Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known as Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 band The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths were an English alternative rock band, formed in Manchester in 1982. Based on the song writing partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr , the band also included Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce...

. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

 on ten occasions. Widely regarded as an important innovator in indie music, Morrissey has been described by music magazine NME
The New Musical Express is a popular music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles...

 as "one of the most influential artists ever," and The Independent has stated "most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status he has reached in his lifetime." Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork or P4k, is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication established in 1995 that is devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on underground and independent music, especially indie rock...

 has called him "one of the most singular figures in Western popular culture from the last twenty years."

Morrissey's lyrics have been described as "dramatic, bleak, funny vignettes
Vignette (literature)
In theatrical script writing, sketch stories, and poetry, a vignette is a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting and sometimes an object...

 about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home." He is also noted for his unique baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

 vocal style (though he sometimes uses falsetto), his quiff
The quiff is a hairstyle that combines the 1950s pompadour hairstyle, the 50s flattop, and sometimes a mohawk. The etymology of the word is uncertain but may derive from the French word "coiffe" which can mean either a hairstyle or, going further back, the mail knights wore over their heads and...

 haircut and his dynamic live performances.

And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.

from the 1986 song "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"

So when you say it's gonna happen now.Well when exactly do you mean? See I've already waited too long. And all my hope is gone!

from the 1984 song "How Soon Is Now?"

I've been dreaming of a time whenThe English are sick to death of Labour and ToriesAnd spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell and denounce this royal line that still salutes himAnd will salute him forever.

from the 2004 song "Irish Blood, English Heart"

Why pamper life's complexity when the leather runs smooth on the passenger's seat?

from the 1984 song "This Charming Man"

In my lifeWhy do I smileAt people who I'd much rather kick in the eye ?

from the 1984 song "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"

I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving,England is mine and it owes me a living

from the song "Still Ill"

You shut your mouth,How can you say I go about things the wrong way?I am human and I need to be lovedJust like everybody else does

from the song "How Soon Is Now?"

There's a club if you'd like to go, you could meet somebody who really loves you,so you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own,and you go home and you cry and you want to die

from the song "How Soon Is Now?"

Hand in glove, the good people laugh, yes we may be hidden by rags,But we've something they'll never have

from the song "Hand In Glove"

There's more to life than books you know, but not much more

from the song "Handsome Devil"