“This Night Has Opened My Eyes” by The Smiths

Some women are such that aborting a pregnancy may not seem to affect them one way or another. But as for others, psychological/emotional recovery from such a serious act may be long coming, if ever. And such a concept is what this song is centered on.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Smiths's This Night Has Opened My Eyes at Lyrics.org.

The subject is a young lady who apparently was seduced by a man significantly older than herself. That decision ultimately results in her being impregnated, while he is nowhere to be found.

The implication would be that the subject is so young that she is totally unprepared for such a responsibility. That would be why she is tempted to do away with the child, which she eventually does. And even though the lyrics infer infanticide, all things considered (i.e. the source of the narrative, which we will get to later) what Morrissey and co. are actually referring to is abortion.

Song’s Title (“This Night Has Opened My Eyes”)

Getting straight to the point, the song’s conclusion reads like in the aftermath of making that decision, resultantly the subject is faced with a future guilt, remorse and regret. For instance, seeing a random child at play ‘reminds her of her own’, as if she is haunted, if you will. And such is what the title is meant to allude to.

The evening in which she committed the abortion is termed as the ‘night that opened her eyes’. And what that metaphor translates to, most simply put, is the subject having done something which will worry her conscience forevermore (i.e. henceforth ‘never sleeping again’, as in truly being unable to rest). And this is despite the fact, as relayed in the chorus, that she is seemingly doing her best to take the matter nonchalantly.


In the end, it wouldn’t be out of the way to suggest that this is akin to a pro-life piece. The vocalist never goes as far as to judge the subject or evaluate the morality of her decision. Rather, he depicts her as someone who has irreversibly altered her future, presumably without being fully aware of the consequences beforehand. So now, the emotional ramifications of it all is something she has to deal with.

“Oh, save your life
Because you’ve only got one
The dream has gone
But the baby is real
Oh, you did a good thing
She could have been a poet
Or, she could have been a fool
Oh, you did a bad thing
And I’m not happy
And I’m not sad”

Facts about “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”

This song was inspired by a 1958 play entitled A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney (1938-2011). It should be noted that Delaney is actually one of Morrissey’s utmost favorite artists.

This is a track which The Smiths dropped on 12 November 1984, as featured on “Hatful of Hollow”, the band’s first compilation album.

Morrissey teamed up with his Smiths’ bandmate Johnny Marr to write this song. And the entire band – which consisted of Morrissey, Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce – produced it with Roger Pusey.  Additionally, this song was composed in conjunction with BBC 1 initiative known as the Peel Sessions.

This Night Has Opened My Eyes

Comments from Fans


“In our living room, a cherished photograph graces the walls, transporting my wife and I back to the days when we were young high school sweethearts. The picture was taken at the renowned Brixton Academy on that memorable night of December 12, 1986. Oh, how vividly that evening remains etched in my memory. We were both radiating with excitement, adorned in our finest attire, eagerly anticipating The Smiths’ live show featuring the complete band lineup.

As the night unfolded, a magical moment unfolded before our eyes. The band took the stage, and their performance of ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’ enveloped us in its brilliance. The haunting vocals, mesmerizing guitar melodies, pulsating basslines, and rhythmic drums created an atmosphere that resonated deep within our souls. It was a sublime experience, one that made every second spent in that crowded venue absolutely worthwhile.

Since that night, I’ve longed for the chance to attend another concert by The Smiths, but fate has yet to grant me that opportunity. Nevertheless, the memories and emotions evoked by that singular performance continue to inspire me. That photograph in our living room is not merely a snapshot frozen in time; it’s a symbol of our shared love for The Smiths and the profound impact their music has had on us, forever reminding us of that extraordinary night when we witnessed The Smiths’ brilliance firsthand.”


“There’s an inexplicable allure in the ominous vocals and ethereal atmosphere of ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’. It carries a sense of melancholy and sadness, yet there’s a profound calmness and acceptance that lingers. The line ‘I’m not happy and I’m not sad‘ encapsulates this complex emotional state perfectly. Every element, from the vocals to the guitar, drums and bass blends together flawlessly, creating an almost flawless composition. It’s no wonder that ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’ holds a special place in the hearts of the average Smiths’ fan. It has become a favorite among many, capturing the essence of the band’s unique appeal.”

NANCY says:

“There’s a particular line in the song that strikes me with an immense force every time I hear it: ‘the dream has gone, but the baby is real‘. It’s a moment that encapsulates the abrupt shift from a blissful, idealized existence to the harsh realities of life. The jolt of realization, the acceptance that this is the path one must tread—it’s truly remarkable. This song, without a doubt, stands as a masterpiece, and The Smiths showcased their brilliance as both storytellers and songwriters. The composition itself is a fusion of complexity and smoothness.

The synergy between Marr’s instrumental prowess and Morrissey’s distinctive vocals is unparalleled, a match made in musical heaven. Their combined talent creates an incomparable experience that leaves an indelible mark on fans and listeners. Yet, as much as I admire their artistry, I find myself yearning for the immortality of the entire band. Alas, it remains but a dream. May we pay our respects to Andy Rourke, whose recent passing on May 19, 2023, marks the end of an era. As a legendary member of The Smiths, his contribution to their music will forever be remembered. Rest in peace, Andy Rourke, a true icon whose legacy will endure.”


“I was beyond lucky to witness Morrissey perform ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’ live for the first time since the demise of The Smiths. The performance in question took place in August of 2021 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The experience was overwhelmingly beautiful. I actually cried with immense joy throughout the performance and after. And to think that I almost didn’t buy tickets for that show! Another beautiful highlight of that night was seeing Alain Whyte brilliantly take the traditional place of Boz Boorer on guitar. And my goodness, he did so much justice to it! It was nice seeing Whyte being a member of Morrissey’s band again.”

The “Hatful of Hollow” Album

On the 12th of November, 1984, English rock band, The Smiths, released a compilation album with the title, “Hatful of Hollow”.

The band welcomed assistance from the following record producers in the production of the album:

  • John Porter
  • Roger Pusey
  • Dale “Buffin” Griffin

London based Rough Trade Records and Warner Music Group’s Sire Records were responsible for the release of the album.

This compilation album spent 46 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 7.

In 2000, it was placed at No. 44 on music magazine, Q’s “100 Greatest British Albums Ever”.

17 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    good song

  2. Anonymous says:

    Only men can assume that most women regrets an abortion

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well didn’t that age poorly that men made the decision to get rid of them in total

  4. Anonymous says:

    Too bad it’s got a pro life narrative to it. I like to wish it was unbiased. Bleh. Whatever.

    • Anonymous says:

      still a bomb ass song

    • Anonymous says:

      I would take that comment with a grain of salt, since it’s just the writer’s opinion. The more realistic takeaway is this song is just a lovely exploration of the feelings of ambivalence that follow giving up a child. Just because there’s some regret doesn’t mean it’s pro-life. That’s really how it feels, and real life isn’t black and white.

      • Anonymous says:

        100%. btw the only reference to the child dying is about putting the child underwater, but then its wrapped in newspaper and dropped off on a doorstep pretty much. And its obvious he was saying like, the child could have been a poet or could have been a fool, and i wonder if he is meaning that the mother wasn’t ready to be one and could have given the child a good life, but most likely given the child a shitty life. And its funny that people that dont have kids just think that somehow you will not have emotions about giving up or losing a child, no matter your dumb ass political beliefs, that shit hurts bad.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sure the song is deliberately ambiguous. The mother may have drowned the infant in the Irwell, or put them on a doorstep. The postulations on the future are also ambiguous the mother doesn’t know, very northern phraseology is used in “could have been” it is very much in Schrödinger territory. Over all, bleak, atmospheric and very Manchester in the early 1980’s. Such a shame, a legacy has been trampled by the career defining racism of the last decade. Irish roots, fascist overtones. Sad.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think the lyrics are sympathetic to a situation many girls & women find themselves in– dealing with the consequences for the irresponsible behavior of boys/men. The song reflects how hard it is, no matter what choice you make. I don’t think the song makes a judgement, it describes how some people experience this. As a person who had an abortion myself, at age 19, after being abandoned by the older man who got me pregnant, it was very hard. I’m much older now, and okay, but sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to have a 31-year-old child instead of my oldest being 19. Every single thing in my life would have been different. Every single thing.

  7. izy says:

    Ever since i read this i cry every time i hear this song. it puts a whole new perspective in place. I used to just be bopping to this song w/o really paying attention to the lyrics, but i really just realized wht he was saying and i was so confused, i had to look it up and i wasn’t expecting this. The empath in me feels so bad, its like the women in the song would’ve liked to keep the baby and thinks about/is constantly reminded how her child’s life could’ve been but she knew she probably couldn’t have given them her life she deserved or raised her in a good way. (please don’t come at me thisis just the way i see it) but its still a banger. banger melody, emotional, deeper then surface lyrics. the best kind of songs.

  8. CJP says:

    This song completetly epitomizes the classic dualities of Morrissey. Are we sad? Are we happy? Are we both all at once–yes! How do you accept the relief of many sad events? Are we straight? Are we gay? Who knows! Do I love and hate Morrissey all at once? Yes and no.

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