The fourth and final single from his number-one album Ringleader Of The Tormentors is quite an unusual entry into the Morrissey canon. Instead of questioning his own lack of love, or filling the shoes of someone else who feels similarly, our protagonist instead finds himself resigned to his fate - and, feeling unable to change his own position, instead seeks to change that of someone else dear to him.
As with several of his more recent songs, Morrissey brings religion into the equation; the song indeed begins "Lord, these words I beg of you". This soon develops into accusations, as he demands "I just want to see the boy happy / with his arms around his first love / is that too much to ask?" If he cannot be happy in his own life, he claims, why should someone else have to go through the same?
Mortality is another theme prevalent in Morrissey's music, both with the Smiths and without, and it crops up again here, too. With a frank "Let's face it, soon I will be dead", he seems quite resigned to this, which only adds to the intensity of his questioning. At no point does he seem spiteful - indeed, the whole tone of the song seems to be from one who accepts almost without question how his life has proceeded - but neither does he relent, shying from outright attacks but his intent quite clear.
Starting with a strong buzz from the guitars, the song is one of the faster-paced numbers on the LP, not relenting from its quite aggressive sound except briefly during the chorus - pausing as Moz sings the title, before returning strong as ever. Unusually for one of his songs, however, the band ventures out from its guitars-bass-drums routine, adding trumpets courtesy of Michael Farrell. The sound is tight and polished as ever, and on the whole this track is one of the highlights of the album: the penultimate track, it gives us one more chance to hear a "rockier" track before the album's closer, the slower At Last I Am Born.
The song was released on the album Ringleader Of The Tormentors as track number 11. It was then later released as a single on December 4, 2006 on the following formats, reaching number 16:
Later, on January 22, 2007
, a 12" single
was released as a picture disc, in the UK only, limited to 1,000 copies.
- The 12" had these tracks:
- I Just Want To See The Boy Happy (Morrissey/Tobias)
- Sweetie-Pie (Morrissey/Farrell)
- I Want The One I Can't Have (Morrissey/Marr) - live at the Royal Albert Hall, 2002
- Speedway (Morrissey/Boorer) - live at the Royal Albert Hall, 2002
- Late Night, Maudlin Street (Morrissey/Street) - live at the Royal Albert Hall, 2002
Compiled using my own copies of the singles, album, and Passions Just Like Mine. All lyrics by Morrissey.