The Top 25 Smiths Songs of All Time, 25 Years After the Band's Split
1. "Well I Wonder" (Meat Is Murder, 1985)
The Moz of "Well I Wonder" could've sprung from Emily Dickinson's typewriter, a shy castaway for whom stepping out of his lightless flat amounts to "the fierce last stand of all that I am." "Well I Wonder" is deeply bizarre by this group's standards. Where the rest of Meat Is Murder vrooms, "Well I Wonder" crawls. Morrissey's voice, usually animated by a certain cockney bravado, never raises above a dovish whimper.
The most common reading of "Well I Wonder" is that it's about a love that never was. It's more about those base insecurities that paralyze your body and constrict your conscience, the kind that keep you from meeting someone's eyes out of fear that they'll better notice the imperfections on your face. It's the least romantic song on an album that rejects romanticism almost entirely. In a way, "Well I Wonder" is the anti-"There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," which is the Smiths' best-loved song in part because it affirms a resolve to find oneself. But confusions and apprehensions are always deeper held than convictions.