Morrissey A-Z: 'Alma Matters'

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
That would give it a different meaning - why was Alain's flat in his mind?????
It's probably just a coincidence.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
It's probably just a coincidence.
Alma Street/Road/Terrace/etc is a very common street name in the UK, presumably dating from the late 19th century and named after the Crimean battle. Unless there were a specific reference to a specific street I wouldn't attach too much importance to it.
'Alma' is Latin for 'nourishing' ('Alma Mater' = 'Nourishing Mother'.) But again I'm not sure very much should be read into that either.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
Alma Street/Road/Terrace/etc is a very common street name in the UK, presumably dating from the late 19th century and named after the Crimean battle. Unless there were a specific reference to a specific street I wouldn't attach too much importance to it.
'Alma' is Latin for 'nourishing' ('Alma Mater' = 'Nourishing Mother'.) But again I'm not sure very much should be read into that either.
I know.
I just mentioned the street because Alain did during the Maladjusted listening party and that had stuck with me.
 
T

Trans

Guest
I like this song a lot for a lot of the reasons people might not enjoy it for. I like that it doesn’t soar and is reputations. It all adds to the chill composed vibe of the song. The resignation. After southpaw which I don’t like it was cool to see him a bit chiller and relaxing a bit like everything was just fine. His body language in the video just doubles down on that feeling imo. The guitar line is also classic morrissey and it’s very catchy
 
T

Trans

Guest
I'd definitely agree that it's too long, otherwise it would have been a very radio friendly, almost mainstream sounding single, because it's so easily accessible - and something tells me that's the precise reason Morrissey lets it go on for almost 5 minutes.

Another song that is carried mostly by the vocal melody. Lots of fun to sing along with.

The lyrics are... a bit cryptic. Morrissey once gave an explanation which he retracted later on:

"Well... it really does mean something specific. I think it means that we should be pleased and proud of the female side of our character, of our nature. Or if we're female, we should be proud of the male side of our character and give it just as much import as the other side. So, everything's fine, it doesn't matter how you behave."

But it made me wonder about the lines

"Alma matters in mind
body and soul
in part and in hole"

Why is it "hole"? Not "whole"? In connection with his explanation about embracing our female/male sides etc, which "parts" is he actually talking about? I feel like the whole lyric is some kind of in-joke that you can't get unless you're inside Morrissey's mind and that "Alma" is merely a placeholder for something else. (Besides the obvious Alma matters/Alma mater pun.)

The reason why he's become so fond of singing it live in recent years seems rather obvious to me: The choices he has made may seem wrong (or strange) to us, but it's his life to ruin his own way...

The video is one of his greatest. Sexy as hell as well.

move no idea what the lyrics are about but it just makes me think of a grave. Body and dividing into parts one somewhere and the part in a hole in the ground
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I've now had the chorus of this song in my head for the last hour - serves me right, I suppose, for my lack of appreciation earlier in this thread!
 

This Charming Bowie

Welcome to this knockabout world
I'd definitely agree that it's too long, otherwise it would have been a very radio friendly, almost mainstream sounding single, because it's so easily accessible - and something tells me that's the precise reason Morrissey lets it go on for almost 5 minutes.

Another song that is carried mostly by the vocal melody. Lots of fun to sing along with.

The lyrics are... a bit cryptic. Morrissey once gave an explanation which he retracted later on:

"Well... it really does mean something specific. I think it means that we should be pleased and proud of the female side of our character, of our nature. Or if we're female, we should be proud of the male side of our character and give it just as much import as the other side. So, everything's fine, it doesn't matter how you behave."

But it made me wonder about the lines

"Alma matters in mind
body and soul
in part and in hole"

Why is it "hole"? Not "whole"? In connection with his explanation about embracing our female/male sides etc, which "parts" is he actually talking about? I feel like the whole lyric is some kind of in-joke that you can't get unless you're inside Morrissey's mind and that "Alma" is merely a placeholder for something else. (Besides the obvious Alma matters/Alma mater pun.)

The reason why he's become so fond of singing it live in recent years seems rather obvious to me: The choices he has made may seem wrong (or strange) to us, but it's his life to ruin his own way...

The video is one of his greatest. Sexy as hell as well.
I've always thought that 'Alma' is some sort of embodiment of femininity and that the chorus lyrics are imploring others to (like Morrissey said in your quoted interview) "embrace [their] female...sides" as a way of accepting others - the 'someone, somewhere' line might link to the potential isolation that individuals who do so may feel. I may be grasping at straws here, but it does seem to make sense for some parts of the song. Maybe the verses are from the perspective of these 'isolated' individuals? Is it a comment on some form of 'toxic masculinity', perhaps?
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
I've always thought that 'Alma' is some sort of embodiment of femininity and that the chorus lyrics are imploring others to (like Morrissey said in your quoted interview) "embrace [their] female...sides" as a way of accepting others - the 'someone, somewhere' line might link to the potential isolation that individuals who do so may feel. I may be grasping at straws here, but it does seem to make sense for some parts of the song. Maybe the verses are from the perspective of these 'isolated' individuals? Is it a comment on some form of 'toxic masculinity', perhaps?
My very first approach to every lyric (or anything, really) is usually to just take it literally, even if that's obviously not the way it's meant to be read, that's just the way my brain works.

So in this case that would make Alma an actual person and in that context I interpreted the "to someone, somewhere" in the same way as you did. So if we take Alma to be a symbolic incarnation of femininity, we'd arrive at your reading.

It makes sense in a way.
I just don't know what to make of the fact that he apparently later (in 2008) said the explanation wasn't accurate and just something he'd ‘felt like saying’ at the time, although I should mention that I haven't been able to locate the actual source of this quote. It's mentioned in Mozipedia but it's not in the Hot Press interview Goddard seems to refer to.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
This song is about being bisexual, and references Amanda Barrie who had come out as bisexual at the time. She of course played Alma in Coronation Street. The actual printed lyrics reference 'part' and 'hole', not whole.
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Alma Matters was 1997.

Amanda Barrie 'came out' in 2001/2 via her autobiography.

The Alma character she played that had cancer (mirroring her own battle/hysterectomy) was, again, early 00's - several years after the song was released.

Probably worth further checking.

Regards,
FWD.
 
U

Unkleskiddy

Guest
Alma Matters was 1997.

Amanda Barrie 'came out' in 2001/2 via her autobiography.

The Alma character she played that had cancer (mirroring her own battle/hysterectomy) was, again, early 00's - several years after the song was released.

Probably worth further checking.

Regards,
FWD.
Or in other words, stop talking shite Peter, you irrelevant, know-nothing piece of dung. :poop:
 
H

HIMv20

Guest
This song is about being bisexual, and references Amanda Barrie who had come out as bisexual at the time. She of course played Alma in Coronation Street. The actual printed lyrics reference 'part' and 'hole', not whole.
utter tosh.
1)never believe someone who pretends to know what lyrics mean.it's up to the individual listener.
2) song released in 1997,amanda didn't come out as bi until 2002.

i await skinny's correction.
10 minutes enough, pete?
 
J

Janice

Guest
I’m a big fan. As well as the album being in my top 3, I was ecstatic when it was revived live in 2011. Can’t grumble about Alma at all.
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
Alma Matters is one of the most important Morrissey songs for me. A definite Top 10. Next to Trouble loves me and the title track, the best on the album.

So, the life I have made
May seem wrong to you
But, I've never been surer
It's my life to ruin
My own way

THIS IS MORRISSSY in all HIS glory !!!
 

born to mourn and yawn

Well-Known Member
This is mostly a "split-up" song for me, with Morrissey being sick of all this Alma shit (having kids?) and having to give explanations for his choice all the time. "In a kind way" he tells the inquiring person, who told him that he will end up a wreck if he doesn't include more "Alma" in his life, that he thankfully leaves the "Alma"-thing to other folks, "someone, somewhere" (but who really cares who these people are?) who seemingly take "Alma" very seriously. So, what he actually is saying is that the inquiring person should shove their "Alma" up their hole, find someone somewhere out there to get into that "Alma"-stuff if that's what they desire, but kindly leave him alone. That's my take on it.
 
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