"The Hand That Rocks The Cradle"


Lyrics (or an early variation of them) were supposedly written by Morrissey in 1980 or before, as Morrissey sent a home-recorded acapella demo of a song with this title to Richard Boon in 1980.

The song as we know it now was written in May-June 1982. It turned out to be the first completed song by Morrissey and Marr. A demo was first recorded on Marr's TEAC recorder at the time the song was written.

The song was first professionally recorded in August 1982 at the band's first studio session at Decibel Studios in Manchester, alongside "Suffer Little Children". This version features Johnny on back vocals and guitar, Dale Hibbert on bass and Simon Wolstencroft on drums.

It was professionally recorded with the band's definitive line-up in July/August 1983 at London's Elephant Studios with producer Troy Tate in the initial sessions for the band's debut album.

The definitive version was recorded in mid-October 1983 at Pluto Studios in Manchester, with producer John Porter.


album version {4:39}
"The Smiths" (debut album)


This song has never been performed specifically for radio or television.


This song has been performed live 5 times by the Smiths, perhaps up to 7 times when taking into account the number of unknown setlists from those very early Smiths days. The debut performance was on the band's live debut on 4 October 1982 and the final one on their seventh known concert, on 21 May 1983, which is still very early in their live career.

There are no officially released live recordings of the song at this point in time, but bootleg recordings are circulated.


John Porter monitor mix aka demo {4:47}
Taken from a record company cd-r of a scrapped reissue project, this was leaked at the end of 2010 on the rarities LP bootleg simply titled "The Smiths".
definitive Troy Tate studio recording {4:57}
This is found on record company cd-rs of Troy Tate's work for the band's debut album, but it has not been officially released nor has it leaked on bootlegs yet.
Troy Tate studio outtake {5:15}
This studio outtake is similar to the above with only minor differences. It is commonly found on bootlegs.
Decibel Studios demo {:}
This was sold by Dale Hibbert to a private fan/collector in 1996 and has yet to be given a release or leak on bootlegs.


Where did a song like 'Hand That Rocks The Cradle' come from?
"Well, that comes from a relationship I had that didn't really involve romance. So if we're talking about romance, well, I don't really know that much about it. But in other things, I'm quite capable of making an observation."
- Morrissey, Melody Maker, 16 March 1985