1001 Songs to Hear Before You DieThis Charming Man – The Smiths (1983)

“I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear.”

A song that I know every bar, beat, word and second of. That’s so ingrained in me that I can just close my eyes and I’m there. 

Actually, this lyric I quote above, the utterly fantastic opening line to the song – is my bio on my Twitter account. It’s stuck with me for years. It’s me…but with irony. After all, if you know anything about my online persona, it’s that I have plenty to wear. 

So what a lovely, random, welcome, pick, from this 1001 Songs book.

I have claimed to have loved the Smiths since my mid-teens. But I have actually loved the Smiths since some years later, in my 20’s. I, a devout reader of Q Magazine, kept being told in it’s sporadic ‘GREATEST ALBUMS…” lists to buy the Queen Is Dead. And so I did.

And though I liked ‘How Soon is Now’ and some of the singles, I didn’t really gel with the rest of it. It never buried itself deep in me . And so it sat, scarcely listened to, amongst the balance of my CD’s.

But like most of the greats (Cohen, Cave, Waits…) you just need some age and experience on you to really be able to let them into your heart. Of course a teenager isn’t going to fully appreciate the wit, sarcasm, dryness, bleakness and scepticism of these artists. Yeah you might like the tunes and the knowledge that they hold kudos, but you need some life under your belt to REALLY FEEL THEM.

And every since, the Smith and I have had a long, unfaltering, beautiful relationship. 

The Queen is Dead ended up being one of the very first albums I purchased on vinyl, when I started collecting and swore to only ever purchase the greats. And probably my most played. 

The Smiths and I will never be apart. 

And the opening line to this song will probably always be my throwaway Tagline. 

After all, I figure, that if you ‘get’ it then you’re instantly on my team. 


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