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I Know It's Over by [Steven Patrick] Morrissey (1985)

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I Know It's Over by [Steven Patrick] Morrissey (1985) Notes by Mark Lampard (AS Eng Lit.) September 2002 Summary This is a bleak, perhaps morbid, but sensitive and intelligent song lyric, which most critics see as being about the end of fictional or fantasy relationship. But the interpretation can be much deeper, indeed, a bottomless pit for those who are inclined to wallow in helplessness and suicidal thoughts. There are four distinct sections that are not entirely connected and this leads to a variety of interpretations in linking them, enabling the audience to project their own feelings onto the words. And yet, the emotional intensity seems to produce elation1 not depression (perhaps more in the performance than the poetry). Speculation about the meaning of the lines (as long as it is not overdone) can lead to a satisfying enjoyment. ...read more.


but of whom? His mother? Does he want to be saved from death or released from life? The reader/listener can decide for himself. In the second section, what follows is an image of a couple on their wedding day: but perceiving the promises made as ultimately pointless, the protagonist identifies with the "sad, veiled bride", pleading with her to be happy and conceding that she will need a lover, although this will have little to do with love. But perhaps if the "handsome groom" allows her space they might live happily - a modern fairy tale. Does this scene describe an event that ended the (imagined) relationship, a sensitive, platonic relationship that is rudely replaced by a "loud, loutish lover" at an unspecified time after the nuptials? I think not. However, if he is jealous of these stereotypes, he seems unable to act to satisfy his needs. ...read more.


Does anything else making it so difficult for him to act? I think the final section seems to intimate that those who have no "guts to be gentle and kind" have subjected him to ridicule and abuse: laughter and hatred being "easy" emotions. In the final lines, the anguish reaches a peak. He states that love is Natural and Real: is he afraid that for such as you and I, my love it is unnatural and imaginary? Themes Typically for this writer the themes are unrequited love, isolation, loneliness, helplessness, etc. The Wildean themes are, perhaps, in the mind of the reader/listener. Indeed, the overall vagueness and ambiguity, typical of this author, together with the complexity of the structure allows for a dichotomy of interpretations. 1 However, I acknowledge David Pinching, writing in his essay Oscar Wilde's influence on Stephen Fry and Morrissey, when he says that "Wilde represents isolation within one's own world and a grand set of theories about the most irrelevant and absurd things." 2 All italics original 1 ...read more.

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