Today I was catching up on past episodes of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, a two-hour collection of songs, interviews and various segments and features that appears weekly on BBC 6 Music. I finished the show from January 13 (guest host “Nadine Shah Sits In” -and by the way, check out my post from last year on one of Shah’s songs, “Mother Fighter”), then I started listening to February 7 (“Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy”). That most recent installment was Garvey’s last for a while, as he is focusing on making a new album with Elbow. I will have to ration out the songs and segments from this episode!
One track shown later on in the Garvey playlist was today’s selection, “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” by the Smiths. It had such a catchy title I went looking for an online version to listen to right away.
A quartet formed in Manchester, England, the Smiths were active from just 1982 to 1987 but released a lot of material: one live and four studio albums, ten compilation albums, an EP, a video album, 14 music videos and 22 singles. Lead singer Morrissey and guitarist/keyboardist Johnny Marr appear to have written all the band’s songs (usually Morrissey: lyrics, and Marr: the music). Their post-punk/rock mix of guitar/bass/drums sound was in deliberate and direct opposition to the synth-pop dance music that was sweeping the music scene at the time (music which I’ve featured as recently as yesterday, I might add!).
The song appeared on the 1984 compilation album, Hatful of Hollow (and is available on other Smiths collections). At one minute, fifty-two seconds, “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” is the brief, poignant supplication by one for a change of luck in life. It has a ballad kind of quality to it, and Morrissey’s trademark voice, along with the strings-nuanced melody, gives a gentle and silky contrast to the desperation of the plea. It is a most humble request; one I hope was answered graciously.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official audio for the song from the Smiths’ YouTube channel:
Full, official lyrics are posted in the notes section of the YouTube video.