There are only 600 or so days to go until Scotland has its referendum on independence. The excitement is almost palpable. Fortunately The Smiths back catalogue is all you need peruse to have a keen grip on the defining stramash de nos jours. Morrissey has always fancied himself, I think, as a kind of prophet. Johnny Marr wrote the tunes. Astonishing as it may seem, all sides in this rammy are, essentially, taking their cues from The Smiths.
A Scottish independence playlist-dialogue might run something like this:
Nationalist: Is It Really So Strange?
Unionist: Barbarism Begins At Home.
Unionist: Paint A Vulgar Picture.
Nationalist: I Know It’s Over.
Unionist: I Don’t Owe You Anything.
Nationalist: How Soon Is Now?
Unionist: Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.
Nationalist: I Don’t Owe You Anything (reprise).
Unionist: Bigmouth Strikes Again.
Nationalist: Miserable Lie.
Unionist: Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before.
Nationalist: A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours.
Unionist: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.
Nationalist: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.
Unionist: What Difference Does It Make?
Nationalist: This Night Has Opened My Eyes
Unionist: You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby
Nationalist: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
Unionist: Stretch Out And Wait
Nationalist: I Won’t Share You.
Unionist: Nowhere Fast.
Nationalist: These Things Take Time.
Nationalist: I Want The One I Can’t Have.
Unionist: Still Ill.
Nationalist: I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish.
Unionist: Money Changes Everything.
Nationalist: Accept Yourself.
Unionist: This Night Has Opened My Eyes (reprise).
Nationalist: The Queen Is Dead.
Everyone: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (reprise).
As you can see, approximately 66 per cent of Smiths songs are actually a commentary on Scottish independence. Who knew and, more importantly, whae’s like us?