Irish Blood, English Heart

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"Irish Blood, English Heart"
Single by Morrissey
from the album You Are the Quarry
Released May 4, 2004 (US)
May 7, 2004 (Ireland)
May 10, 2004 (UK/Europe)
Format 7", 12", CD
Genre Alternative rock
Length 2:37
Label Attack/Sanctuary
Writer(s) Morrissey, Alain Whyte
Producer(s) Jerry Finn
Morrissey singles chronology
"Satan Rejected My Soul"
"Irish Blood, English Heart"
"First of the Gang to Die"

"Irish Blood, English Heart" is a song written by British singer Morrissey from his 2004 album You Are the Quarry. It was released on 4 May 2004 in the United States and 10 May 2004 internationally.

The song had been performed live numerous times prior to release, but Morrissey was without a record deal for some time. It was Morrissey's first single in seven years, and considered a major comeback. The music was written by Alain Whyte and had already been used on a song called "Not Bitter But Bored" for a band he was a part of called Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. Morrissey wrote a whole new set of lyrics for this tune as well as changing the melody. He also did this with another Johnny Panic tune, "Paranoia", which was rewritten as "Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice".

In the United Kingdom, the song was first played by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 1 on March 29, 2004. However, Radio 1 did not playlist the single. Only XFM, which playlisted it, provided much exposure for the single in the UK. Despite the lack of exposure on mainstream stations, "Irish Blood, English Heart" debuted at number 3 on the UK charts, making it Morrissey's highest charting single with or without The Smiths.

The song draws on Morrissey's joint English and Irish heritage, and explores the themes of contention between the two nations. It is one of Morrissey's more political songs, with him denouncing Oliver Cromwell, the Tory Party and the Labour Party.

The single's world premiere occurred on the KROQ-FM Kevin and Bean show on 22 March 2004. The song received consistent airplay throughout April and May on such alternative rock stations as WFNX (Boston), WWCD (Columbus), CIMX (Windsor), KMBY (Monterey / Salinas), XTRA (San Diego), and of course KROQ-FM (Los Angeles), as well as CFNY (Toronto). The single's airplay increased over the next few months and upon its release it spent two weeks at number 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. It also reached number 36 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, Morrissey's first single to chart there since 1994.

An edited version eventually became one of the songs on the EA Sports videogame FIFA Football 2005's soundtrack. The game's version does not include the line "And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell/And denounce this royal line that still salutes him. And will salute him, forever"; instead, after the verse "I've been dreaming of a time when/The English are sick to death of Labour and Tories", the song reverts to the line that begins "To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful/Racist or partial".

The song has also been released as downloadable content for the console versions of the main games in the Rock Band series.

Track listings

7" vinyl and CD #1 (UK)

  1. "Irish Blood, English Heart"
  2. "It's Hard to Walk Tall When You're Small"

CD #2 (UK)

  1. "Irish Blood, English Heart"
  2. "Munich Air Disaster 1958"
  3. "The Never Played Symphonies"

CD (US) and 12" vinyl (UK)

  1. "Irish Blood, English Heart"
  2. "It's Hard to Walk Tall When You're Small"
  3. "Munich Air Disaster 1958"
  4. "The Never Played Symphonies"
Country Record label Format Catalogue number
UK Attack/Sanctuary 7" vinyl ATKSI002
UK Attack/Sanctuary 12" vinyl ATKTW019
UK Attack/Sanctuary CD#1 ATKXS002
UK Attack/Sanctuary CD#2 ATKXD002


Live performances

The song was performed live by Morrissey on his 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2014 tours. From the 2004 tour it was recorded and put on the DVD, Who Put the M in Manchester?.

In December 2013, Morrissey played "Irish Blood, English Heart" as the last of his three-song set during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.

See also

External links