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The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead Turns 30

A track-by-track breakdown of the celebrated album's most "Morrissey" lyrics

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    Thirty-seven minutes.

    That’s how long it takes The Queen Is Dead to cover sleazy record company executives, unrequited love, regicide, suicide, organized religion, women’s bodies, dead poets, and pretty much every other theme you could possibly imagine. In one swoop, The Smiths perfectly summed up the personal and political challenges of life in the UK during Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s.

    While the album is definitely a product of its era, these songs feel just as timely three decades later. The music industry is as shallow as ever, there’s no shortage of moral crusaders getting ensnared by their own vices, and in case you haven’t noticed, Morrissey hasn’t exactly learned to love Queen Elizabeth quite yet. (These things take time.)

    Prepare yourself for mood swings because we’re celebrating 30 years of The Queen Is Dead with a track-by-track look at Morrissey’s, well, Morrissey-est lyrics. Follow along with every heartbreaking lament, witty turn of phrase, and devilishly sassy insult.

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    The pleasure, the privilege, is yours.

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