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"Rank", live, 1988, The Smiths


A live album released in 1988. With Craig Gannon on a much-needed 2nd guitar, it probably catches The Smiths at their live best. Compiled by Morrissey himself, and approved by Johnny Marr, the album is a selection of the concert at The National Ballroom, Kilburn, in London, in October 1986.

This album provides an excellent example of The Smiths' ability to switch between wild freneticisms and soft beautiful bathos within the space of minutes, seamlessly. Many of the lyrics have been adapted for the live set in typical Morrissey fashion. A lot of the songs, in their live incarnation, have a verse or two cut from them, to reduce the track length. The title comes from the late film industry mogul J. Arthur Rank, whose production company, among other things, was responsible for the Carry On films.


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THE QUEEN IS DEAD

Farewell to this lands cheerless marches
hemmed in like a boar between arches
her very Lowness with her head in a sling
Im truely sorry-but it sounds like a wonderful thing
dear Charles, dont you ever crave
to appear on the front of the Daily mail
dressed in your Mother's bridal veil?
So, I checked all the registered historical facts
and I was shocked into shame to discover
how Im the 18th pale descendent
of some, old queen or other
has the world changed, or have I changed?
has the world changed, or have I changed?
as some 9-year old tough peddles drugs
(I never even knew what drugs were)
And so, I broke into the Palace
with a sponge and a rusty spanner
she said: "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said: "that's nothing -you should hear me play piano"
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
and we can talk about precious things
but when you are tied to your mother's apron
not one talks about castration
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
and we can talk about precious things
like love and law and poverty
these are the things that kill me
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
and we can talk about precious things
but the rain that flattens my hair
theses are the things that kill me
Passed the Pub that saps your body
and the church who'll snatch your money
the Queen is dead, boys
and it's so lonely on a limb
Pass the Pub that wrecks your body
and the church-all they want is your money
the Queen is dead, boys`
you can trust me, boys
life is very long, when you're lonely
life is very long, when you're lonely...

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PANIC

Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again
on the Leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself
Hopes may rise on the Grasmeres
But Honey Pie, you're not safe here
So you run down
To the safety of the town
But there's Panic on the streets of Carlisle
Dublin, Dundee, Humberside
I wonder to myself
Burn down the Disco
Hang the blessed D.J.
Because the music that they constantly play
IT SAYS NOTHING TO ME ABOUT MY LIFE
Hang the blessed D.J.
Because the music they constantly play
On the Leeds side-streets that you slip down
On the provincial towns that you jog 'round
Hang the D.J.,. Hang the D.J.,.Hang the D.J...

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VICAR IN A TUTU

I was minding mind business
lifting some lead off
the roof of the Holy Name church
it was worthwhile living a laughable life
just to set my eyes on a blistering sight
of a vicar in a tu-tu
he's not strange
he just wants to live his life this way
a scanty bit of a thing
with a decorative ring
that wouldn't cover the head of a child
as Rose collects the money in the cannister
who comes sliding down the bannister
the vicar in a tu-tu
he's not strange
he just wants to live his life this way
the monkish monsignor
with a head full of plaster
said "my man, get your vile soul dry-cleaned"
as Rose counts the money in the cannister
as natural as rain
he dances again
vicar in a tu-tu
The next day in the pulpit
with Freedom and Ease
combating ignoranca,dust and disease
as Rose counts the money in the cannister
as natural as rain
he dances again
the fabric of a tu-tu
any man could get us to
and I am a living sign.

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ASK

Shyness is nice, but
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you'd like to
So, if there's something you'd like to try
ASK ME-I WON'T SAY "NO"-HOW COULD I?
Coyness is nice, but ,
Coyness can stop you
from saying all the things in
life that you want to
If there's something that you'd like to try
ASK ME-I WON'TSAY"NO"-HOW COULD I?
Spending warm, Summer days indoors
Writing fringhtening verse
To a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg
ASK ME, ASK ME ,ASK ME, ASK ME, ASK ME ,ASK ME
Because if it's not Love
Then it's the Bomb
That will bring us together
Nature is a language-can't you read?
Nature is a language-can't you read?
ASK ME, ASK ME ,ASK ME, ASK ME, ASK ME ,ASK ME
Because if it's not Love
Then it's the Bomb
That will bring us together

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MARIE'S THE NAME (HIS LATEST FLAME) / RUSHOLME RUFFIANS

Very old friend
Came by today
As he was telling everyone in town
Of all the love that he'd just found
And Marie's the name (of his latest flame)
Talked and talked
And I heard him say
That she had the longest blackest hair
Prettiest green eyes anywhere
And Marie's the name (of his latest flame)
The last night of the fair
By the big wheel generator
A boy is stabbed
His money is grabbed
And the air hangs heavy like a dulling wine
She is Famous
She is Funny
An engagement ring
Doesn't mean a thing
To a mind consumed by brass (money), oh
The last night of the fair
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
A hideous trait (on her mother's side)
Then someone falls in love
Someone's beaten up
Someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine
And someone falls in love
Someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine
This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"
This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
Oh, if I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"
...Oh, walk home alone
I might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout

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THE BOY WITH THE THORN IN HIS SIDE

The boy with the thorn in his side
behind the hatred there lies
a murderous desire for love
how can they look into my eyes
and still they dont believe me
how can they hear me say those words
and still they dont believe me
and if they don't believe me now
will they ever believe me?
and if they don't believe me now
will they ever believe me?
The boy with the thorn in his side
behind the hatred there lies
a plundering desire for love
how can they see the Love in our eyes
and still they don't believe us
and after all this time
they don't want to believe us
and if they dont believe us now
will they ever believe us ?
andd when you want to Live
how do you start ?
where do you go ?
who do you know?

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RUBBER RING / WHAT SHE SAID

Yeah! What she says :
"How come someone hasn't noticed
That I'm dead
And decided to bury me ?
God knows, I'm ready !"
La-la-la ...
What she said was sad
But then, all the rejection she's had
To pretend to be happy
Could only be idiocy
La-la-la ...
What she said was not for the job or
Lover that she never had
No no no ...
What she read
All heady books
She'd sit and prophesise
(It took a tattooed boy from
Birkenhead
To really really open her eyes)
What she read
All heady books
She'd sit and prophesise
(It took a tattooed boy from
Birkenhead
To really really open her eyes)
What she said :
"I smoke because I'm hoping for an
Early death
AND I NEED TO CLING TO SOMETHING !"
What she said :
"I smoke because I'm hoping for an
Early death
AND I NEED TO CLING TO SOMETHING !"
No no no no ...

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IS IT REALLY SO STRANGE?

I left the North
I travelled South
I found a tiny house
And I can't help the way I feel
Oh yes, you can kick me
And you can punch me
And you can break my face
But you won't change the way I feel
'Cause I love you, Oh ...
And is it really so strange ?
Oh, is it really so strange ?
Oh, is it really so, really so strange ?
I say NO, you say YES
(and you will change your mind)
I left the South
I travelled North
I got confused - I killed a horse
I can't help the way I feel
Oh yes, you can punch me
And you can butt me
And you can break my spine
But you won't change the way I feel
'Cause I love you, Oh ...
And is it really so strange ?
Oh, is it really so strange ?
Oh, is it really so, really so strange ?
I say NO, you say YES
(But you will change your mind)
I left the North again
I travelled South again
And I got confused - I killed a nun
I CAN'T HELP THE WAY I FEEL
(I lost my bag in Newport Pagnell)
Why is the last mile the hardest mile ?
My throat was dry, with the sun in my eyes
And I realised, I realised
I could never
I could never, never, never, go back home again

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CEMETERY GATES

A dreaded sunny day
so I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
so I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
while Wilde is on mine
So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
all those people all those lives
where are they now ?
with loves, and hates
and passions just like mine
they were born
and then they lived and then they died
which seems so unfair
and I wantr to crv
You say: "ere thrice the sun hath done salutation to the dawn"
and you claim these words as your own
but Im well-read, have heard them said
a hundred times (maybe less, maybe more)
if you must write prose/poems
the words you use should be your own
dont plagiarise or take "on loans"
there's alweays someone, somewhere
with a big nose, who knows
and who trips you up and laughs
when you fall
You say: "ere long done do does did "
words which could only be your own
you then produce the text
from whence was ripped
(some dizzy whore, 1804)
A dreaded sunny day
so let's go where we're happy
so I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
so let's go where we're wanted
so I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
but you lose
because Wilde is on mine

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LONDON

Smoke
Lingers 'round your fingers
Train
Heave on - to Euston
Do you think you've made
The right decision this time?
You left
Your tired family grieving
And you think they're sad because you're leaving
But didn't you see the Jealousy in the eyes
Of the ones who had to stay behind?
And do you think you've made
The right decision thins time?
You left
Your girlfriend on the platform
With thei really ragged notion that you'll return
But she knows
That when he goes
He really goes
So do you think you've made
The right decision this time?

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I KNOW IT'S OVER

I can feel the soil falling over my head
And as I climb into an empty bed
Oh well. Enough said.
I know it's over - still I cling
I don't know where else I can go
Over ...
Oh Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head
See, the sea wants to take me
The knife wants to cut me
Do you think you can help me ?
Sad veiled bride, please be happy
Handsome groom, give her room
Loud, loutish lover, treat her kindly
(Though she needs you
More than she loves you)
And I know it's over - still I cling
I don't know where else I can go
Over, it's over, it's over, it's over
It's over, la ...
I know it's over
And it never really began
But in my heart it was so real
And you even spoke to me, and said :
"If you're so funny
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
And if you're so clever
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
I know ...
'Cause tonight - it's just like any other night
That's why you're on your own tonight
Your triumphs and your charms
While they're in each other's arms..."
It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
Over, over, over, over
It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes guts to be gentle and kind
Over, over
Love is Natural and Real
But not for you, my love
Not tonight, my love
Love is Natural and Real
But not for such as you and I, my love
Oh Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head...
Oh Mother, I can feel the soil fall over, fall over my head
Oh Mother, I can feel the ... fall over my ... , Oh ...

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THE DRAIZE TRAIN

A vastly superior version of the instrumental B-side, acting as a peace
offering to Marr (Morrissey chose the tracks for the compilation,
and of course, receives no royalties on this track).

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STILL ILL

I decree today that life
is simply taking and not giving
England is mine and it owes me a living
ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
but we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
no, we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
Does the body rule the mind
or does the mind rule the body?
I dunno...
Under the iron bridge we kissed
and although I ended up with sore lips
it just wasn't like the old days anymore
no, it wasn't like those days
am I still ill?
Does the body rule the mind
or does the mind rule the body ?
I dunno...
Ask me why, and I'll die
ask me why, and I'll die
and if you must go to work tomorrow
well, if I were you I wouldn't bother
for there are brighter sides to life
and I should know because I've seen them
but not very often...
under the iron bridge we kissed
and although I ended up with sore lips
it just wasn't like the old days anymore
no, it wasn't like those days
am I still ill?

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BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN

Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
when I said Id like to smash every tooth
in your head
Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
when I said by right s you should be
bludgeoned in your bed
and now I know how Joan of Arc felt
now I know how Joan of Arc felt
as the flames roseto her roman nose
and her Walkman stared to melt
Bibmouth, bigmouth
bigmouth strikes again
and Ive got no right to take my place
with the Human race
and now I know how Joan of Arc felt
now I know of Joan of Arc felt
as the flames rose to her roman nose
and her hearing aid started to melt
Bigmouth, bigmouth
bigmouth strikes again
and Ive got no right to take my place
with the Human race

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Other albums with all songs and lyrics:

The Smiths: Morrissey:

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This Page was created by David Rapava
22 May 1998