"Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want"


The song was written in June 1984. It was called "The Irish Waltz" by Johnny when he wrote the instrumental, before Morrissey put words to it. It was recorded at Jam Studios in London in July 1984, with producer John Porter (who also plays the mandolin part).


single version {1:50}
"William, It Was Really Nothing" single, all formats except UK 7" reissue
• original EEC, Holland and Spain 7" of "How Soon Is Now?"
"Hatful Of Hollow" album
• Germany-only 12" of "Still Ill"
"Louder Than Bombs" album
• Australia "The World Won't Listen" double LP and double cassette
"Best...I" album
"The Very Best Of The Smiths" [remastered 2001]
• deluxe edition of "The Sound Of The Smiths" [remastered 2008]


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


Against expectations, this classic has only been done in concert 21 times by the Smiths, perhaps 24 times if we take into account that some information is missing for a few setlists of that era. It was done a confirmed 8 times, maybe 10 times at the end of 1984 in and around Wales and Ireland. It returned to the set a further 9 times in America in June 1985 in the middle of the Meat Is Murder tour. The final 4 (perhaps 5) airings were on the 1986 Queen Is Dead tour, late in the summer, again in America.

The song was done much more often by Morrissey after the Smiths days, 122 times in total. It was reintroduced into the set as the opener on the very first date of the 2002 tour with no name, but never played again on that tour. For 4 years it looked like that may have been a one-off event, until the tail end of the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI when the song was on the setlist without a break on the final two legs. It was featured on and off on the subsequent 2007-2008 Greatest Hits tour, for a total of 53 airings out of 91 dates. It was done 4 times again in July in the middle of the 2009 Tour Of Refusal. It was done irregularly on the 2012 dates, on average once for every two concerts. It was finally a fixture on the short 2013 tour when it was skipped only once.

live Hollywood High School 2 March 2013 {:} [Morrissey after the Smiths]
"25Live", a live concert on video


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



Morrissey, when asked if he thought "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" was the perfect Smiths song: "I think it was very close indeed, and hiding it away on a B-side was sinful. I feel sad about it now although we did include it on Hatful Of Hollow by way of semi-repentance. When we first played it to Rough Trade, they kept asking, "where's the rest of the song?" But to me, it's like a very brief punch in the face. Lengthening the song would, to my mind, have simply been explaining the blindingly obvious."
- Morrissey, Melody Maker, 26 September 1987