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Don't plagiarise or take on loan Options · View
nicola
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 4:45:21 PM

Rank: Matriarch
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Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 26,108
Location: By a fireplace.
I love the paradox of Morrissey's song (The Smiths), "Cemetry Gates" (http://www.askmeaskmeaskme.com/thequeen.htm Official Site):

Cemetry Gates
Lyrics by Stephen Morrissey
Music by Johnny Marr


A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people, all those lives
Where are they now ?
With loves, and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived
And then they died
It seems so unfair
I want to cry

You say : "'Ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
And you claim these words as your own
But I've read well, and I've heard them said
A hundred times (maybe less, maybe more)
If you must write prose/poems
The words you use should be your own
Don't plagiarise or take "on loan"
'Cause there's always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Who'll trip you up and laugh
When you fall

You say : "'Ere long done do does did"
Words which could only be your own
And then produce the text
From whence was ripped
(Some dizzy whore, 1804)

A dreaded sunny day
So let's go where we're happy
And I meet you at the cemetry gates
Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
So let's go where we're wanted
And I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
But you lose
'Cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

This is a great site I've discovered, some intelligent answers amongst the chaff (http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/35105/ - make sure your popup blocker is on with all these lyrics sites):

A twisting paradoxical story of literary plagiarism unfolds into one of Morrissey's largest ever borrowings : the "All those people .... I want to cry" section is ripped wholesale from the film "The Man Who Came To Dinner", which is also the source of Morrissey alias Sheridan Whitehead.

The words Morrissey has heard said a hundred times (maybe less, maybe more) come from Shakespeare's Richard III. Morrissey paradoxically both caustically dismisses Wilde ("weird lover Wilde") and champions him above Keats and Yeats, generally conservatively considered to be the more "important" poets.

This song echoes Morrissey's memories of visiting Southern Cemetery in Manchester with his greatest friend, Linder Sterling. This cemetry, by the way is absolutely huge. His mention of a "dreaded sunny day" is surely a tongue-in-cheek lyrical landmine for those who accuse him of being miserable all the time.

The mis-spelling of "cemetery" is a MozMistake, as opposed to any dire pun on the word "try", thank god.

Guest
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 5:06:59 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 652,968
The moral of this tale as a writer friend once mentioned, if your serious about writing never read too much as you inadvertantly write things and think you thought it all by yourself. When infact you read it somewhere else before LOL Quite funny I think!
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