The Smiths - Back To The Old House

Artist: The Smiths

Song: Back To The Old House

Album: Hatful of Hollow (1984), Louder Than Bombs (1987)


The Smiths released their second album, Hatful Of Hollow, in November of 1984. The album is basically a compilation, consisting of two BBC sessions (John Peel, 9/21/83 and 4/7/83), as well as singles released from the previous album and unreleased tracks. The album is worth it simply because of guitarist Johnny Marr's stunning guitar work alone.

Back To The Old House is an acoustic piece with melancholy guitars and vocals; it was published in 1984: is the B-Side of "What Difference Does It Make". You will find this song better than the original album version due to Marr's guitar and Morrissey's lyrics.

Slight, sober and simple yet highly evocative lyrics for this song. Going back with his thoughts and feelings, the protagonist (almost certainly Morrissey himself) struggles to resist the nostalgic temptation to revisit one's past locale, a house where he once lived and fell in love for the first time.



The Smiths tend to be thought of as a band one grows out of--music you listened to as a depressed adolescent and then abandoned when you overcame it all. Such a notion denies them their place in the rock pantheon, not only as an inspiration to countless indie-rock outfits but also as the band that challenged the received wisdom of rock & roll machismo. Fronted by the fey, sexually ambiguous Steven Patrick Morrissey, who married painfully honest lyrics--almost embarrassing in their self-effacement--with arch humor and a melancholic delivery, the British band was quite an anomaly to an America still emerging from the bloated-rock tyranny of the likes of Journey and REO Speedwagon. Hatful of Hollow, released as an import in 1984 and domestically in 1993, is a collection of singles, many recorded live for various radio shows. More-muscular versions of most of the tracks here can be found on the collection Louder Than Bombs, but Hatful has a vitality to it that the studio-bound, somewhat antiseptic Bombs lacks. Check out Johnny Marr's delicate acoustic guitar on the aching "Back to the Old House" or the band's looser workouts of such now-classics as "This Charming Man" and "Still Ill." (...) Steve Landau


I would rather not go
Back to the old house
I would rather not go
Back to the old house
There's too many
Bad memories
Too many memories
There ...
There ...
There ...

When you cycled by
Here began all my dreams
The saddest thing I've ever seen
And you never knew
How much I really liked you
Because I never even told you
Oh, and I meant to

Are you still there ?
Or ... have you moved away ?
Or have you moved away ?
Oh ...

I would love to go
Back to the old house
But I never will
I never will ...
I never will ...
I never will ... 

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