Photo illustration by prominent image poet Ben Park.

This The Smiths T-Shirt Is So Beautiful I'm Crying Because Nothing Lasts Forever Ugh

It’s the most clever of all time! Sob!

by Chris Black
Mar 20 2018, 3:59pm

Photo illustration by prominent image poet Ben Park.

The Smiths are a band I hold VERY close to my heart (literally: I have a tattoo on my chest that says, “Unloveable”). Their third studio album, The Queen is Dead, is a masterpiece, a sparkling melodic tour de force that showed my angsty teenage self that emotions are… cool.

That album also features my favorite Smiths song of all time: “Cemetry Gates” (not to be confused with the correctly-spelled song “Cemetery Gates” by the Texas heavy metal band Pantera!). It’s spirited and upbeat, but the lyrics maintain OG sadboy Morrissey’s dark outlook. If you listen, you realize that he is telling the tale of two insufferable bros who head to the cemetery on a sunny day to quote poetry by Keats, Yeats, and Wilde to each other. “They were born / and then they lived / and then they died / seems so unfair / I want to cry.” Wow! The puns are never-ending, and the plagiarism is substantial (my man bites Shakespeare), but goddamnit, that melody is INFECTIOUS!

To bring things back to the realm of the living: Book/Shop is a fantastic store in Oakland. The well-read Bay Area geniuses have created maybe the most clever Smiths shirt of all time: a simple white long sleeve pocket t-shirt with “KEATS” on one sleeve and “YEATS” on the other. “Keats and Yeats are on your side!” It is tasteful and subtle--a smart way to share your Smiths fandom with the world. If worse comes to worst, people will just think you are a struggling poet with a penchant for typography focused t-shirts.

I certainly don't ask where Chris Black gets these images and I certainly won't tell.