THE GREATEST LYRICISTS IN THE WORLD TODAY

 

Every generation needs its poets and here's the 23 musical scribes who define 2010.

Meanwhile, you can vote for the best lyricists ever here.

Words: Emily Mackay, Matt Wilkinson, Barry Nicolson, Mark Beaumont, Laura Snapes, Dan Martin, Sam Wolfson, Martin Robinson, Jaimie Hodgson

 
 
 

The Poet Laureate of the misunderstood

You don’t get to be a lyrical giant of Morrissey’s calibre for 25 years by being a mopey old one-tone pony blessed with a Wildean turn of phrase.

As he’s entered middle age Moz’s lyrics have grown a more political edge, a savage sincerity, a colourful way with a character study (‘First Of The Gang To Die’, ‘Piccadilly Palare’, ‘Mute Witness’) and lashings of wit, hope and playfulness spread across the likes of ‘You’re The One For Me, Fatty’, ‘I Know It’s Going To Happen Someday’ and ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris’ (because, inevitably, “only stone and steel accept my love”).

All of which have kept him as relevant and revered as a lyricist today as he was at his flower-flapping ’80s peak. He’s still the standard to beat. MB

Best lyric: “I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar”
(‘How Soon Is Now?’, 1985 single)

 

Listen to Morrissey Now

 

Latest Morrissey News

Morrissey writes letter to Al Gore urging him not to serve meat at Live Earth event

Morrissey writes letter to Al Gore urging him not to serve meat at Live Earth event

The climate change event will take place on June 18 at various venues around the world

Morrissey admits difficulty finding new record label, but dismisses 'desperate' crowdfunding idea

The former Smiths frontman is unsigned after splitting with Harvest Records in 2014

  • Apr 28, 2015

Morrissey accuses Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis of being an 'animal hater'

The former Smiths frontman says the festival organiser censored his 2011 show

  • Apr 13, 2015

More Morrissey News

 

More Morrissey Reviews

Morrissey, Leeds, First Direct Arena

Morrissey, Leeds, First Direct Arena

Belligerent business as usual

  • Mar 23, 2015

Morrissey - 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business'

Moz puts his unique spin on beat poets, political revolt and gender stereostypes in an LP full of gorgeous musical flourishes

  • Jul 14, 2014

Album review: Morrissey

Years Of Refusal

  • Feb 18, 2009

More Morrissey Reviews

 
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM