Sweet and Tender Hooligan
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|"Sweet and Tender Hooligan"|
|Single by The Smiths|
|Released||23 May 1995|
|Length||10:28 (total duration)|
|Writer(s)||Johnny Marr, Morrissey|
|The Smiths singles chronology|
"Sweet and Tender Hooligan" is a song by The Smiths, recorded in 1986, and released as a single in May 1995 by their American record company Sire Records. It was released to promote the compilation album Singles.
Whereas WEA in Europe opted to re-issue the 1986 "Ask" single to promote Singles, Sire thought it wiser to put out a single containing rarities, even though none of them featured on the actual compilation, as neither "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" itself nor its supporting tracks had been previously released as a single. The title track had previously been recorded for the BBC and included on the 1987 compilation Louder Than Bombs and the 12" of "Sheila Take a Bow"; "I Keep Mine Hidden", "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" and "What's the World?" were previously hard-to-find B-sides to earlier singles "Girlfriend in a Coma" and "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" (both 1987).
The lyrics describe the lenient sentencing of a hooligan, with the narrator sarcastically taking the side of the criminal, saying "and he'll never ever do it again / of course he won't / not until the next time".
- "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" (Morrissey, Johnny Marr) – 3:35
- "I Keep Mine Hidden" (Morrissey, Marr) – 1:59
- "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" (Guy Woolfenden, Don Black) – 2:47
- "What's the World?" (live) (Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson, Gavan Whelan) – 2:06
A still of boxer Cornelius Carr from the video of Morrissey's contemporary solo single "Boxers" as directed by James O'Brien in 1995.