Getting Away with It
by Electronic

Writers - Sumner/Marr/Tennant
First released - 1991
Original album - Electronic (Electronic)
Producer - Bernard Sumner, Johnny Marr, Neil Tennant
Subsequent albums - Get the Message: The Best of Electronic
Other releases - single (UK #12, US #38)

Unlike "Patience of a Saint," Chris wasn't involved in the creation of this Electronic track. A terrific hit single that appears on Electronic's eponymous debut album, "Getting Away with It" features Neil sharing background vocals as well as songwriting duties. (Bernard Sumner sings lead.) The song begs the question implied by its title: just what is it that the narrator has supposedly been "getting away with" all his life? The litany of activities described in the lyrics seems to boil down to the narrator thinking and doing things that only serve to hurt and torment himself.

This self-destructive tendancy is most notably manifested in the refrain: "However I look, it's clear to see that I love you more than you love me." But he's not about to give up on it; after all, he has been "getting away with it," so why should he stop? He clearly derives even more pleasure than pain from his behavior. As long as he can keep getting away with it, he'll keep doing it. And, who knows? — Maybe eventually his love will be returned in full.

Neil has provided some fascinating background information: he and Sumner wrote the lyrics from the presumed perspective of former Smiths lead singer (and Marr's former writing partner) Morrissey, suggesting that he's been "getting away with" his "persona of being miserable" for years. (See "Miserablism" for another song with a similar background.) Marr has suggested that Neil actually had greater input into the lyrics than Sumner.

Mixes

Officially released

List cross-references