Your Dictionary
by XTC

Album: Apple Venus Volume 1 (1999)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • XTC lead singer Andy Partridge was in the midst of a nasty divorce when he wrote this angry track with scathing lyrics like "S-H-I- *, is that how you spelled me in your dictionary?"

    "It's straightforward anger," Partridge told Daniel Rachel, author of The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters. "Almost the second I'd finished writing the song I thought to myself, 'I feel better about that situation now and we don't necessarily have to record it, but dammit, I should demo it because it's not a bad song, and maybe it'll make a B-side if we're lucky or it'll creep out somewhere or I could use parts of it to write a better song.'"
  • Although the song was clearly a shot at his ex-wife ("So let's close the book and let the day begin,
    And our marriage be undone"), Partridge didn't have bad intentions when he wrote it. He told SFGate in 1999: "I didn't write it to hurt. I wrote it to alleviate this incredible backup of pus that was building up in my head. I was a cuckold husband twice over, and me being Mr. Loyal, that was really painful. The song came really quickly, but I had to be cajoled into doing it for the album. I know it's going to hurt terribly. It's not going to hurt me, but it's going to hurt her. I'd like to think that all's well that ends well, but we don't know yet. The s-- is still in midair. It has not struck the fan yet."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."