Best place to find the meaning/ interpretations of Smith lyrics?

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cripplecreek ®

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Post 18-Sep-2007 23:35

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Anyone have a book or website they recommend for figuring out these puzzles?
for instance: In TQID I have no earthly idea what "Hemmed in like a boar between arches" could mean. At least "arches" is word I keep finding when I search for TQID lyrics - if it were "archers" I wouldn't be so confused lol.
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batnaMMV

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Post 19-Sep-2007 17:28 (after 17 hours)

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Try this site:
http://www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~moz/lyrics/lyricsin.htm
It gives suggested interpretations for all Smiths songs and some Moz ones too.
For TQID there is a couple of suggestions for the lyric you mention:
"It has been pointed out to me that the line "Hemmed in like a boar between arches" could contain a slight pun. Although the line is written like this in the lyric sheet, it sounds like "arches" could be "archers". Rather than a grunting pig stuck in an archway too narrow, this brings up a much more interesting image of the hounded boar surrounded by malevolent bowsmen.
It has also been brought to my attention that the "arches" could be referring to the infamous Golden Arches of Mcdonald's; I wouldn't be surprised to see Morrissey try and lever another subject in there".
Hope that helps.
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cheesestraws

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Post 19-Sep-2007 17:41 (after 12 minutes)

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http://www.amazon.com/Smiths-Songs-That-Saved-Your/dp/1903111471
Try this.....
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mg196

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Post 20-Sep-2007 04:39 (after 10 hours)

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Yeah, Songs That Saved Your Life is THE resource for that info.
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SweetFA

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Post 20-Sep-2007 22:10 (after 17 hours)

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I'd say it's archers hunting boar rather than arches.
That it may have been written down arches doesn't mean it's not a typo, look at Cemetry Gates!
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cripplecreek ®

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Post 21-Sep-2007 21:33 (after 23 hours)

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Thanks for all the info. He's not the kind of lyricist you can just listen to and 'get it' which is one reason I like his style. Research. It's what you've got to do to understand the great ones, be it Yeats, Frost, Twain, or the Moz.
This place, y'all, have helped me immensely. This place took me from a (new) Smiths fan to a fan who's beginning to learn why they're so great.
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batnaMMV

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Post 22-Sep-2007 09:55 (after 12 hours)

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There is another website that continues on the same theme, as the LASID one isn't being updated anymore. I've managed to find the link after looking through my favourites.
http://prettypettythieves.com/moz/sourcessmiths.htm
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Reint

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Post 03-Mar-2008 07:52 (after 5 months 10 days)

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I'd say it's archers hunting boar rather than arches.
That it may have been written down arches doesn't mean it's not a typo, look at Cemetry Gates!
Vicar in a Tutu also. Morrissey sings clearly 'goose' instead of the 'official' 'child'.
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El Womble

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Post 08-Jun-2011 18:05 (after 3 years 3 months)

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I don't doubt that it's possible to read a lot of meanings into this track but given the royal context I think this one's pretty easy, you just need to know a little English literature/history.
Richard of York (who became Richard III), used the boar as his heraldic symbol. As far as I'm aware the boar in literature never refers to anyone else because it's used so extensively as both metaphor and similie for Richard by Shakespeare.
Prior to becoming King Richard III, Richard was Duke of Gloucester, Gloucester is in the west of England bordering Wales, it is part of the region that used to be referred to as the Western Marches.
The arch is a symbol of monarchic piety in medieval art (since the murder of Thomas Becket). Monarchs — including Richard — were depicted framed by arches to associate them with both the church and the establishment (the subtext being that the world will come to an end if the monarch is deposed). (I'm fairly sure the British Museum has some coins imprinted with an image of Richard, stood on a boar, framed by arches.) The arches in the lyric refer to the institution of monarch, although poetically it might also refer to the literal crown.
Richard was a reluctant monarch, the death of his elder brother Edward IV and the minority of his nephews forced Richard to become first Lord Protector and later King.
Richard III was a good king, ushering in a period of peace after decades of civil war. However, he was betrayed, and murdered at the battle of bosworth. He was posthumously accused of murdering his nephews (princes in the tower) by his deposer, Henry VII. In actually Henry was probably responsible and Richard's 'crimes' were just propaganda designed to support the new regime — Josephine Tey's 'The Daughter of Time' is an excellent analysis of this.
Moz is saying (if we assume Morrissey intends himself as the narrator in the song) that although he may have gotten ideas above his station in leaving the provinces — tongue firmly in cheek for that bit — , he's a good man who's become trapped by circumstances and that he's being unfairly vilified.
Similar sentiments crop up repeated in Morrissey lyrics, Bigmouth Strikes Again from the same album springs to mind.
JMO
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SweetFA

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Post 09-Jun-2011 07:26 (after 13 hours)

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Tuesday's Horrible Histories had a bit about The War Of The Roses and a Richard III song.
Superb programme, in case anyone in the UK hasn't seen it yet....
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