Morrissey A-Z: "Black-Eyed Susan"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member

An exciting day for hyphen fans as it's our second hyphenated song in the A-Z so far: "Black-Eyed Susan" from the b-side of the "Sunny" single.

What do we think of this one? (Personally I could never, ever tire of this song, I love it so much. Even with the weird bit in the middle.)
 
S

simple really

Guest
I can't remember what it sounds like and I can't listen right now.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
I can't remember what it sounds like and I can't listen right now.

Its simple really. For each stanza, just repeat the song title. Do this over and again and wa-la - you have Morrissey song! Oh don't forget the long instrumental interstitial!

But it is still a pleasant tune nonetheless. Helps with my digestion.

MrShoes
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
From the first listen this always struck me as a pretty weak b-side...

I think it was originally intended to be on the The More You Ignore Me single, but Morrissey understandably had reservations about releasing it. Hence the weird bit being added to the middle.

It is a very thin and repetitive Alain song with Morrissey attempting to create some sort of tune with the vocal melody. He doesn't really succeed, and it's not helped by the fairly uninspired lyrics.

Interesting that some people have assumed that it was about the falling out with Siouxsie, when this song was written and recorded before Interlude. One of the Youtube comments mentions that a Laura Nero song contains the words Black-Eyed Susan, but obviously it's a pretty common phrase that Morrissey could have picked up anywhere.

I slightly prefer the alternate version that has leaked, but I presume there is a more traditional version still in the vaults somewhere.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 232 from 264 solo songs.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Just like all of the material that bridges the Vauxhall and Southpaw eras, I love this song. It's a little slight, the lyrics are nothing special, the middle bit can feel irrelevant, but somehow it's all made right by the beautiful urgency of it all. Just like with the "Boxers" single, I think this song works best in the context of a miniature album i.e. listened to as a whole from "Sunny" to this and concluding with "Swallow on My Neck."
 

sander

Member
From the first listen this always struck me as a pretty weak b-side...

I think it was originally intended to be on the The More You Ignore Me single, but Morrissey understandably had reservations about releasing it. Hence the weird bit being added to the middle.

It is a very thin and repetitive Alain song with Morrissey attempting to create some sort of tune with the vocal melody. He doesn't really succeed, and it's not helped by the fairly uninspired lyrics.

Interesting that some people have assumed that it was about the falling out with Siouxsie, when this song was written and recorded before Interlude. One of the Youtube comments mentions that a Laura Nero song contains the words Black-Eyed Susan, but obviously it's a pretty common phrase that Morrissey could have picked up anywhere.

I slightly prefer the alternate version that has leaked, but I presume there is a more traditional version still in the vaults somewhere.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 232 from 264 solo songs.
Yes that´s correct. I have an Abbey Road reference cdr with Black-Eyed Susan being one of the b-sides. Has anybody heard the version with the "missing" third verse? I would really like to hear it, fingers crossed someday they (whoever "they" may be) will release a collectors edition of V&I with alternate takes.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
Interesting that some people have assumed that it was about the falling out with Siouxsie, when this song was written and recorded before Interlude. .
I used to think that too, that it couldn't be about Siouxsie because of the timing but after reading Autobiography I wasn't so sure anymore. She's mentioned for the first time right after his manager Nigel Thomas died in early 1993.
Seems like Interlude was recorded during the Vauxhall sessions at Hook End Manor just like Black-Eyed Susan and they were in contact before they actually met, because she rejected all his song propositions. And the release was delayed because of an ownership wrangle with Polydor.

The whole part he wrote about her isn't dissimilar to the song in sentiment and then there's this part "...a black-eyed shopgirl hidden somewhere in the whistling cathedral towers of Notre Dame, refusing to be dragged back to Boots the Chemist, where both her shift and her insurance stamps remain."

"We were the first" might then refer to their generation of artists, of punk and independent music.

Anyway, I agree with BookishBoy and Verso here. Always love listening to this one as part of a great Morrissey era.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
Just like all of the material that bridges the Vauxhall and Southpaw eras, I love this song. It's a little slight, the lyrics are nothing special, the middle bit can feel irrelevant, but somehow it's all made right by the beautiful urgency of it all. Just like with the "Boxers" single, I think this song works best in the context of a miniature album i.e. listened to as a whole from "Sunny" to this and concluding with "Swallow on My Neck."

Wasn't this included on "My Early Burglary Years"?
 
D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
This is a black-eyed susan. I doubt it has anything to do with the lyric though.

black-eyed susan.jpg
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
One of the very few songs of this era that doesn’t really do it for me. With the risk of sounding simple, it’s too weird. At least for this era.
 

Watson

Well-Known Member
I think that there is a truly great song in there somewhere...it's just that the released version sounds rushed, messy and under-produced. It's as if they had a couple of hours left in the studio and decided to faff around and see what they come up with. The instrumental nonsense in the middle adds nothing.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Black Eyed Susan is the name of a comic melodrama by Douglas Jerrold. About a sailor who nearly gets hanged for killing his Captain for seducing his wife.


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Also there's a poem.

20210131_105215.jpg


I love the song.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
Black Eyed Susan is the name of a comic melodrama by Douglas Jerrold. About a sailor who nearly gets hanged for killing his Captain for seducing his wife.


View attachment 68078

View attachment 68080

Also there's a poem.

View attachment 68081

I love the song.
Interesting. Can't see any connection to the song, but the naval theme is interesting because according to Goddard

"Originally, the song also contained an extra verse describing Susan’s ‘hair like seaweed’ and her ‘air wear cherry blossom dark tan’."
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Interesting. Can't see any connection to the song, but the naval theme is interesting because according to Goddard

"Originally, the song also contained an extra verse describing Susan’s ‘hair like seaweed’ and her ‘air wear cherry blossom dark tan’."

Maybe he's subverting the stock virtuous heroine?
 
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