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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's new LP at Number Two in Official Albums Chart behind Ed Sheeran's 'x'

Morrissey's new LP at Number Two in Official Albums Chart behind Ed Sheeran's 'x'

'World Peace Is None Of Your Business' is the former Smiths frontman's 10th album

Morrissey pays tribute to 'demented genius' Elaine Stritch

Singer enjoyed an unlikely friendship with the 89-year-old, who passed away yesterday (July 17)

  • Jul 18, 2014

Morrissey's bandmates say he was in 'great spirits' while working on new album

'World Peace Is None Of Your Business' came out earlier this week

  • Jul 16, 2014

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Morrissey - 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business'

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

Morrissey

Greatest Hits

  • Feb 7, 2008

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