Bigmouth Strikes Again

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"Bigmouth Strikes Again"
Single by The Smiths
from the album The Queen Is Dead
Released 19 May 1986
Format 7", 12"
Recorded Autumn 1985
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:14
Label Rough Trade
Writer(s) Johnny Marr, Morrissey
Producer(s) Morrissey, Johnny Marr
The Smiths singles chronology
"The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"
"Bigmouth Strikes Again"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

"Bigmouth Strikes Again" is a song by The Smiths. It appears on their third album The Queen Is Dead and was the lead single from the album, reaching No. 26 in the UK Singles Chart in 1986. It was also the closing song on The Smiths' only live album, Rank.

Since the break-up of The Smiths, Morrissey has performed this song live in 2004, including it on his Live at Earls Court (2005).[citation needed] Johnny Marr sang and played it in a Later With Jools Holland TV broadcast in June 2013.[citation needed]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The lyrics describe the protagonist's frustration of being hounded by others for his comments, to which he replies "I was only joking".

During the song, the protagonist compares himself to Joan of Arc as the flames rose to her Roman nose and also says now I know how Joan of Arc felt (a quote from Carry on up Pompeii).[2] The line, "and her Walkman started to melt'", is often changed by Morrissey in live performances, to the more technologically-current "and her iPod started to melt".[3] The lyric I was only joking when I said you should be bludgeoned in your bed is a quote from the novel 1st among equals.

The high-pitched voice in the background is actually Morrissey's voice altered to a higher pitch. The backing vocal is credited to "Ann Coates", a reference to the Manchester district of Ancoats.[4]

Track listing[edit]

7" RT192
No. Title Length
1. "Bigmouth Strikes Again"   3:12
2. "Money Changes Everything"   4:40
12" RTT192
No. Title Length
1. "Bigmouth Strikes Again"   3:12
2. "Money Changes Everything"   4:40
3. "Unloveable"   3:54
British 12" "Beware the Wrath to Come"/"Talent Borrows Genius Steals"[5]
No. Title Length
1. "Bigmouth Strikes Again"   3:12
2. "Beware the Wrath to Come[6]"    
3. "Talent Borrows Genius Steals[7]"    


The single contained a photograph of James Dean by Nelva Jean Thomas. James Dean is an idol to Morrissey, who even wrote a book about him entitled James Dean Is Not Dead.[8]


The song is covered by Placebo, who substitute the words "Discman" and "Mega Drive" for the original "Walkman" and "hearing aid". It appears as a B-side to "Nancy Boy", as well as on Disc 2 of the Sleeping with Ghosts special edition and on the various artists compilation The Smiths Is Dead. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" has also been covered by Treepeople, The Entertainment System, Balance and Composure, Slapshot, and The Ukrainians (under the title "Batyar"). In 2009, Among the Oak & Ash covered this song in their self titled album, but retained the original lyrics. The British electronic musician LorD and Master recorded a cover of "Bigmouth Strikes Again" as part of his 2011 covers album, Discover. In this version, LorD and Master uses the words "iPhone" and "iPad" in place of "Walkman" and "hearing aid", following the trend that Placebo had set in the 1990s.[9]

Chumbawamba also recorded a song by this title, which is mistakenly described in The Great Rock Discography as being a Smiths cover.


  1. ^ "Bigmouth Strikes Again rating". Allmusic. Retrieved on 29 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Bigmouth Strikes Again" Lyrics from
  3. ^ "Moz: Bigmouth Strikes Again strikes again with the iPod"
  4. ^ AllMusic song review
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Beware the wrath to come" can be seen on a banner in one of Morrissey's favorite movies, Hobson's Choice. The band scene from that movie would be sampled in the single Sheila Take a Bow.
  7. ^ "Talent borrows, genius steals" is a quote that was said by Oscar Wilde.
  8. ^ Morrissey (1983). James Dean is Not Dead. Manchester: Babylon Books. ISBN 0907188060. 
  9. ^ LorD and Master's Discover album.

External links[edit]