(I don't bless them
To this land's cheerless marshes
Hemmed in like a boar between arches

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead lyrics meaning


The image of “cheerless marshes” is one often attributed to the North, specifically to Yorkshire.

Prior to the 1980s, Yorkshire was traditionally used for agriculture and mining. However The Smiths claim the closing of the mine pits by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, and the building of transport networks throughout the 20th century have hemmed the community in “between [the] arches” of industrialisation. Thus there is a feeling of oppression and restlessness in the community.

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