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, Jangle pop
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.[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 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


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.[5]


Chart Peak
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 26


The song is covered by Placebo 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.

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


External links[edit]