Frankly, Mr. Shankly is a track from The Queen is Dead by The Smiths.


The song is in the form of a letter to a superior from a disgruntled employee.

It has reputed to have been addressed to Geoff Travis, head of the Smiths' first record label Rough Trade. Travis has since described it as "a funny lyric" about "Morrissey's desire to be somewhere else", acknowledging that a line in the song about "bloody awful poetry" was a reference to a poem he had written for Morrissey.


A demo track was recorded in 1985, featuring a trumpet part, slightly altered vocal parts and lyrics.

The story has it that when this song was recorded during the main sessions for the Queen Is Dead LP, with Street, there was a technical problem with the master reels for this track, necessitating an emergency call to John Porter to engineer an 11th hour re-recording in December 1985. What wasn't then discovered publicly, was that the "technical problem" was a trumpet part on the track.

The trumpeter was never credited, but it was reported he was a member of the BBC Orchestra at the time.