What Difference Does It Make?

Album: The Smiths (1984)
Charted: 12


  • This song is about being rejected by a close friend after they find out a secret about you. Some fans believe The Smiths' front man, Morrissey, is singing about how he was snubbed by a friend after revealing that he was gay.
  • Morrissey told Following The Mozziah that he was not at all fond of this song's lyrics: "'What Difference Does It Make' is musically interesting but lyrically it is very...Simon Le Bon [Duran Duran]. I find the lyrics facile and mildly embarrassing. Otherwise it's a majestic pop melody by Johnny and, ironically, had the lyrics indeed been penned by Simon Le Bon, I would probably cover it! As it is I'd feel too ashamed."
  • The Smiths planned to use a photograph of Terrence Stamp on the set of the 1965 film, The Collector, for the single artwork. Stamp initially denied the band the use of his image, so Morrissey re-enacted the photograph instead. Stamp later changed his mind, and the original artwork was printed as planned. Those early pressings with the alternative Morrissey artwork are now very collectable.
  • This song is lifted from The Smiths' self-titled debut album, which peaked at #2 in the UK in 1984. In 2003, the album ranked at #481 on Rolling Stone magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.