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.

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