Morrissey: ‘Suicide is honourable and I understand people who do it’

Singer admits he's contemplated taking his own life

Morrissey has revealed that he has contemplated suicide before, and that he considers the act “honourable”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs, the singer spoke about his life (and favourite songs) to host Kirsty Young.

At one point in the show, the conversation turned to death, with Young asking Morrissey: “Have you thought about being in control of your death? Have you thought about shuffling off this mortal coil at a time of your choosing?”

Morrissey replied: “Yes I have. Yes I have, and I think self destruction is honourable. I always thought was. It’s an act of great control, and I understand people who do it.”

Earlier in the programme, Morrissey had again touched on the subject, saying that he was at one with death.

“I’m fascinated by the brevity of life and how people use their time, because we all know the actual fall. It’s as inevitable as you and I sitting here now, that the Tuesday will arrive when you, Kirsty, are not here,” Morrissey explained. “So we all know this fact, and with that in the forefront of our mind in everything we do, I find it fascinating how people spend their time.”

Another part of the show involved the singer choosing a ‘luxury item’ to take onto a desert island. Morrissey initially made two choices, saying: “I would either take a bed, because I like to go to bed. Or, I would take a bag of sleeping pills, because I might want to make a quick exit.”

Young then told him he had to choose between the two, to which he replied:

“I would really take the bed I think, because going to bed is the highlight of everybody’s day. I like to be hidden, and I like to sink, and I think we all love to go to bed and we love to go to sleep. It’s the brother of death, it means we can just switch out brains off when we go to bed and forget about ourselves hopefully.”

Like every Desert Island Discs guest, Morrissey choose a number of his favourite songs, and nominated his favourite work of literature (‘The Complete Oscar Wilde’).

Morrissey choose the following songs:

New York Dolls — ‘(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown’
Marianne Faithfull — ‘Come And Stay With Me’
Ramones — ‘Loudmouth’
The Velvet Underground — ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’
Klaus Nomi — ‘Der Nussbaum – The Walnut Tree’
Nico — ‘I’m Not Saying’
Iggy & The Stooges — ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell’
Mott The Hoople — ‘Sea Diver’

Of the songs above, he nominated ‘(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown’ as his favourite.