The meaning of the song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/9/08

The meaning of the song, people, is satirizing the hippies and people alike(nothing wrong with them I think they're cool) but it's saying that when people get power they abuse it and that although you may want 'change' it's not going to change as long as humans act the way they do. (P.S. micheal moore Is annoying. That's why I hate him and I'm annoying... And the ''around change is directed to Obama. He can't change anything more than any other president. People remember anything he wants done has to go through both the Senate AND the House of Representatives. He is just like every other politician he lied...So did McCain. Don't hate me thinking I support McCain or am Rasict. I'm just realistic.)

An Anthem for all Human History | Reviewer: DianeB | 11/5/08

Though I hadn’t played this song in a while, in the wake of our Presidential election (and the many street celebrations which spontaneously erupted last night), I felt compelled to listen to it again.

In my opinion, this song is The Who's "masterpiece among masterpieces" and quite possibly one of the best rock ‘n roll songs of all time. Like "Baba O'Reilly," Led Zep's "Stairway to Heaven," the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky," it's incredibly powerful and takes the band's music to its artistic epitome; but in addition to all that, intended or not, the lyrics are nothing short of profound.

I first started to fully appreciate "Won't Get Fooled Again" back in the early '80s, when I was in college and majored in Russian history (think about it). Later on, when I learned details about the '60s counterculture that I was too young to appreciate at the time, I realized that the lyrics were probably a somewhat tongue-in-cheek commentary on the transformation and decline of the idealistic Hippie movement of the '60's in the wake of Altamonte, Kent State, the Manson murders and mounting casualties from drug overdoses. Released in 1971, it was also prophetic of the cynicism to which the '60s counterculture would give way in the '70s.

Though I was unaware of Townshend's original intention in writing most of the songs on "Who's Next," I have no doubt that "Won't Get Fooled Again" was intended to be the signature, "grand finale Aria" to Townshend's "failed opera" (and "Baba O'Reilly" the Aria to the first Act). If it‘s any consolation to him, Pete Townshend can rest assured that his message got across; even taken alone, the song's personification of the age-old struggle - and inevitable exploitation - of the common man at the hands of the "powers that be" - endures as one of the premier works of sarcasm and irony of its time and genre, constantly reminding us not to expect too much!

mski -- what a ridiculous comment! | Reviewer: Robert Singleton | 11/3/08

Dismissing Michael Moore as a "fat asshole" says more about you than about him. Tit for tat -- I've been wanting to use this line for a while, and since you started the insults -- "The economy is, of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room. The 80 pound gorilla is Ann Coulter."

A song for all time - especially now... | Reviewer: Michael D | 10/4/08

Some of what has been written is complete pap. Some of it, on the other hand,is incisive. You have to take drug-induced lyrics at their face value. In this case the parting on the left may be the same as the parting on the right but it's about bloody time we got rid of the "no parting" Gordon Brown. I think there is a sea change about to happen i British society and if it is a "quiet" revolution, I am all for it.

MD

the hypnotized never lie... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/15/08

i know why as mentioned below, why the who wouldn't let michael moore use this song in his doc. not that moore's docs are bad, in fact they make very good points on relevant issues and are entertaining to boot, but this song makes a bigger statement than all of moore's docs put together. it's amazing how this song word for word applies to all of human history no matter how far back or forward you want to go.

i am and have been "fooled again", and no doubt will be in the future. the point of this song is that it's in our human nature and there's nothing we can do about it, except to recognize that it's true. then at least we know we are screwing ourselves, which is better than being fooled and hypnotized or worst yet being the boss.

this doesn't mean that we shouldn't vote, or that it's all futile whom we elect or erect as our leaders, but inevitably it all gets corrupted and we go thru the same thing again, toppling and inserting, executing and deposing. which is why pete says that while it's all futile, at least we can play our guitar and rock out in the pretense of hope that will eventually be dashed, but we know what's going on and will have rocked out notwithstanding, and no one can take that away from us. we might not be able to truly change things but nobody can stop us from knowing why we can't, and that's what really means something.

forget "hope" and "change", that's for suckers, what's important is knowledge of the truth. for more see nirvana's "smells like teen spirit"...

"The REAL Republican Anthem" | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/9/08

This is a crucial election (as elections go) in the U.S. I still cannot believe that people in this country are "Fooled Again" by the policies of an "Imperialistic", "Holier Than Thou"; "Force is The Course"; "Tell Enough Lies and It Becomes Truth" Republican Party. One thing is for sure, McCain is Insane!! And the only ones more insane, are the ones who buy into the same crap for 20 of the past 28 years!
Saddest of all is that our environment will be gone and oil companies will profit; the rich will always be rich; the working man will be lied to, used, and abused and the good "God-fearing" Republican Party will continue to sponsor a war where our young (not the rich or their children)and the innocent in other countries die for their countries lies!

My favorite | Reviewer: mski | 8/28/08

It's been about 35 years since I first heard this song.After all these years,I still love it. I am also so happy that Pete Townshend would not
allow that fat asshole Michael Moore use it in the phony documentary"Fahrenheit 9/11"

The boots of time | Reviewer: FL Williams | 8/21/08

Perhaps Europe's left should sing this at the top of their lungs as a small country on their doorstep that elected a government democratically was crushed by the Russian boots (Georgia)? The Boss in this case is the KGB. How long will Europe tolerate their natural allies getting mauled by the oligarchs of the Cold War Soviet? How long will the Nihilists stay in power telling us that a revolution will free us from ourselves?

People, the philosophy you've all been clinging to has been utterly false since the days of Woodrow Wilson. There is no nirvana. There is no utopia. Just look again to the boots of time marching to crush those that stand in their way. Give peace a chance? Ask those trampled if they want peace after seeing their loved ones blown up by Russian fighter bombers.

If you don't realize it, you will be like a teenager in the Warsaw Ghetto trying to stay alive inside a sewer as your country pays homage to the boots of time from the East. That is, unless you wake up to the reality of Russia's desire to enslave you.

I tip my hat | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/11/08

In my personal opinion, this song is essentially about the hopeless stupidity of human nature. The "new boss" will always be the same as the "old boss" no matter who is in charge or what people believe because mankind is an essentially evil creature, who in spite of his best efforts, can never break the cycle of war and devastation completely. Pete Townsend's generation might have had the best of intentions, but in the end they themselves created new evils for the coming generation just as his parent's generation had done for his own. History is a story of human vice and stupidity. No matter what we do or who we put our faith in, vice will continue as long as human beings continue to be human beings. It is not necessarily the flaws of the Establishment or the "elites" that cause this, but rather all of humanity. All we can do is our best, we cannot hope for perfection.

1970 British General Election | Reviewer: tony | 7/9/08

this song is about voting against govenments who lie only for the new party in power to be exactly yhe same. in particular the 1970 general election

labour (parting on the left) lost
conservatives (parting on the right) won

Meet the new boss (prime minister) - Edward Heath
Same as the old boss - Harold Wilson

many other references to these events within the song

but i think the key line is this:-

Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

this to me means, yes the country is run by liers and cheats but, hey, ive got my guitar and i dont care. but i just hope everyone learns that all politicians are as bad as each other

A priceless beauty | Reviewer: ShinobiTSHero | 6/6/08

Although i was born 20-30 years after this song, along with all the beauties classic rock has to offer,were done, I still can't help but love it. This song...and The Who...will always be one of my favorites.

They were one of the many voices that defined a generation. No artist or band out now..will ever be able to do that for this generation. Not the way the ones from the Golden Years of Classic Rock(my name for it)did.

I salute this song, the band and all those who defined what I believe to be the greatest generation, if not the most free. I wish I could have been there.

Further to anonymous 24/1/2008 | Reviewer: Michael | 5/23/08

It's hard to expand on such a perfectly depicted perpetual cycle of life for the individual and the collective consciousness that all life in the universe is. Without the struggles to drive us to create the freedoms and the struggles we have with coming to terms with freedoms and the struggles we find in the freedoms and so on.So I won't, because i think you've got it right and this made me happy !!!

No rest for the revolutionary | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/24/08

This song reflects a cycle of revolutionary change, followed by complacency and an erosion of revolutionary values, followed by a new oppressive power, only to struggle for revolutionary gains once again.

It says that real change is an ongoing battle that is never ever won. What seems like the final victory is never the final battle. Just when you think you have made the gains and the world is a better place the new boss becomes just like the old boss.

The song is about the conflict between relaxing and enjoying all of the gains and then once again metaphorically picking up arms to fight the next battle. Victory is a worthy but ephemeral goal.

When you have won that transient peace, you pick up your guitar and play, and pray that you won't get fooled again. Then you find that "the new boss, [is] same as the old boss. Here we go again.

The background of Vietnam, civil rights struggles, assassinations and deceiving leaders gives this song an immediacy for the times when it was written, but it is also proves to be universal.

Timelessness | Reviewer: Jim Geary | 1/9/08

I see some people pegging this song as specific to Vietnam or whatever, but it's really timeless. He's saying every revolution is b.s. "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss" resonates for at least the last 10,000 years.

Dex is wrong | Reviewer: chris | 1/9/08

Steve is 100% right. This was written for lifehouse and then later put on whos next with other left over lifehouse material. Townshend even said this himself on the documentary The Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who so Dex...you're the incorrect one.