Meaning of “Reel Around the Fountain” by The Smiths
Reel Around the Fountain is a Smiths‘ song which talks about the loss of innocence. Speaking with Rolling Stone magazine, Smiths’ singer Morrissey said of the meaning of the song as one that is about the “loss of innocence”, and that until a person has a “physical commitment” with someone else, there’s going to be “something childlike” about the person’s soul, hence the birth of the famous line, in which Morrissey sings about taking a child and making “him old”. It is worth noting that the lyrics of the song are very rife with sexual undertones and connotations with phrases such as “fifteen minutes with you”, “the haven of your bed” and “reel around the fountain”. Also, it must be known that over the years, a number of tabloid papers and music critics have suggested that the lyrics of Reel Around the Fountain condone child abuse.
Facts about “Reel Around the Fountain”
- The song was written by Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr and Morrissey. Marr wrote the music while Morrissey wrote the lyrics of the song. According to Marr, he got the melody of the song while he was trying to use his guitar to play the smash hit song Handy Man by American singer Jimmy Jones.
- The line in which Morrissey sings about dreaming about someone “last night” and falling out of his “bed twice” was taken from the famous 1958 Shelagh Delaney play A Taste Of Honey. Many Smiths’ fans were unhappy when they found out that the line in question wasn’t Morrissey’s original creation.
- The piano on the song was played by English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Carrack who has worked with several other famous artists such as Elton John, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and B.B. King, among others.
- The song is the 1st track from The Smiths’ self-titled album that came out in 1984.
- The song has a total length of 5 minutes and 58 seconds.