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How Soon Is Now? Lyrics

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
196 Meanings
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Here's what I think:

"I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar"

I'm a product of my own shyness. What you see now, my behaviour now, is the consequence of years and years of shyness and being scared to deal with people.

"I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular"

But it's nothing important, really. Just like me.

"You shut your mouth how can you say I go about things the wrong way I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does"

This is towards the people who are always giving me advice about how to get women and tell me what I'm doing doesn't work, that I need to do such and such. But then, I want people who love me for who I am, not who I appear to be. Who are they to tell me my methods are wrong?

"There's a club if you'd like to go you could meet somebody who really loves you so you go, and you stand on your own and you leave on your own and you go home, and you cry and you want to die"

This is really self explanatory (and highly biographical for me...) I go to a club, which is supposedly the dating scene or whatever, but then nobody really gives a shit about me and I'm too self-conscious to start dancing because I've tried it before and only made a fool out myself. So I stand there alone. Then I go home. Cry. Want to die.

"When you say it's gonna happen "now" well, when exactly do you mean? see I've already waited too long and all my hope is gone"

People are always telling me that "oh you'll find someone one of these days" Yeah, but when? I'm tired of looking and always come up with empty disappointment. Nobody's interested in me and the girls I get interested in don't really care about me. So I think I won't get anyone, cause when I really really want it to happen, it never does.

(Here's when I start listening to "Please please please, let me get what I want")

My Interpretation

@RockyHoward - I hope you don't still feel this way. This sounds exactly like what my husband use to say happened to him (get that? He's my husband and he waited for 3.5 decades!) Anyhow, this is his favorite song and I think you both interpret the lyrics the same way. It makes me sad to think about him that way (in his old life) and sad to think that anyone else might be going through this. This might sounds cliche and empty but "hang in there... "

I am the son and the heir

I like your meaning but want to add my thoughts on this sentence:

I am the son refers to nature. I am the heir refers to nurture. Basically they recognize what mother nature has given them and what they were taught (inherited). They are saying both nature and nurture has made them into this person who they are.

I am the son and heir of nothing in particular means they don't stick out because of anything nature or how they were raised sticks out.

OMG now this makes so much sense now! And it's exactly how I've been feeling like for a long time! (and still feel sometimes...) :'(

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I agree that the song is about crippling social anxiety and the desire to connect with others. Other people offer advice about meeting people and they don't understand the fear. It is almost impossible to explain to another person what it feels like, but this comes close. The song is hauntingly beautiful.

My Interpretation

@R.Goddess yes it is.

@R.Goddess it's about living of the insecurities of other awkward people for a profit

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i never really gave this song much thought. now it makes me want to cry hearing it.

to me it's about social anxiety or shyness, and the inability to make friends. people always tell you the reason you can't make friends is because you don't go out and try to meet people. but i want someone to love me for the shy person i am, not the person i have to pretend to be to talk to people. everyone always says "it'll happen eventually," and my family wants me to just hurry up and find someone. so oi try to go out, but nothing changes. nothing ever changes. i go home and cry about it, because i know it'll always be that way. everyone acts like i'll magically stop being shy, but i accept the fact that i won't.

this song's very personal to me now that i think about it ive always not really liked this song, 'cause it's their most popular and i thought it was overrated but now i really really love it

You're not alone, this song really resonates with anyone suffering from extreme shyness or social anxiety disorder.

Heard a Smiths song on a film and downloaded all the tracks I had on cassette when I was younger. I really love this song. Nothing wrong with shyness - I find shy people far more attractive than extroverts, do you not too if you think about it. There's mystery and intrigue about a person who holds themselves back and doesn't ' show' themselves immediately, you wonder what they think and feel. I am in my 40s now and have spent my life cringing at my shyness and fear of social situations, and having a drink was the only way...

Have faith in Yourself!! noelnogueira@yahoo.com

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I didn't know that Morrissey was gay until I read this site, so I understood this song (and all others) differently to many of you. It's strange, everyone seems to think that every song is about Morrisey's sexual orientation. I interpreted this song similarly to BobC in the feeling of alienation in clubs and bars but not because of sexuality but because Morrissey feels the "need to be loved" and the sort of things that happen in clubs/bars cannot deliver this to him. So, Morrissey did not accost people in these establishments, hence being the "heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar", and when he asked his friends about why he was having difficulty having love, people criticised him for his standoffish attitude which caused him to respond "How can you say I go about things the wrong way?".

Of course, art can be interpreted in different ways and I do see the gay side now. I suppose that what I wrote could be true regardless of Morrissey's sexuality.

@spamuell I always heard the chorus as being about gay rights, but I didn't think anyone else did. I like to think of it both ways, as being a pro-gay rights anthem and a portrait of a painfully shy person.

@spamuell I think its on a more basic level regardless of sexual identity. Who hasn't felt alienated and lonely and anxious? Who doesn't want to be loved by someone? Great song and I think relevant at any age really.

@spamuell wow ! you got it.

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Everyone's reading far too much into the whole homosexuality thing. My take on it is this:

  • You're unconfident, socially awkward (i.e. 'shyness that is criminally vulgar') and aren't from some massively rich background or anything that might otherwise compensate
  • You vent your frustration at the fact you're still single and lonely but your friends condescendingly tell you that it's because of your attitude, but even if they might be right, you don't want to hear it because you know you deserve to be loved; to you it's a basic right
  • People seem to hook up with other people at bars and clubs etc, so you go there but you feel awkward, intimidated and/or alienated and as you see everyone else making out and enjoying themselves, you go home and feel utter despair (or some variant on that scenario)
  • Friends say "oh don't worry, you're bound to find someone" but after all these years still, nothing, and it feels like all hope is lost

Yeah, pretty much. I saw your comment after posting a similar interpretation. In my case I did use my personal experience to detail it but yeah, it's pretty much the same as yours.

@NeglectedField I agree with you. To me it doesn't matter about the speakers sexuality, he is wanting a human connection.

@NeglectedField This is a nice summary and it's neither too long nor short. At least for me. I'm not from a "massively" rich background but I grew up more than comfortably and it didn't stop me from being absolutely scared shitless of girls. That's my only nit-pick. :0)

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In the States--this is definately the Smith's Big Song. I was just coming out at the time and I hated the gay life so I retreated into the underground club scene and this song was singing my life. I'd go to a gay bar and feel alone and scared and lonely. I remember distinctly feeling like straight people thought we weren't human and didn't know that we wanted to love another person just like they did. Then when I went out to gay bars I saw all the promiscuity and predatory behaviour and I knew I'd never find anybody worth a damn in those places. Now that I'm a grown up I don't feel like that at all and have had great relationships, but at thetime "How Soon is Now" summed it all up.

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When you say it's gonna happen "now" Well, when exactly do you mean ? See I've already waited too long And all my hope is gone

It really doesnt get any better than those lines right there! This is such an awsome song!

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As most of the other commenters, I think this song is about being gay too. I've heard somewhere that Morrissey is pansexual. Bisexual = Falling in love with both genders. Pansexual = Don't care about the gender (can fall in love with transsexual people for an example).

Reporter: Did you hear Tatu's version of How soon is now? Moz: Yes, it was magnificent. Absolutely. Again. I don't know much about them. Reporter:. they're the teenage Russian lesbians. Moz: well aren't we all.

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It's about social anxiety. "The son and heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar...."

My Interpretation
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The composition of the song could be reflecting the theme- you have long periods of instrumental where Morrissey's shyness has rendered him silent and everyone else is talking over him, interjected with the occasional murmured statement or passionate exclamation when provoked by constant questioning. The repetition of the verses could be his attempts to make himself more understood, feeling that because he is quiet people take little notice of his words when he does speak.

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