"Pretty Girls Make Graves" as written by Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey....
Upon the sand, upon the bay
"There is a quick and easy way" you say
Before you illustrate
I'd rather state
I'm not the man you think I am
I'm not the man you think I am

And sorrow's native son
He will not smile for anyone
And pretty girls make graves

End of the pier, end of the bay
You tug my arm, and say "give in to lust
Give up to lust, oh heaven knows we'll
Soon be dust"
Oh, I'm not the man you think I am
I'm not the man you think I am

And sorrow's native son
He will not rise for anyone
And pretty girls make graves
(Oh, really?)

I could have been wild and I could have been free
But nature played this trick on me
She wants it now
And she will not wait
But she's too rough
And I'm too delicate
Then, on the sand
Another man, he takes her hand
A smile lights up her stupid face
(And well, it would)
I lost my faith in womanhood
I lost my faith in womanhood
I lost my faith

Hand in glove
The sun shines out of our behinds

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Pretty Girls Make Graves" as written by Johnny Marr Steven Morrissey

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

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Pretty Girls Make Graves song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentChloe--right on. No doubt about it. I experienced this song in real life too many times to count. I recall having beautiful women coming on to me all the time and not being able to respond. I resented it. I hated myself for being gay (at the time). Whereas having these women hitting on me should have made me feel great, it made me feel suicidal because I felt like I was letting the whole world down.

    What a f'ing revelation the Smiths were. Finally somebody was writing about my life and issues a little deeper than "Material Girl" and all the other drek of the time. The Smiths came out of nowhere and were truly original.
    BobCon June 21, 2002   Link
  • +9
    General CommentAbout a gay man being the object of desire for a woman who isn't aware of his sexuality. He is frustrated by her advances, and yet is even more confused when he finds himself becoming jealous when he sees her wth someone else, which I think is because at least before it meant that somebody wanted him.
    Chloe le Fayon June 19, 2002   Link
  • +9
    General CommentThis song has nothing to do with him being a homo or anything like that. This song is about a woman who he strongly desires but who only wants him for sex. He is very cautious from past expierences and it has left him emotionally scared. "there is a quick and easy way, you say" -she's basically a slut and is so emotionally detached that the only way she can express herself is through sex. "im not the man you think i am" -he wants true love not just sex (thats the dilemma). "You tug my arm, and say : Give in to lust, Give up to lust"- again she wants sex!, it couldnt be any clearer. I could have been wild and I could have Been free, But Nature played this trick on me" -hes not going to change his ways, he is to sensitive to be so careless. "She wants it Now, And she will not wait, But she's too rough And I'm too delicate" -he is very sensitive emotionally and can just have sex and be satisfied. "Then, on the sand Another man, he takes her hand, A smile lights up her stupid face (and well, it would)" -he basically has to let her go, another man came into the picture who can satiafy her sexual desires with less emotional attachment. This is when its clear that she dosent really care about him. "I lost my faith in Womanhood" -something happened in his past which made him loose his faith when hes around women, he is verry careful. He want a true woman... but lets face it that almost impossible to find now days
    poppion June 06, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General CommentYes, you're right, "Pretty girls make graves" is a quote from the Dharma Bums. In the book, the philosophy behind it is that "pretty girls" lead to lust, which in turn leads to birth, which in turn leads to suffering and then, inevitably, death, or "graves".

    Based on this, the character sees celibacy as the only way of breaking the cycle, if you like. Therefore, I don't think the trick that nature played is that the narrator is gay, as some people have said. I think the trick Morrissey is reffering to is actually lust, something which seems to lead to pleasure, but is actually the cause of all suffering.
    Shadeson July 24, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIn reference to the "asexual" comments- Morissey was/is extremely savvy, and he knew that making a blanket statement about his sexuality would negatively affect some of his listener base, to the extent that they might interpret his lyrics differently, or in a way that might taint an openminded approach to his music. It's obvious that Morissey is at least "bi" as far as his attraction is concerned (his songs indicate that). If the man was truly asexual, his music would not be injected with so much passion. His music is more about struggle than it is about being disinterested. More than likely he is like a lot of artists, who don't place societal boundaries/constructs on attitudes or behaviours. Morissey was way ahead of his time, forcing people to address his music, not his private life. Bottom line: Morrissey struggles with sex, sexuality, relationships, etc., and all of these struggles come out in his music. To define him would be to limit him.
    OneTwoon March 22, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's a song about a guy who lacks libido. And the feelings of self-worthlessness that follow a botched conquest. He would ideally love to fornicate with this pretty girl, but can't because he's shy/inexperienced/impotent/asexual/gay etc. etc. I don't think the reason matters. It's a universal humiliation most men can relate to. Feeling sexually inferior. And he could probably perform at some later date when the two have gotten comfortable with one another. But she wants it now. And she will not wait. And you know the rest.
    sensicleon June 15, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI could speculate about the lyrics all day/night and I suspect that's what Morrissey would want ;)

    However, I do know that the outro to this song is the most beautiful thing ever recorded. It gets me EVERY TIME.

    Johnny Marr = Underrated Guitar Genius.
    ErinElizabethon August 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation"I'd also gone through an entire year of celibacy based on my feeling that lust was the direct cause of birth which was the direct cause of suffering and death and i had really no lie come to a point where i regarded lust as offensive and even cruel. 'pretty girls make graves,' was my saying."

    from dharma bums by jack kerouac.
    igbybigbyon October 11, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI never thought that it was about being gay. I always took it to mean that he was "above" sexual impulse and found the whole situation to be dreadfully boring.
    adequateandyon June 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is about a guy who is deeper then the typical cat who just wants his dick sucked..
    when he says "im not the man you think i am" he means he not the type of guy just looking for sex aka lust.."she wants it now and she will not wait" refers to she want to get fucked now but this foos looking for an ideal love..give in to lust give up to lust heaven know we'll soon be dust means basically that we only live once and we'll soon be dead or "dust" so lets just give in to lust..idk thats what i think and he gets jealous at the end cuz he wishes he was that shallow guy who takes her hand and calls her stupid for being so shallow..basically he dissapointed in her cuz he thought that girls were deeper then that and thats why he loses faith in womenhood..hes not gay just deep...i feel this nigga..lol..morrisey just sings from the heart..
    dethwishon August 02, 2010   Link

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