Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Sweet and Tender Hooligan

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Released  23 May 1995
Recorded  1985–1987
Label  Sire
Format  CD single
Length  10:28 (total duration)
Genre  Alternative rock, punk rock

"Sweet and Tender Hooligan" is a song by The Smiths, recorded in 1986, and released as a single in May 1995 by their American record company Sire Records. It was released to promote the compilation album Singles.


Whereas WEA in Europe opted to re-issue the 1986 "Ask" single to promote Singles, Sire thought it wiser to put out a single containing rarities, even though none of them featured on the actual compilation, as neither "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" itself nor its supporting tracks had been previously released as a single. The title track had previously been recorded for the BBC and included on the 1987 compilation Louder Than Bombs and the 12" of "Sheila Take a Bow"; "I Keep Mine Hidden", "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" and "What's the World?" were previously hard-to-find B-sides to earlier singles "Girlfriend in a Coma" and "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" (both 1987).

The lyrics describe the lenient sentencing of a hooligan, with the narrator sarcastically taking the side of the criminal, saying "and he'll never ever do it again / of course he won't / not until the next time".

Track listing

  1. "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" (Morrissey, Johnny Marr) – 3:35
  2. "I Keep Mine Hidden" (Morrissey, Marr) – 1:59
  3. "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" (Guy Woolfenden, Don Black) – 2:47
  4. "What's the World?" (live) (Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson, Gavan Whelan) – 2:06


A still of boxer Cornelius Carr from the video of Morrissey's contemporary solo single "Boxers" as directed by James O'Brien in 1995.


Jack Rabid of Allmusic described this song as "one of their great punk-inspired moments (along with "London") and as usual, should have been the A-side anyway."


Sweet and Tender Hooligan Wikipedia

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