This song – often cited as The Smiths' "bleakest ballad" - sees a dying man reflect on what he feels was his wasted and lonely life. Many of Morrissey and Johnny Marr's writing sessions for The Smiths involved the pair sitting inches away from each other, face-to-face, while Marr played Morrissey a track on an acoustic guitar, recording it on a tape player between his knees. During one such legendary night in the late summer of 1985 at Marr's home in Bowdon, Greater Manchester, the duo wrote "Frankly, Mr Shankly
," "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
" and this song.