Meaning of “Bigmouth Strikes Again” by The Smiths

Bigmouth Strike Again is a Smiths’ song whose lyrics are about the protagonist being fed up of the constant attacks and criticisms he receives on account of the things that he says. According to Morrissey, the lyrics are directed at the press for constantly hounding him. In the song, The Smiths’ singer Morrissey’s frustration with the attitude of the press forces him to compare himself to the legendary French heroine Joan of Arc who was accused of a number of crimes, including heresy before being burned at the stake in 1431. She was only 19 years old when she died.

Bigmouth Strikes Again lyrics.

Facts about “Bigmouth Strikes Again”

  • Guitarist Johnny Marr wrote the music for Bigmouth Strikes Again whereas Morrissey wrote the song’s lyrics.
  • According to Marr, during the writing process of the Bigmouth Strikes Again, his main aim was to write a song very similar to the 1968 song titled Jumpin’ Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones.
  • The song was recorded in 1985 and released on May 22nd, 1986 as the lead single from The Smiths third studio album The Queen Is Dead.
  • The song peaked at number 26 on the UK Singles Chart.
  • The song’s cover art features a photograph of the legendary American actor James Dean who is Morrissey’s idol.
  • The high-pitched backing vocals in the background of the song are attributed to a “female singer” called Ann Coates. But in real fact, the backing vocals are that of Morrissey whose voice was technologically altered in the studio to sound very shrill. And as for the singer Ann Coates, she never existed. The name is derived from Ancoats, an area in the city of Manchester, England.
  • The lyrics, in which Morrissey sings about the French heroine Joan of Arc’s “hearing aid melting”, is usually changed slightly whenever Morrissey performs the song live. He often replaces the “walkman” with the modern day gadget “IPod”.
  • The Noel Gallagher penned song for Oasis titled My Big Mouth from the band’s Be Here Now album was inspired by Bigmouth Strikes Again. Gallagher is a huge fan of The Smiths.
  • The song has been covered by different bands over the years, including English rock band Placebo and the American alternative rock band Treepeople.

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