Its title refers to a section of Virginia Woolf's feminist essay A Room of One's Own in which Woolf argues that if William Shakespeare had had a sister of equal genius, as a woman she would not have had the opportunity to make use of it. (In reality, William Shakespeare had four sisters, but only one who survived past the age of eight and into adulthood: Joan Shakespeare.)Sean O'Hagan says that Woolf's essay was "one of the many feminist texts Morrissey embraced as a sexually confused, politically awakened adolescent."
Jack Rabid of Allmusic wrote, "The Smiths' weakest is still quite good, is what we can infer from this. What wit Morrissey still shows, record after record? Who is else is writing an opening line like 'Young bones groan/And the rocks below say/Throw your skinny body down, son!' -- thus evoking the tragic Romeo and Juliet quality of so much teenage romance in the most poetic terms?"