'A boy in the bush'
Childhood, sexuality and The Smiths
in Why pamper life's complexities?
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Morrissey's sexual orientation has attracted attention from the outset of his career, and his insistence that 'it's all within the lyrics' was given a specific focus in 1983. When The Sun claimed that the BBC was holding an emergency meeting to decide whether a song about child abuse should be broadcast on the David Jensen Show. According to correspondent Nick Ferrari, the lyrics to 'Handsome Devil', the B-side to The Smiths' first single, 'Hand In Glove', contained 'clear references to picking up kids for sexual kicks'. The is mood of confrontation is explicit in The Smiths' album titles: Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead, The World Won't Listen, Strangeways, Here We Come. The framing of childhood/puberty in popular music remains problematic. The complex relationship between music, sexuality and gender continues to taunt and provoke controversy due, largely, to its association with identity politics, society and the self.

Why pamper life's complexities?

Essays on The Smiths

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