"William, It Was Really Nothing" is a song by British band The Smiths. It was released as a single on 24 August 1984, featuring the B-sides "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" and "How Soon Is Now?", and reached #17 in the UK Singles Chart. The song is featured on the compilation albums Hatful of Hollow and Louder Than Bombs as well as other best of and singles collections. In 2004 the song was ranked number 425 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
The original artwork depicted comes from an early 80s advertisement for A.D.S. speakers (the object on the bed is a speaker), however due to legal reasons later pressings were produced with new artwork, a lilac-tinted still of Billie Whitelaw from the film Charlie Bubbles, directed by Albert Finney. The sleeve for the 1988 CD single reissue shows Colin Campbell from the 1964 film The Leather Boys. This artwork had previously been used in Germany for the single "Ask".
When the band performed the song on Top of the Pops, Morrissey ripped open his shirt to reveal the words "MARRY ME" written on his chest ("Would you like to marry me?" is one line of the song).
The song is popularly believed to have been written by Morrissey about his short-lived friendship with Billy Mackenzie, lead singer of Associates. Some fans speculated that the two were romantically linked and viewed The Associates' song, "Stephen, You're Really Something" as a response (Morrissey's full name is Steven Patrick Morrissey), though it was actually written by Billy's bandmate Alan Rankine. Morrissey himself has said of his band's song:
THE IMPOTENCE OF ERNEST / ROMANTIC AND SQUARE IS HIP AND AWARE
THE IMPOTENCE OF ERNEST / WE HATES BAD GRAMMER
THE IMPOTENCE OF ERNEST / ROMANTIC AND  IS HIP N'AWARE