Frankly, Mr Shankly

Album: The Queen is Dead (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • Guitarist Johnny Marr told the New Musical Express that Morrissey sent a postcard to Linda McCartney asking her to play the piano on this track. However Macca's former missus politely turned down the offer.
  • The song was written by Morrissey and Marr in a "marathon" writing session in the late summer of 1985 at Marr's home along with "I Know It's Over" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out."
  • It is reputed that the song addresses Geoff Travis, the head of the Smiths' record label Rough Trade. Travis acknowledged in an interview with Mojo April 2011 that a line in the song about "bloody awful poetry" was a reference to a poem he had written for Morrissey.
  • Here's what else Travis had to say about the song to Mojo: "It's a funny lyric and the music's galloping rhythm makes me smile too. I love music hall and the whole breezy Max Miller feel was great. I saw the lyric as part of Morrissey's desire to be somewhere else, so it's not completely silly. It was The Smiths' prerogative to leave Rough Trade and Morrissey can only write about his own experiences."

Comments: 2

  • Ali from Edinburgh, United KingdomRumoured to be a dig at rough trade's Geoff Travis.
  • Zabadak from London, England"Mr. Shankly" is the late Bill Shankly, famously the manager of Liverpool Football Club in the 60s and 70s.
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