Analysis Of There Is A Light That Never Goes Out By The Smiths

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In 1986, The Smiths released their third studio album which featured the song “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”. The song was written by The Smiths’ lead singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, featuring a variety of instruments, studio effects, and exemplifying an intimate tone. Since its release, the song has been covered by numerous artist as a symbol of their appreciation and influence from it. One artist in particular, Citizen, covered the song in 2012 and presented the same intimate tone through a simple, raw, acoustic recording. While both versions of the song show a similar intimacy, the varying ways they were produced and the decisions made by the artists influenced the intimacy in different ways.
The Smiths, formed in 1982,
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For example, it is common for young people, both today and in the past, who are in the process of creating themselves to “want to see people and want to see life”. On a closely related note, the lines “take me out tonight, take me anywhere” also seems to be a common desire among the youth. While the song does relate to feelings of wanderlust and curiosity about the world, it also touches on more negative emotions. The lyrics “I thought oh God, my chance has come at last. But then a strange fear gripped me, and I just couldn’t ask” relate to a sense of fear, anxiety, or uncertainty that are at some point present in nearly every young adult’s life. Because the lyrics can easily relate to the audience in both recordings, the listener may get the notion that the way they feel is understood by the singer, or that they understand what the singer feels. In other words, the relatable lyrics help to strengthen the sense of connection and intimacy that this song originally gives. While the lyrics are vital to building the intimacy, their delivery also plays an important …show more content…
Both versions share some of the same qualities that create the basic atmosphere of the song. However, the individual artist achieved the same feeling in distinct ways through the choices they made when producing their recordings. The identical lyrics, sang in a manner somewhat colloquial in nature, of both versions that express personal emotion and are potentially relatable to the audience are the foundation to the song’s overall tone. In the original version, The Smiths’ decision to use synthesized strings meant the song was completely their creation and enhanced the personal nature of the song. Analogous to the original being created only by the artist, Citizen’s cover featuring only one singer accompanied primarily by an acoustic guitar emulates the intimacy of the listener being alone with the artist. Regardless of a preference of one version over the other, a listener can expect to hear emotion akin to The Smiths’ original recording when listening to Citizen’s

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