Bigmouth Strikes Again

Album: The Queen Is Dead (1986)
Charted: 26
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is an attack on the demanding and merciless media. Front man, Morrissey, describes being hounded by the press and even compares himself to the French martyr, Joan of Arc.
  • The shrill voice in the background of this song is Morrissey's tuned to a higher pitch. This caused a great deal of hilarity at the time of recording. "He could hear himself sounding like one of The Chipmunks or Pinky and Perky and he was rolling on the floor laughing," bassist, Andy Rourke, recalled to NME. "Maybe in the end they just took a sample of him singing 'Bigmouth…' normally and tuned it up because he was laughing so much he couldn't pull it together." The sleeve notes credit the backing vocals to "Ann Coates," which is a pun on Ancoats, a district in Manchester, England.
  • The lyrics refer to Joan of Arc's melting hearing aid. At the time of the song's release, Morrissey had taken to wearing a hearing aid when performing, in a show of support for a hearing-impaired fan who had recently written to him: "I did it to show the fan that deafness shouldn't be some sort of stigma that you try to hide."
  • Guitarist, Johnny Marr, told Guitar Player that this was The Smiths' answer to The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash": "With 'Bigmouth Strikes Again', I was trying to write my 'Jumpin' Jack Flash.' I wanted something that was a rush all the way through, without a distinct middle eight as such."
  • The British rock band, Placebo, did a cover version of this song, in which Joan of Arc's "Walkman" was replaced with a "Discman." Nowadays, when Morrissey performs this song live, he changes it to an "iPod."
  • This song inspired Noel Gallagher to write the Oasis number, "My Big Mouth."
  • A photograph of James Dean was used for the single artwork. In 1983, before The Smiths hit the big time, Morrissey published a book about the actor called James Dean Is Not Dead. Morrissey later spoke of his affinity with Dean: "Nobody had a passion for him as I did - for that constant uneasiness with life."
  • At Marr's insistence, this was the first single to be released from The Queen Is Dead. The guitarist told One Rad Song: "Everyone wanted to put out 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' as the first single but I insisted that 'Bigmouth...' should be the first new thing people heard from The Queen Is Dead. I'm glad I did."
  • Kirsty MacColl sang backing vocals on this. Some time later, Johnny Marr briefly became MacColl's London tenant and the pair began writing together. The working relationship resulted in several memorable songs, including MacColl's hit single "Walking Down Madison."
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Comments: 22

  • Evan from United StatesAlso, the video game No More Heroes Travis Strikes Again not only references No More Heroes by the Stranglers, by also this song. The ending song is proof of this as it quotes the song in the part “Now I know how Joan of Arc felt as her Walkman started to melt”.
  • Sheridan from Rome, ItalyMorrissey wore a hearing aid in tribute to Johnny Ray, not to 'hearing impared fans'.
  • April from Raleigh, Nceven though this is trivial morrissey replaced hearing aid & walk man with i pod in 2007 & 2009 tours in houston tx.
  • Jeff from Austin, Txeasily one of the top 20 songs of all time. Im so happy to see all the comments on here about other band's versions. EXTREMELY interesting.(sarcasm)
  • Jeremy from Scottsdale, AzI interpret a bit of blasphemy in the lines about Joan of Arc's hearing aid and Walkman. As if he's saying her holy visions were not holy at all. Good 'ol Morrissey, always fighting the establishment. The part about her Roman nose is probably a stab at the French too. ; )
  • Przemek from Warsaw, Polandit's spelled "Bigmouth"
  • Khazar from Ergf, Spainmy english is poor but my understanding is high. And that's what I understand: Morrisey is misunderstanded, and that's precisely what he pretends to say. Because He speaks too frankly, he's being burnt (metaphorically of course) like Joan of arc. That's why he says he knows how she feels.
    OK?
  • Tom from Portsmouth, EnglandThe Song also carries a message about "keeping your mouth shut", bignouth refairs to somebody talking to much, this someone is Joan of Arc who claimed to be recieving visions from God, the hearing aid and walkman refair to the voice of God talking to her. when she is burnt they are melted, symbolizing how God did not save her. Baisically, think about the consiquences of what you say.
  • Janice from Folsom, CaI have a friend who thought that the lyrics "When I said I?d like to smash every tooth/ In your head" were "When I said I'd like to smash burritos/ In your hair."
  • Dennis from Chicagoland Burrows, IlBen From Manchester the world would have hope if there were more like you
  • Matt from West Springfield, Mathank you ben, manchester, england. There are too many kids today with crappy taste in music. Thank God for people like you. I find it hard to believe that people could hear this and not like it.I am 17 years old, but have a taste in music that reaches much farther back then my birth year of 1988. Ben, you are my hero for the day!
  • Robbie from Bristol, England, United StatesThe backing vocals on this song are morrisseys - his voice is sped up
  • Smarty from Los Angeles, CaJoan of Arc was french, not roman. Roman refers to the shape of her (fictional) nose.
  • Ben from Manchester, Englandmorrissey is a genius!!! i am 13 years old and LOVE the smiths who says our generation dont appriciate quallity like the smiths infact i have this song and several other smiths songs on my mp3 player jonny marr rocks. MORRISSEY TAKE A BOW!!!
  • Rob from Santa Monica, CaThe opening chords are very similar to "Crazy on You" by Heart. Still, this is one of my favorite Smiths songs, especially the "highlander" guitar solo.
  • Naomi from Wexford, Irelandmorrissey has recently been replacing walkman with i-pod..as i have witnessed at his latest dublin gig.
  • Dean from York, Englandin 1996 on the 10th aniversary of 'the queen is dead' album a tribute album was released called the smiths is dead. it has some fantastic covers by placebo, supergrass, therapy? and loads more.
  • Alex from Austin, TxThe Placebo version mentions "megadrive" in place of "hearing aid"
  • Stephanie from Aurich, GermanyThe version of "Big Mouth Strikes Again" on the Album "Rank" is great, just like "Still Ill", "Ask" "Panic" and "The Queen Is Dead".
    SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!!!
  • X-d from Haifa, Israel'Treepeople' did a cover for this song, where "When I said by rights you should be
    Bludgeoned in your bed" was replaced with "when I said that I am gonna miss you in your death"
  • Rian from London, United StatesI prefer the Placebo version but i like the original too. I dont think Placebo mention a hearing aid in their version
  • Janelle from New York City, Nyi love this song! i think that Morrisswy's voice is so awsome!
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