Guest Writer Hollie Presents… Is It Really So Strange?

What? Another guest writer? Hell yeah! Our 5th in a series of guest writers from our beloved communities found in Our Society, on the Facebooks, and in the Twitter. There can be no other blogger as proud as I am of the music lovers that make up our communities… Constantly amazed at how luck I am! What about you? Got an album you are just dying to talk about, a show you saw, a mixtape you’ve been aching to share? Come on in, hang out with us, and let’s see what we can do! But for now, it’s my dear friend Hollie’s turn as…

Hollie Presents… Is It Really So Strange?

Love doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you really, really, really wish it would. When things fall through, there are different levels of “loss”. When I was 17, the loss was 100%. I had big plans for my first love (don’t we all?). I wanted his babies, I wanted to go camping together, I wanted to finally see the true individual he hid from me for so long. I wrote notebook after notebook of poetry, hoping one day I could give them all to him as proof of my love.

When everyone told me I was a fool to wait for him, I believed whole-heartedly that it would all work out in the end and that they’d be wrong. The things you learn from heartbreak! I gotta tell you, the pain was wondrous. Everyone’s gotta experience the depth of it. It’s good for the soul, I think. But that’s me looking back. At the time, I really wanted to die.

We all reach out to things to pull us through. I grew up in a spiritual family, and thus my options were limited. I considered different paths, but I cared too much about my parents to follow through. So it was music, for me. Namely, The Smiths. There was something in Morrissey’s voice. I read in a book (Saint Morrissey), of a mother who walked by her son’s room, listened to the music he was playing, and likened Morrissey’s voice to that of “someone who was having their leg sawed off”. That about sums it up. If you’re aiming for raw, real, angry and sad-I suggest investing in The Queen Is Dead, Meat is Murder or my personal favourite: Louder Than Bombs.

One day after visiting family out of town, I stopped by a cool little antique store on the way back home. They had a sweet array of records, for sure. I remember this one older guy was hovering over a box of them and picking out the Moody Blues LP’s. So I made my way over to the cassettes. I found Belinda Carlisle’s Greatest Hits, Tori Amos’ Under The Pink and finally, Louder Than Bombs. At this point I had only heard a few songs by The Smiths and hadn’t really “got them” yet.

Since my truck only had a tape player, it was perfect timing. A nice long ride back home, with some new music to discover. Little did I realize my entire life would change that very day. I pushed it in the deck and pressed play. “Is It Really So Strange?”…

“I left the North
I traveled South
I found a tiny house
And I can’t help the way that I feel
Oh yes, you can kick me
And you can punch me
And you can break my face
But you won’t change the way I feel
‘Cause I love you
Oh …’

The tune so cheerful, and the lyrics so desperate! I was in shock. Lyric after lyric I could feel myself giving in. It was like a drug, like a glass of water to parched soul. Song after song, it got better and better. I was hooked forever and ever. I can honestly say that tape never left the deck for over a year. When I got in, it played in a loop until I got out and back in the next time. I’m sure my friends thought I was a crazy person. I read every book, biography, article and watched every video I could find on The Smiths. I wanted to buy a hearing aid. I bought gladioli and took them with me to random places. I really was in love.

Throughout this period I remember all color turning to shades of grey. These were the nights Morrissey saved my life, over and over again. It was obvious that my longing has so much more to do with life in general than just the loss of love. “Call me morbid, call me pale”, but it was the loss of faith in good and trust and happiness. Who of us really experiences youth in the dreamy way we’re told we should? It rarely goes like that. But one thing Morrissey has taught me in all of his words, is that it’s better to know the truth of life, than to be living a lie.

Louder Than Bombs Tracks…

Is It Really So Strange
Sheila Take a Bow
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
Sweet And Tender Hooligan
Half A Person
Girl Afraid
Shakespeare’s Sister
William, It Was Really Nothing
You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby
Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
Golden Lights
Oscillate Wildly
These Things Take Time
Rubber Ring
Back To The Old House
Hand In Glove
Stretch Out And Wait
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
This Night Has Opened My Eyes

Things always do get better, as did my life. I am married to my best friend and husband — a man who has shown me in every way, a love that the boy I once hoped for, never could have. Time really does make it all better. Ya, life in a nutshell pretty much sucks-but it’s better than it was. Besides, life is what you make it, is it not? That being said, it’s important never to lose yourself. Midst the busy lives we lead, depth and understanding can fall by the wayside. Sometimes it’s good to have a cry. Or maybe just to commiserate and think back to the life you’ve had so far. So give in. I give you permission. Turn on Louder Than Bombs and get nostalgic already!


Louder Than Bombs is my personal favourite album of The Smiths, but more for nostalgia’s sake. Many will say that The Queen is Dead is their best, which I won’t argue with as far as “classic” goes. Here are some other Smiths songs I adore from other albums…

I know it’s over
Reel Around The Fountain
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Cemetery Gates

If you have a heavy heart of sorts, I suggest investing in every single album The Smiths has ever made. And if you’re feeling extra loyal, you can branch out into Morrissey’s solo work!

Hope I did this all right! Hugs and thanks again :D

Some Smiths Link Love…
Official | Morrisey

Thank you so much Hollie!!! Wonderful write up… Now, Hollie isn’t just a music lover, she’s also quite the blogger, a crafty & artsy Etsian, and even a twitterererer! So, why don’t you go show her a bit of you love right here..

Vintage and Handmade


Tsuru And The Bride | Etsy | Society | Facebook | Twitter

4 comments for “Guest Writer Hollie Presents… Is It Really So Strange?

  1. Blueberry Shoes
    October 11, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    :) thanks opportunity :)

  2. snivel and run
    October 12, 2009 at 2:07 AM

    it is incredible how any smiths song has the ability to remind me what it was to be a miserable teen, just discovering the pull of music, the pull of an artist, the pull of losing ones self in something. it is also incredible how the songs have kept their validity over the years, and remain as affecting today as they were years past. asleep might just be the saddest song in the world. thanks for reminding me to listen.

  3. Lara Lewis
    October 12, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    back in about 1987, i put the queen is dead on the record player for the first time (yes, it was back in the vinyl days…i'm dating myself) and it was complete and utter love. for the rest of my teenage years it was pretty much nothing but them that i listened to (much to the chagrin of my mother) and i haven't stopped loving their music!

  4. ohvotrecoeur
    October 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM

    Smiths are amazing. This piece is great, Hollie.

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