"Margaret On The Guillotine"
(Morrissey/Stephen Street)


The title of this song goes back to 1985-1986 when it was considered as a possible title for the album that ended up becoming "The Queen Is Dead". However, there is no evidence that the song's lyrics were written at the time. The song appears to have been come together during the "Viva Hate" recording sessions which stretched from October to December 1987 at Wool Hall Studios in Bath, with producer Stephen Street. Musicians on the recording were Vini Reilly (guitar), Stephen Street (bass) and Andrew Paresi (drums).

The song was recorded once again at BBC's Maida Vale Studios circa November 1987, for eventual broadcast on John Peel's programme. However tensions between the musicians and with some of the BBC personnel brought the session to a premature stop and whatever had been recorded was never broadcast. The musical line-up was the same as above.


album version {3:42}
"Viva Hate" album, original edition
"Viva Hate" album, EMI Centenary edition
"Viva Hate" album, redesigned edition [remastered 2012]


John Peel radio session circa November 1987
Morrissey went into the Maida Vale studios to record a 4-song session for John Peel's programme, but it was never completed nor broadcast. Very little is known about the sessions, besides the fact that it included "Suedehead" and "Margaret On The Guillotine".


This song has never been done live.


No demos or studio outtakes of this song have leaked to the general public at this point in time.



In a 1988 interview published in Sounds magazine, Morrissey said "I follow her career. Obviously, I find the entire Thatcher syndrome very stressful and evil and all those other words. But I think there's very little that people can do about it. The most perfect example, I suppose, is Clause 28. I think that absolutely embodies Thatcher's very nature and her quite natural hatred."