November Spawned A Monster

Album: Bona Drag (1990)
Charted: 12

Songfacts®:

  • Morrissey wrote this from the viewpoint of a disabled woman who is sick of the sympathy she receives because of her condition. Some organizations criticized Morrissey for mocking the disabled.
  • The female vocals in the middle were Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O'Hara. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2

Comments: 7

  • Diane from Las VegasI finally read the lyrics. Always loved the beat but thought it was about bullies or something lol. Ironically, I am a social worker for disabled people. I was smitten watching Moz dance in the video and finally read the lyrics. This is a topic no one likes to discuss let alone sing about. Sad to say that is the truth, trust me I know! His profound empathy and ability to see life from a disabled woman’s perspective blew me away. Down to the right to choose what she wears. This has only made me love him more, if that’s possible.
  • Ryan from Pittsfield, MaChris, this isn't about incest. i think you may be projecting a bit, lol. the lines you were talking about are about the girl regretting actually being conceived. mad mad lovers must pause and draw the line. also the part about kissing her on the mouth or anywhere is a comment about revulsion, again not incest. the idea of this song is to force the listener to confront their personal feelings about disabled people and literally forced us to empathize. i'd heard this track a dozen times then started to listen for the lyrics and was crushed by this empathy. my facorite moz track now.
    you can't take pieces of lyrics and form ideas about a whole song. you should look for continuity and see how the imagery fits together to get understand the meaning.
    ryan
  • Keith from Blacksburg, VaActually, I think Morrissey got the character from this story from a British woman (I think) who suffered from neurofibromatosis. The reason I make this connection is that I once read an article (I have no idea where, but maybe sometime between 1980-1990?) of a woman who was severely disfigured by neurofibromatosis, and underwent a marathon surgery to remove her neurofibromas and get reconstructive surgery. (I think one of her eyes could not be saved, and was replaced by a prosthetic). Anyways, at the end of the article, there is a sentence about how she was "looking forward to going out and buying new clothes for herself," which of course mirrors the line near the end of the song. SO that's my hunch.
  • Viktoria from AlbertaThis is one of my fav Moz songs!!!
    I love it !
    And Chris, Harrisburg, PA,: it's definitly about disabled people; 'A frame of useless limbs'
  • T.k. from Milwaukee, WiI always thought this song was about how people can be so unaccepting of disabled people or really anyone who's thought to be odd. I don't think he was saying how he felt but rather how society felt, and was challenging them to "kiss her full of the mouth", or in other words, get close to them. How many times have you seen a disabled person and looked away or immediately felt uncomfortable? I know I have.
  • Chris from Harrisburg, PaWell, I've never heard any official confirmation about what this song is about but after listening to it very carefully, i've come to the conclusion that this song is actually from two different view points and is actually about incest. call me crazy, but that's just what i hear...
    the first verse is about the child, deformed from the "bad that's been done"...
    "And if the lights were out
    Could you even bear
    To kiss her full on the mouth
    (Or anywhere?)" - that's in reference to one sibling to another...
    "A symbol of where mad, mad lovers
    Must PAUSE and draw the line."- this is what tipped me off to it possibly being about incest, because even if a person is disabled, why should a line be drawn? it has to mean something else, and then put with the top part of "even if the lights were out, etc" i figured it was about a brother and sister having a kid who happened to be deformed. as for the title of the song, i'm thinking it may have been something that was in a paper and made news, hence the writing of the song. i don't know, this is just my feelings on teh song since i've never heard anything official.
  • Steve from Chino Hills, CaOne thing I never understood about the song was that he painted a very bad portrait of the subject. "If the lights were out could you even dare, to kiss her full on the mouth, or anywhere?" "Jesus made me so Jesus save me from pity, sympathy, and people discussing me, a frame of useless limbs what good could be made of the bad that's been done?" Then he calls her "A symbol of where mad,mad must stop and draw the line." So, what the dealo Morrissey? Is she the poserchild for celebancy?
    The song shines a strong spotlight on people society has tried to sweep under the rug. It focuses on this gal's aspirations for normalcy and things we take for granted. Morrissey should be commended!
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