The Smiths: There is a Light that Never Goes Out Meaning
There is a Light that Never Goes Out Lyrics
Where there's music and there's people
And they're young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one anymore
Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to...
anonymous Jul 4th, 2018 7:18am report
This song may be packaged as a happy love song, featuring upbeat guitar strums and orchestral melodies, but inside the pretty package is the thoughts and feelings of someone who is depressed. "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" disguises itself as a love song, particularly in its earliest stages of infatuation and excitement, when the true meaning of the song isn't hidden at all, in fact, it's hiding in plain sight. The title itself screams depression, for seeing life as something that will never end or a "light that never goes out", is a strange way to describe something as simple as love. Therefore, by accepting that this song is simply a love song, and explaining the lyrics about death by saying that the protagonist is so incredibly happy, that they could die next to their lover, you are completely overlooking the fearful undertones, repetitious lyrics, the style of Marrisey's voice, and the sheer nature of this song! In the first verse, "there's people and they're young and alive", alive is key. Why would he say "alive"? It's an unusual way to describe wanting to be around young people having fun. Everyone is alive, not everyone is living, there's a distinct difference. An organism is dead or alive, but living is more a way of life, excitement and experience, but being alive is much more life vs death, the word choice matters here. And in the second verse again, "I want to see life", and how this hopelessness has taken over his "home", he's begging for a reason to live, wants to see a reason to be alive, to continue life, etc. The obvious lyrics about crashing into a bus I need not address, but what gets to me the most is the pleading and indifference (simultaneously) in Morrissey's voice when he repeats "take me anywhere I don't care I don't care I don't care". While yes this could mean he is so infatuated with the person he doesn't care where they go, but, if he is simply in love with a person how can you explain dying as a "pleasure" when if you're actually in love you want it to never end, you want it to last forever, and I can never get past the exhaustion in his voice with the "I don't care"s, it's so telling of what is truly going on here. And also, it ends with nine, yes NINE receptions of "there is a light and it never goes out", and the wording of that is telling, you wait for something to "go out" and if it "never" goes out, that means you are impatient and eager for it to go out, which is not love, that is depression, and wanting life to end. So overall, yes there are elements of love in this song, but it is so much more than that. I see it as a person who's desperately trying to find a reason to live, and may have found a person who brings him some happiness, and is hopeful they will allow him to recognize and truly see other people who are "alive", take him to (a place) (a state of being, a mindset) where he is able to see "life". (not in the literal sense, in the metaphorical). And under this light, the musical arrangement and lyrics put together just make sense, so this song is many things all at once, but we shouldn't dismiss it as just a love song.
anonymous Aug 12th, 2016 8:01am report
I love this song. To me,The song explains the thought/ feelings of being next to someone you're inlove with. While you are with that person, you feel invincible, although,everyone around does not approve all you have is hope. Hope is the "Light that never goes out." All the hope is for love to overcome the obstacles that are placed in there path. BTW, when I speak of love it can be either between a Man and Women, Man and Man, or Women to Women; love can exist no matter of the sexuality.
anonymous Jan 30th, 2015 1:31am report
The meaning is both political and romantic, and ironical, because the two feelings are not easily separated. Neglect by the British government can leave its citizens homeless, but not bereft of feelings of love for each other, a zest for life and again, ironically, even musings about death. Yes, the lyrics could also express love for Manchester, as another reflectio of the "beat of life." The musical riff, especially at the end,
is a very vibrant, yet variegated melody-not monotonous,
but with lively, enticing tones that contrast with and even rise
from lower notes.
anonymous Jul 10th, 2012 7:38pm report
I seemed to get a complete different interpretation of this song compared to the other comments.
I felt that he is actually singing about taxis.. a taxi light never goes out which is where the title of the track comes from. Then he is always saying take me out tonight, asking to go to a social place to drink himself down cause as he says he's got no home! Maybe he's just been kicked out by his girlfriend or something?
But the part where he's like to die by your side well the pleasure the privilege is mine! Might be him chatting to the taxi driver. After all a good taxi driver in the 80s would have listened to you chat about your life! (i was born in 1992 so not sure just a thought)
Hope ive given you guys a new twist on the meaning behind this amazing song!
anonymous May 30th, 2012 5:24pm report
I love this song, too ... but I caught an entirely different meaning out of it.
The word "girl" belongs nowhere in these lyrics (it's "God"). The feelings expressed can easily be towards a man as much as towards a woman, and this plays much better into The Smiths' tendency to dance on the edge of sexual ambiguity.
As to not having a home, I've always imagined a young man who is one hair's breadth away from being kicked out of his parents' house, or just leaving on his own ("Because it's not my home/It's their home/And I'm welcomed no more.")
I have seen several comments by others, telling how great of a love song this is; it is definitely one of my favorites, but I wouldn't dare inject love into it. "Romantic", certainly. Three key elements are there: the infatuation, the escapism (in several senses), and above all the brooding and the absolute darkness (such as the life the "narrator" would not at all mind leaving for death ... with or without whomever is driving the car).
In fact, it's a very dark song ... and necessarily so, if it's about even the slightest chance of reaching "the light that never goes out".
anonymous Jan 4th, 2012 1:07pm report
Personally i think its about his love for manchester.
anonymous Apr 11th, 2011 4:42pm report
This song is pretty self explanatory. "take me out tonight" he doesn't want to be at home. He wants to experience the world, see life outside of his home. "I never want to go home because I haven't got one anymore" He doesn't want to go home, because his home is now with her. "and if the double decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" Here he basically says if anything should happen to us, it wouldn't matter because he got his wish by just being in her precense.
This song is one of my favorites! The lyrics are genius, I love the Smiths!
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