Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Keats and Yeats are on your side

One of the most impressive tribute albums I've ever heard has to be The Smiths is dead (Les Inrockuptibles, France, 1996). Billy Bragg and Supergrass do excellent versions of "Never Had No One Ever" and "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others". Placebo does an amazing rendition of "Bigmouth Strikes Again". For some reason, however, the Frank and Walters (whom I don't know anything about), have chosen to engage in a strange act of misprision.

Keats and Yeats are on your side
why can't they be on mine?

To see the enormity of this misreading, compare Morrissey's original,which is among my favourite pop lyrics:

Keats and Yeats are on your side
but you lose because Wilde is on mine

All this is just a longwinded intro to a later post in which I intend to unpack the anti-Palinurian sentiment of those two lines. I have my own ideas about what they mean, but any suggestions are, as always, welcome. If anyone wants to defend the Frank and Walters, I'm all ears too.


Gary said...

Wow, I'm amazed. I can't imagine any other version than the Smiths' own. But, I might have to go check this out, now!

Anonymous said...

No idea about the meaning of Keats and Yeats! But Wilde is obviously the author of the Selfish Giant..

Hyena Joe said...

John Keats and William Butler Yeats are poets who wrote of the optimistic side of love, whilst Oscar Wilde took a slightly darker approach.