Still feeling the sting of a savage burn courtesy of April Fool’s Day trickery? Perhaps this is your theme song today. Arguably one of the most recognizable songs in both The Who’s catalog and in classic rock, this seven and a half minute behemoth is listed by Rolling Stone as 133rd best song of all time. Filled with angular, hypnotic synths and one of the most thrilling drum solos recorded, it fills the listener with vigor and inspires rising fists of dissent. But what does it mean? Is it a song of rebellion? Or is it a cynical “piss-take” (as our friends across the pond would say), since there are seemingly sarcastic lines such as, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Here’s what Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend said in regards to the song:
“It is not precisely a song that decries revolution – it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets – but that revolution, like all action, can have results we cannot predict. Don’t expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything. The song was meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the centre of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.”Musical Moments to Die For: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again by barefootjim
Sounds like words to live by. Sometimes songs are hidden in plain sight, and this seems to be one of them. Take the chance today to re-listen to this classic song and think about what Mr. Townshend said, as well as ways it applies to our current socio-political situation–that and how you’ll never believe in the Morse Code’s comeback ever again.
Jarad Matula | Senior Writer