Won't Get Fooled Again Lyrics - The Who

Review The Song (131)



We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again

Change it had to come
We knew it all along
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We were liberated from the fall that's all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?


There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
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!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss






Click here to submit the Corrections of Won't Get Fooled Again Lyrics
Forget the lyrics- listen to the band! | Reviewer: Rich | 6/18/14

Who gives a proverbial what the words mean? This songs shows the true strength of probably the world's best live band. Daltrey is always enthusiastic. Townshend completely inimitable in his style etc. John Entwistle gives one of the best ever bass riffs and Keith Moon is simply brilliant. This songs shows them all at their best - an all-time classic. The words? Well we can argue till the cows come home but let's just listen to the band.

fakecartney | Reviewer: momo | 7/13/13

the song sings about how original mcartney was thrown around like a rag doll by yeti/squatch/bigfoot shortly after eating some jack links jerky. the thrashings received by mcartney from momo caused him to have to be replaced with the new fake paulbeatle. everyone knows this because of disgusting breath.

The Irony!! | Reviewer: Ashamed Baby Boomer | 5/4/13

I find it so ironic that the generation that Townsend was singing this to has become the bankers, politicians, CEO's, and military manufacturers that have continued to promote or enable the serious inequalities that exist in the United Kingdom and the USA. These baby-boomers are the ones who have sent British, American, and Canadian youth overseas to fight wars over access to oil and other resources. It is the majority of Townsend's generation that has pushed the politics of every party in much of Europe and all of North America to the right, and entered other sovereign nations to dispense with rebels or put their choice for a leader into power. The very same people who sang this song with great enthusiasm in the 70's now work hard to squash any large scale movements criticizing the government and have successfully bought out the press or controlled it by other means...

Meet the new boss....same as the old boss....!!

Just a Comment, but also a REthink. | Reviewer: The Big Mick | 2/9/13

Studied for exams to "Who's Next". This is one of my Favorite All Time Rock Songs, and would be my choice for 60s Rock Anthem to say something deeper and more aware of some OTHER "things of the time" than Joplin's "Drugs, sex, Rock and Roll"

What I would really like to know, though, and wish we could talk about it over a couple of Beverages, is what Townsend thinks NOW?
Who does he see as having BEEN fooled again and why?
And is he still as ANTI-Religion as he was?

I think "saved from the fall" works better with "the morals that they worship will be gone." Though "fold" works in a different way. Look at some other Townsend songs "Join with the Band" "we don't pass the plate". Think Lenin "imagine no religion".
I don't share the sentiment expressed in those, but wonder if Townsend has changed his mind with age?

Meaning | Reviewer: Steve From Leicester | 12/31/12

I thought everyone knew it was about the 1970 UK general election when the "parting / party on the right" (Ted Heath's Conservatives) replaced the "parting / party on the left" (Harold Wilson's Labour) but the well-documented social and economic problems of the late Sixties continued.

The euphoria of a new Government and the opportunity for a fresh start was replaced with disillusionment - the slogans had been replaced but nothing on the streets had changed. The unions still pulled the strings of the Government, hence "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

Exposing the McCartney Triadpy | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/13/12

"And the parting on the left is now parting on the right" Is the Who's way of referencing that Paul McCartney parted his hair on the left, after his death in 1966...Pauls replacement parted his hair on the right ( William Sheppard Campbell) the next lyric "And the beards grew longer overnight" refered to all 4 Beatles growing facial hair...Fake Pauls plastic surgery scars were obvious...

More relevant now than ever | Reviewer: Yahoowahoo | 9/8/12

I loved this song when it was released, and it came back to me as a backdrop for the political conventions. But oh my gosh, look at it through the lense of the Arab Spring. So much of it rings so true and so sad. And yes, the song gets better with age.

But we do get fooled (again) | Reviewer: Judith | 7/23/12

Always been one of my favourite "Who" tracks. And that last line - "meet the new boss - same as the old boss" - how very true. And we do get fooled again - every single time! But still one of the greatest rock songs ever, in my opinion.

Poetry, anyone? | Reviewer: Francesco | 7/4/12

First of all it's "fold" not "fall". Secondly. poetry is never THAT superficial. His disappointment in the left's failure to right all the wrongs certainly may have inspired the song, but the lyrics resonate beyond that with universal ramifications. All messages are old: Power corrupts; people don't change; everyone is out for himself; power is not easily surrendered; movements are co-opted and bough out eb. etc.,etc. They're all here.) Poetry is about how deftly you can resurrect old issues that don't go away and doggedly plague humanity them in interesting and stirring language. It isn't a code or a mystery. These lyrics are not as flat as most pop lyrics so they mystify people used to mediocrity, and so they look for silly obvious secret messages. Geez, a little inspired thinking is in short supply, isn't it? What is this -- the Ancient Aliens website?

Poetry is like a diamond | Reviewer: Francesco | 7/4/12

The beaauty of the Who's lyrics is that they are poetic. Interpreting them religiously is possible, but it is only one way to understand the underlying observation that power holds on and is not easily surrendered. The line "liberated from the fold" (not the fall!) suggests that all groups are insignificant. They are generic forms that have no fundamental differences since everyone wants the same thing -- POWER! Word choice is crucial in poetryunlike in popular "literature".
The parting on the left is now a parting on the right" suggests the negligible differences between politica parties ad superficial alliances. It is also a cultural reference to changes in hairstyles, but this is metaphorical. That's why it is so brilliant. It even suggests a folksiness and casual indifference to change when it is heard as a-parting (a dialecticl form of the present participleas in "It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall"). Most popular music totally stinks. The Who (like the Stones) use the limitations of Rock music to mirror the lyrical value inherent in folk music nad higher music forms like opera. This is special. Again, most pop music is shallow crap. The Who are exceptional aritists. They are one of 2 or 3 groups I can still listen to when I'm not in the mood for Beethoven or Verdi. They are a treasure.I teach college English. Who lyrics are worth discussing (as are Dylan's & Jagger's) in the classroom.

Transfer from old covenant to new covenant | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/17/12

Like many have said, a good song can have several application depending on the hearer.

I see some allusions to the first century ending of the mosaic covenant and the establishment of the new... everlasting covenant. [new constitution]

And the men who spurred us on [apostles]
Sit in judgment of all wrong[ they judged from heaven due to being killed by Nero or the rabbi's]
They decide [judgment sat in thier favor,(Dan 7:24-27) and the 'shotgun' (the weapons of Rome) sang the song (of Moses of Duet 32 and Isaiah 59]

Though the physical world didn't change [but the world looks just the same] [other than the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem] the political, religious world [morals that they worship will be gone] changed and reverted to the pre-mosaic covenant elements of natural life, and faith walk like Jacob experienced with God. [pick up my guitar and play..just like yesterday..] before the mosaic covenant.

We were liberated from the fall, that's all [by the New Covenant previous to being liberated from judaism at the latter end fo the old covenant in 66-70 AD]

Meet the new boss [Jesus}... same as the old boss.. :)

And the parting on the left

Those who enterend the mosaic covenant went from right to left across the parted Jordan river under Joshua.

Is now the parting on the right

Those who left the mosaic covenant for the new covenant under Jesus went from left to right across the Jordan.

I'll move myself and my family aside
They were instructed to get out of judea after seeing the armies circle it once [66AD]

If we happen to be left [remain] half alive
Over half the belivers in God and Jesus died under the rabbi's instructions or under Nero.

I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized [indwelt with the Spirit]never lie








Yes We Can | Reviewer: Eric | 4/6/12

Meaning for me in this song is that ... absolute Power corrupts absolutely. The singer suggests throughout the song that he is being "fooled" in to believing in some kind of change ... but ultimately what happens is that nothing changes.

"Won't get fooled again" means he's not going to be fooled in to picking a side, believing that one is better than the other.

Current politics are the same (democrats and republicans are both corrupt and have an agenda that is not for the people - although both pretend to be for the people in order to be elected).

Obama is a great example ... even if he meant that he wanted to change things ... he didn't after he got corrupted.

Long Beards | Reviewer: Mike O | 3/3/12

Long beards are a sign of age and wisdom. "Grown longer overnight" was a slap at the young guns that thought they had it all figured out. Screw all the analysis, this song rocks and Daltry's scream YEAAAAAH! at the end is the best ever.

And Pray We Won't Get Fooled Again | Reviewer: JayB | 12/26/11

Like most art pieces(Books,paintings,songs),the TITLE and not the last line defines what it's all about. The first verse makes hints at protests,sit-ins, free love,hippies with their children protesting for the moral change against racism and the "make love not war" type attitude. "THE MORALS THAT THEY WORSHIPPED WILL BE GONE" & society's old moral standards will be gone & replaced with a new morality all based on love, free love, etc. "AND THE MEN WHO SPURRED US ON" (the system backing the old morality)"SITS IN JUDGEMENT OF ALL WRONG" "THEY DECIDE....AND THE SHOTGUN(old law & order, attitudes,laws,enforcement,etc.) SINGS THE SONG. The refrain could refer to the actual Constitution but I believe it refers to the general meaning of the word constitution which is "determination". The determination to change the whole society's moral compass which is a type of revolutionary change. Then smiling & grinning at these changes and growing acceptance of both these changes & growth of the movement of the younger generation pushing for these changes. Picking up the guitar refers to all the bands playing concerts like Ashbury & Woodstock and just recording songs in general promoting these changes to new, more moral, more loving society. And finally, in the refrain is the biggest line of all of the song "I'LL GET ON MY KNEES AND PRAY WE DON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN" by the old government/society system or the old morality. That we never fall back from the new ideals once they're becoming accomplished & get fooled back into the old way of thinking. The 2nd verse refers to the fact that we knew a moral change was needed in our society, that we can't change history, & that the rest of the world is still the same even if our world here changes. The banners (and history or propaganda, how countries/borders/ideologies were formed through war,etc.) have a strong hold & relation with the old morality thinking.Then the refrain, much like an urge, prods followers to keep spreading the message together, in song, etc. and praying that society seeing the new morailty as right not ever get fooled again into slipping back into the old morality & thinking.The refrain also admits that the struggle will be constant and not just be won at some point and then it's over. That there will be future times when together the new morality must be defended so as not to get fooled back into the old way of thinking as well. I think the 3rd verse really shows the times of high drug use, the "tune in, turn on,.." If this new movement is still half alive, I'll just kick back with my rolling papers still smoking up, kicking back looking up at the sky. Because when people were strung out & high(or at a higher thinking level mentally, or expanding their minds as they used to say) is when they had all these utopian deep ideas, and had all the truths of life revealed to them of a world based on love and their focus(or being somewhat hypnotized with these ideas while high)was on this laid back, free love, love everyone, make peace attitude. And when you're high understanding these truths on a higher level, there is no lying about what is true, just truth revealed. And a "Do Ya?" is thrown in as in "Do you lie when you are seeing these deep truths abour ideals and true morality when you're high?" with an expected thought of "Of course not". The 4th verse explains how even with all the slogan changes,protests,songs, etc. everything STILL looks pretty much the same...we are NOT done with our mission of change! It mentions the splitting in mnay directions as to what is the right avenue to accomplish these moral changes. And "THE BEARDS OF THOUGHT GROW LONGER OVER NIGHT" as more & more ideas from people involved in the movement of just what is the right approach or of most importance at the time to achieve the goals of these changes. Then the refrain again to keep up the encouragement and "Keep on Keepin on" til society's changed to these new ideals. Finally the last line "MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS" which has been met with many interpretations. One could be that no mat
ter who is acting as a speaker for the movement at the moment(as many took these roles in various places and even were replaced over & over within individual factions of the movement), they are all the same, of one regarding the main goals. Therefore no matter who is speaking they stand as if they are the leadership of the movement and represent all those in the movement and the ideals. Still back them as you would any other you have backed towards accomplishing these changes for our generation. It could also, as has been suggested, mean political leadership change, & to stress understanding that even that type of change doesn't necessarily mean a change in society's thinking. They are basically still as ineffective as the previous person in that position for causing the real changes. That it is all of society's attitude that needs changed and just changing only the political leadership doesn't accomplish this.

Cynical Far Right dream | Reviewer: Class75 | 12/11/11

I was a just turning teen when this came out. It always seemed to me that it was really was sung by an older generation dream of taking the world back from the younger generation (...children at our feet and the morals that they worshipped will be gone), craving that old time moral/religious order (Sit in judgment of all wrong, They decide and the shotgun sings the song). Kind of Old Testament.
That new constitution/revolution sounds like a scaling back of the perfectly fine constitution (which allows the younger generations freedom of speech/thought) that we had. [Apologies for the American perspective there.] "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" - politicians/ruling class (the ones the youngers are rebelling against) retains, even cements its hold on power.
BTW, I always heard that 'left out' line as:
If we happen to be left out, we lie
Sound systems were'nt so good back then, but that's still how it sounds to me.
The ironic thing is they "don't get fooled again"
but everything is just the same. Or worse.


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------ 09/19/2014

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