"I Don't Owe You Anything"
(Morrissey/Marr)

 

These words are transcribed without permission the way they appear in the Smiths' debut album. Additions to the printed lyrics are in darker text while omissions are striken out.

Bought on stolen wine
a nod was the first step
you know very well
what was coming next
(repeat verse)

did I really walk all this way
just to hear you say
"oh I don't want to go out tonight"
"oh I don't want to go out tonight"

but you will
for you must

I don't owe you anything, no1
but you owe me something
repay me now 2

you should never go to them
let them come to you
just like I do
just like I do

you should not go to them
let them come to you
just like I do
just like I do

did I really walk all this way
just to hear you say
"oh I don't want to go out tonight"
"oh I don't want to go out tonight" 3

but you will
for you must

I don't owe you anything, no 1
but you owe me something
repay me now
2

Too freely on your lips
words prematurely sad
oh but I know what will make you smile tonight

Life is never kind
life is never kind
oh but I know what will make you smile tonight

 

1 Sandie Shaw version: "... at all".

2 Sandie Shaw version: "So repay me now".

3 Sandie Shaw version: "No I don't want to go out tonight".

Note:
An early demo of this song stretched up to 7 minutes and included an abandoned verse at the end. This verse mentioned "The rude girl that you have known" which will "make you smile tonight". It also included this line: "How I want to forget tonight, and I will, as will you."

 

Quotes

When questioned about which of his song he is most proud lyrically in a Q&A published on the True-To-You website in November 2005, Morrissey answered "It's impossible to answer this because I'm proud of most of them. There are only a few that make me shudder such as "Get Off The Stage," "Journalists Who Lie," "I Don't Owe You Anything"... But most of them, I think, somehow stand the test of time. Of course, some songs are better than others..."