Morrissey University Lyrics Confusion

24 01 2015

University + Staircase = ??


I’ve been listening to Morrissey’s most recent offering, World Peace is None of Your Business and, as with most Morrissey outputs, I rather like it. However, I remain very confused about the lyrics to one of the tracks, ‘Staircase at the University’, which includes the lines:

A staircase. At a university

A staircase. At a university

“If you don’t get three As,” her sweet daddy said
You’re no child of mine and as far as I’m concerned, you’re dead
“If you don’t get three As,” her sweet daddy said
You’re no child of mine and as far as I’m concerned, you’re dead

Staircase at the university
She threw herself down and her head split three ways

OK, classic pushy parent, bit exaggerated for effect (and indeed supported by boyfriend in next verse), disappointed by exam results, prompts daughter’s suicide. Pretty standard Morrissey fayre. But what I don’t get is if the girl was sitting her A levels or had not achieved the required results, what was she doing in the university?

The full lyrics, which don’t help matters much, are available here.

81GZGeiP3yL._SL1400_So, what is going on here? What is she doing at the university?

Possible scenarios:

  1. She received an offer from a university (with a staircase) and went on a UCAS visit day but, knowing she wasn’t going to get three As, decided to end it all.
  2. Knowing her exam performance wasn’t going to deliver three As she decided to go to the nearest university to find a staircase to ensure her father and boyfriend would get the message.
  3. She didn’t get three As but did get a place via clearing at another university. But one that did have a staircase. She decided late in the day to end it all.
  4. Her “sweet daddy” in fact worked in a university (let’s just assume all universities have a staircase from now on) and she was visiting him when they had a discussion about her A levels and it ended badly.
  5. The A grades in question are in fact university exam grades rather than A levels although not many places use letter grades these days and the consequences of not getting three As in one set of exams would probably be less significant.

I’m sure there are other explanations. But I’m still confused.


Ego trip: Approximation of a playlist §66

11 05 2014

Bands who serve their leaders

You Keep Me Hanging On    Diana Ross & The Supremes
Wonderwall    The Mike Flowers Pops
There she goes, my beautiful world    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Stepping stone    Gene Drayton Unit
Roadrunner    Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Battle Of Who Could Care Less    Ben Folds Five
Is this love    Bob Marley & The Wailers
Angel Face    The Glitter Band
Free Fallin’    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Beat The Beat    Mari Wilson With The Wilsations
Davy’s On The Road Again    Manfred Manns EarthbandI love me
Stand And Deliver    Adam & The Ants
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)    Junior Walker & The All Stars
I Love Rock n Roll    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick    Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Are you ready to be heartbroken?    Lloyd Cole & the Commotions
Forget Me Not    Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
The Tears of a Clown    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Going postal: Approximation of a playlist §65

1 02 2014

Songs or artists relating to matters postal

Pillar To Post – Aztec Camera
Note to Self – Jake Bugg
Don’t lose the faith – The Dears
Recovery – Frank Turner
Stand And Deliver – Adam & The Ants
The Sign – Ace Of Basepostbox
Paperback writer – The Beatles
Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
Messages – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Send In The Clowns – Frank Sinatra
Dear Prudence – The Beatles
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Bananarama
He’s frank (slight return) – The Monochrome Set
Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby
Message in a Bottle – The Police
Date stamp – ABC
Please Mr. Postman – The Carpenters
Rudi, A Message To You – The Specials
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder
The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You – Bee Gees
We Could Send Letters – Aztec Camera
Love Letters – Julie London
Kiss – Prince
Message of Love – The Pretenders
I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter – Frank Sinatra
Love Letters In The Sand – Pat Boone
Letter from America – The Proclaimers

Lifecycle 3: Approximation of a playlist §64

1 09 2013

A partial playlist

Whilst no-one has actually asked me what I listened to during the leg ride from Nevill Holt to University Park (see this post for details of the ride) I thought I would nevertheless offer a record of some of the songs played on the way round. Not all are ideal cycling music but they worked for me.

Start! – The Jam
Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg
Back of My Hand – Jags
There There My Dear – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
North Country Boy – Charlatans
My favourite game – The Cardigans
Rat Trap  – The Boomtown Rats
Honey Be Good  – The Bible
Good Vibrations  – The Beach Boys
Rococo – Arcade Fire
Brand New Fear  – Albino
Getinvolved-Cropped-714x355 Generals and Majors – XTC
Ship of fools  – World Party
Books  – The Teardrop Explodes
Road to nowhere – Talking Heads
You Keep Me Hangin’ On – The Supremes
Peaches – The Stranglers
Uptight (Everything’s Alright) –  Stevie Wonder
While You See a Chance – Steve Winwood
Rusholme ruffians – The Smiths
I Travel – Simple Minds
Somewhere In China – Shop Assistants
Keep On Keeping On –  The Redskins
Do you remember the first time?  – Pulp
Everest – Public Service Broadcasting
Crash – Primitives
Rocks – Primal Scream
Love Is A Bourgeois Construct  – Pet Shop Boys
I’m in love with a German film star  – The Passions
Hey Ya!  – OutKast
The Riverboat Song  – Ocean Colour Scene
Rock ‘n’ roll star –  Oasis
True faith  – New Order
These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra
Nowhere to Run – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Echo Beach – Martha and the Muffins
Everything must go – Manic Street Preachers
Titanium – Kraftwerk
Transmission –  Joy Division
Velvet Underground – Jonathan Richman
Tightrope –  Janelle Monáe
The Passenger – Iggy Pop
(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang  – Heaven 17
Times Like These –  Glen Campbell
Right Down the Line  – Gerry Rafferty
The Night –  Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) – Frank Wilson
Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
Container drivers – The Fall
Missing (Todd Terry remix) – Everything but the Girl
One Day Like This – Elbow
Never stop – Echo and the Bunnymen
Sticky Wickets – The Duckworth Lewis Method
Pounding  – Doves
Hello, I Love You  – The Doors
River Jordan – Dog Is Dead
I’ve been to a marvellous party  – The Divine Comedy
Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
Where Are We Now? – David Bowie
Le Freak  – Chic
The Greatest – Cat Power
Everybody’s happy nowadays – Buzzcocks
Girl from Mars – Ash
I say a little prayer – Aretha Franklin
Live & Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings (which was playing when I crossed the finish line)

So, something there for everyone. But really just for me.

Hair goes: approximation of a playlist §63

20 04 2013

Songs or artists concerned with hair, styles etc

(Warning – some of these are really limp…)

Straight to hell – The Clash

Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney and Wings

Beachcomber – Bobby Darin

Earth angel – Crew Cuts

We Wish You A Merry Christmas – The Weavers

True Colours – Cyndi Lauper

Headstart for happiness – The Style Council

Punka – Kenickie

Are everything – Buzzcocks

Shang-A-Lang – Bay City Rollers

Shine – Aswad

Dust Bowl – 10,000 Maniacs

Twist and shout – Deacon Blue

Monkey gone to heaven – The Pixies

Boombastic – Shaggy

It’s not the fall that hurts – Caesars

Horny – Mousse T. Vs. Hot ‘n’ Juicy

I Got You – Split Enz

Kinky afro – Happy Mondays

Suedehead – Morrissey

Dreadlock Holiday – 10cc

Don’t Call Me Baby – Voice of the Beehive

Fallen but not idle

23 03 2013

The Fallen: Life in and out of Britain’s most insane group by Dave Simpson


Ever been held hostage in a dressing room with your parents? Ever been thrown off the bus in the middle of a Swedish forest or abandoned at a foreign airport? Ever been asked to play at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals with musicians you’ve just met who are covered in blood, or taken part in a ‘recording session’ in a speeding Transit? If so you’ve probably been in The Fall. Dave Simpson made it his mission to track down everyone who has ever played in Britain’s most berserk, brilliant group. He uncovers a changing Britain, tales of madness and genius, and wreaks havoc on his personal life.

It’s a great premise for a quest and book but you really do need to be a Fall fan to give a damn about some of these former band members. Anyway, it’s all entertaining stuff and does confirm what we all knew to be the case about the crazy genius that is MES. What is most remarkable is former members’ affection for Smith and their nostalgia for their time in The Fall despite the various unfortunate ways in which they were invited to leave.

3 star

Carry on: Approximation of a Playlist §62

8 12 2012

Carry on films

Sergeant Rock – XTC
The Teacher – Big Country
Cab it up! – The Fall
I spy – Pulp
Happy Jack – The Who
Lonesome Cowboy Bill – The Velvet Underground
Screaming skin – Blondie
Doctor Jones – Aqua
You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
Moon River – Henry Mancini
Girls Talk – Dave Edmunds
Chim Chim Cher-ee – Dick Van Dyke
Behind The Groove – Teena Marie
A New England – Kirsty MacColl
O Come. O Come Emmanuel – Belle & Sebastian
World Before Columbus – Suzanne Vega

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