eirikws stated. I think it gets changed in the last verse to show the characher does not care any more, maybe not even for thier life, and wants to be dragged by the car. Its quite shocking but not surprising coming from Mozza! Never one to shy away from melancholy or macabre lyrical content

    GaryThermoon July 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    Being jealous of someone you've always hated and felt superior to.

    Suddenly they have money, a girl, a life and you feel you've gone nowhere. But you're not convinced it's the right thing but you crave a bit of what they have.

    What happened at school you were better and you've gone nowhere?!! All that potential...

    Longpigon June 03, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree about the back of the car bit. I think it is referring to something sexual, not because the character is in love, but he just wants people to know he has someone. I think the part about "you are your mother's only son and you're a desparate one" is perhaps saying the character's "lover" is also in the relationship for the wrong reasons; that is, he is so desparate to carry on his family lineage he is willing to share his backseat with just about anyone.

    marbleryeon January 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    OK, my take on the meaning of these lyrics:

    Presentation of characters: "As merry as the days were long I am right and you were long back at the old grey school I would win and you would lose

    But you've got everything now you've got everything now and what a terrible mess I've made of my life oh what a mess I've made of my life"

    Person 1: The well-to-do character that is being sung to. Person 2: The protagoinst, a person that "hasn't done too good in life", but still feels superior to this other person.

    "No, I've never had a job because I've never wanted one I've seen you smile but I've never really heard you laugh so who is rich and who is poor? I cannot say..."

    Here, the accuser questions whether the other person really has succeeded in life, or maybe still is the loser.

    "You are your Mother's only son and you're a desperate one but I don't want a lover I just want to be seen in the back of your car"

    The "in the back of your car" lines and the others, to me, suggest that this other person could be a famous person, i.e. a movie star, and that the protagonist exploits him. This famous person is probably looking for love, but the main character just wants to blackmail him or get attention from the media; in order to ruin the other's life or just for the attention.

    "A friendship sadly lost? well, this is true and yet, it's false but did I ever tell you, by the way I never did like your face"

    Speaks for itself. Their "friendship" really never did mean anything.

    I can't really work out why the last line, "I just want to be tied / To the back of your car" is changed from "I just want to be seen / In the back of your car", but it could mean nothing. I don't know.

    eirikwson June 22, 2006   Link

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