Written by Pete Townshend and The Who.
Who are Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle
I had to go to this psychiatrist every week. Every Monday.
He never really knew what was wrong with me. He said I wasn't
mad or anything. He said there's no such thing as madness. I
told him he should try standing in a queue at Brentford football
ground on a Saturday morning, I thought it might change his mind.
My dad put it another way. He said I changed like the weather.
One minute I'd be a tearaway, next minute all soppy and swoony
over some bird. Schizophrenia, he called it. Nutty, my mum
It used to be alright at home. My dad would get pissed out of
his brain every single night, and when the telly finished he'd
storm out of the house like a lunatic to get to the Eel and Pie
shop before it closed. He'd come home with enough for an army.
I never liked the eels, just the pies and mash, and the liquor.
My friend Dave said that eels live on sewage. My dad must be
full of it, he used to eat five bleeding cartons of eels a day.
I don't think he ever twigged I was doing five cartons of
leapers every day. Each to his own sewage. The rows at home
started when I got back from the trouble at Brighton. I'd slept
on the beach and me suit was ruined. I really cared about my
suit, all my clothes, even though my mother said I didn't care
about anything. My mother's terrible when she's had a few
Guinesses. Not that she'll ever settle for a few. As soon as I
said I was leaving she started rejoicing like the war had just
ended. I was a mountain of paranoia. Coming down off leapers
isn't much fun. You can put it off by having more just as you
start feeling bad, but it only makes it worse in the end. Pills
used to make me see things. They used to make me feel great,
like Tarzan. But I think I saw life the way it was. People
couldn't hide from me when I was leaping. My shrink used to have
a sign on his wall to make you laugh. It said that a paranoiac
is a person who has some idea what is really going on. That was
me on leapers.
I pissed off after I'd slept off the come-down. I got me suit
cleaned at the automat and spent two hours pressing the pissing
thing. It never did look quite right. I took my parka as well,
in case I had to sleep rough. I got a shitty couple of nights
sleep under Hammersmith flyover. There only seems to be about
five minutes in the night when there ain't some flash bastard in
a sportscar going round and round with his tyres screaming and a
police car bell coming up behind. On the second night I saw the
posters going up outside the Odeon for a WHO concert. I'd seen
them down at Brighton. They were a mod group. Well, mods liked
them. They weren't exactly mods but mods did like them. They
had a drummer who used to play with his arms waving about in the
air like a lunatic. The singer was a tough looking bloke with
really good clothes. If I hadn't have seen him near home I would
have said his hair was gold. Real gold I mean, like gold paint.
The guitar player was a skinny geezer with a big nose who twirled
his arm like a windmill. He wrote some good songs about mods,
but he didn't quite look like one. The bass player was a laugh.
He never did anything. Nothing. He used to smile sometimes, but
the smile would only last half a second then it would switch off
again. My friend Dave said he smiled a lot more at his sister,
they were engaged I think. His bass sounded like a bleeding
They played Tamla stuff and R & B. They could have been
perfect if they'd played Blue Beat as well. I used to know
one of them before they got their record in the charts so I went
to see them. They were alright. They smashed up so much gear
that nobody believed it was real. When they played down the
Marquee they used real gear. I used to have a bit of bass drum
to prove it. After the show I hung around outside waiting for
them to come out. When they did they never bloody well
recognised me. I shouted and one of them turned round and said
"How are you doing?", like he remembered me. "Working?" he said.
I hate it when people say that. Course I wasn't working, I was
still at fucking school.
Next day I got a job, as a dustman. Now I know why people
say "Working?" to one another. Nine quid for a full weeks filthy
work. They stuffed it, I left after two days with two quid in me
pocket. Two of the blokes there were talking about striking for
more money, but most of the geezers there bad been working for
the council for years. They looked upon it as some sort of
church. The mayor as the Pope. One bloke has medals for being a
war hero and he didn't have the guts to strike for more pay.
They were all clean though, after hours.
There's a part of me that hates people. Not the actual
people but how useless they are, how stupid. They sit and stew
while the whole world gets worse and worse. Wars and battles.
People dying of starvation. Old people dying because their kids
have got their own kids and they ain't got time. That's what
makes me smash things up. My shrink says I ain't mad. He should
see me when I'm pissed.
I don't know what clicked inside me, but I got fed up with
sleeping under the flyover. The weather was terrible for a
start. Two rainy nights and that was it. I really started to
fancy going back to Brighton. I still had about two hundred
leapers left, kept me company. What was really weird was seeing
this bird that I really liked, I even had her on the beach at
Brighton. Two in a sleeping bag is really cosy until you're
finished. Anyway, she was with my mate Dave. Him! She walked
right past me after a dance at the Goldhawk. The girl of my best
friend and all that. It did me in. It was like the last straw.
The real last straw was yet to come, I was so brought down, I
smashed me G.S. up in the pissing rain. I can't bear to think
about it. I walked to the station down the railway tracks,
across the river. I felt like throwing myself in front of a
train, but I didn't. I took about twenty leapers at once, got a
first class ticket to Brighton and set off to my land of dreams.
I did some thinking on the train. At one point I could
swear I was floating about in the carriage, looking down at these
two city gents. What was weirdest about it was that I could see
myself as well. Must have been the pills again.
Brighton is a fantastic place. The sea is so gorgeous you
want to jump into it and sink. When I was there last time there
were about two thousand mods driving up and down the promenade on
scooters. My scooter's seen the last of Brighton bloody
promenade now, I know that. I felt really anonymous then, sort
of like I was in an army. But everyone was a mod. Wherever you
looked there were mods. Some of them were so well dressed it was
sickening. Levi's had only come into fashion about a month
before and some people had jeans on that looked like they'd been
born wearing them. There was this bloke there that seemed to be
the ace face. He was dancing one night in the Aquarium ballroom
and everyone was copying him. He kept doing different dances,
but everyone would copy it and the whole place would be dancing a
dance that held only just made up. That's power for you. He was
really heavy too, though. When the mods collected in Brighton,
the Rockers would turn up too. There were never as many of them,
but this geezer once took on two of them at once and beat them.
That didn't usually happen I can tell you.
I was in a crowd of kids once chasing three Rockers down
Brighton Pier. As it seemed they were going to get caught anyway
they stopped and turned to meet their fate. All hundred of these
kids I was with stopped dead. I was the first to stop, but the
rest ran, so I had to follow. There's nothing uglier than a
Rocker. This ace face geezer wouldn't have run. He smashed the
glass doors of this hotel too. He was terrific. He had a sawn-
off shotgun under his jacket and he'd be kicking at plate glass
and he still looked like he was Fred Astaire reborn. Quite
funny, I met him earlier today. He ended up working at the same
hotel. But he wasn't the manager.
I never ever felt like I blasphemed. You know, in an old
fashioned sense. But I was in a pretty blasphemous mood when I
left for Brighton. Brighton cheered me up. But then it let me
down. Me folks had let me down, Rock had let me down, women had
let me down, work wasn't worth the effort, school isn't even
worth mentioning. But I never ever thought I'd feel let down by
being a mod. I pinched this boat, first time I'd ever been on a
boat at sea. I had another few leapers to keep from coming down
and I felt a bit bravado. So I headed for this Rock out off the
coast. It was sticking up very jagged, but very peaceful. I
didn't know then what I was up to, but I know now.
Schizophrenic! What a laugh. It must be alright to be
plain ordinary mad. About halfway over I took a swallow of this
Gilbeys gin I'd bought. Booze never did help me much though. On
the boat it did me right in, specially on top of the pills and
the come-down. Anyway, the sound of the engine turned into this
drone, then the drone turned into a sound like pianos or
something. Like heavenly choirs or orchestras tuning up. It was
really an incredible sound. Like the sort of noise you'd expect
to hear in heaven, if there is such a place. I pinched myself
and I wasn't really drunk anymore. I was floating. I felt
really happy. I must have looked bloody stupid as it happens. I
was waving me Gilbeys around in the air and singing in tune with
the engine. The sound got better and better, I was nearly
delirious when I got to the Rock. I switched off the engine and
jumped onto it. When the engine stopped, so did the music. And
when that beautiful music stopped, I remembered the come-down I
had, I felt sick from the booze, the sea was splashing all over
the place and there was thunder in the distance. I remembered
why I'd come to this bastard Rock.
So that's why I'm here, the bleeding boat drifted off and
I'm stuck here in the pissing rain with my life flashing before
me. Only it ain't flashing, it's crawling. Slowly. Now it's
just the bare bones of what I am.
A tough guy, a helpless dancer.
A romantic, is it me for a moment?
A bloody lunatic, I'll even carry your bags.
A beggar, a hypocrite, love reign over me.
Schizophrenic? I'm bleeding Quadrophrenic.
(No one in this story is meant to represent anyone either living
or dead, particularly not the Mum and Dad. Our Mums and Dads are
all very nice and live in bungalows we bought for them in the
I am the Sea
Is it me, for a moment...
Love, reign o'er me...
Can you see the real me, can you, can you?
The Real Me
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.
Can you see the real me, doctor?
I went back to my mother
I said, "I'm crazy ma, help me."
She said, "I know how it feels son,
'Cause it runs in the family."
Can you see the real me, mother?
The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.
Can you see the real me, can you?
I ended up with the preacher,
Full of lies and hate,
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate.
Can you see the real me preacher?
Can you see the real me doctor?
Can you see the real me mother?
Can you see the real me?
Cut My Hair
Why should I care
If I have to cut my hair?
I've got to move with the fashions
Or be outcast.
I know I should fight
But my old man he's really alright,
And I'm still living at home
Even though it won't last.
Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents
Five inches long.
I'm out on the street again
And I'm leaping along.
I'm dressed right for a beach fight,
But I just can't explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still
Here in my brain.
The kids at school
Have parents that seem so cool.
And though I don't want to hurt them
Mine want me their way.
I clean my room and my shoes
But my mother found a box of blues,
And there doesn't seem much hope
They'll let me stay.
Zoot suit, etc.
Why do I have to be different to them?
Just to earn the respect of a dance hall friend,
We have the same old row, again and again.
Why do I have to move with a crowd
Of kids that hardly notice I'm around,
I have to work myself to death just to fit in.
I'm coming down
Got home on the very first train from town.
My dad just left for work
He wasn't talking.
It's all a game,
'Cos inside I'm just the same,
My fried egg makes me sick
First thing in the morning.
The Punk and the Godfather
You declared you would be three inches taller
You only became what we made you.
Thought you were chasing a destiny calling
You only earned what we gave you.
You fell and cried as our people were starving,
Now you know that we blame you.
You tried to walk on the trail we were carving,
Now you know that we framed you.
I'm the guy in the sky
Flying high Flashing eyes
No surprise I told lies
I'm the punk in the gutter
I'm the new president
But I grew and I bent
Don't you know? don't it show?
I'm the punk with the stutter.
My my my my my mmmm my my my.
We tried to speak between lines of oration
You could only repeat what we told you.
Your axe belongs to a dying nation,
They don't know that we own you.
You're watching movies trying to find the feelers,
You only see what we show you.
We're the slaves of the phony leaders
Breathe the air we have blown you.
I'm the guy etc.
I have to be careful not to preach
I can't pretend that I can teach,
And yet I've lived your future out
By pounding stages like a clown.
And on the dance floor broken glass,
The bloody faces slowly pass,
The broken seats in empty rows,
It all belongs to me you know.
You declared etc.
Every year is the same
And I feel it again,
I'm a loser - no chance to win.
Leaves start falling,
Come down is calling,
Loneliness starts sinking in.
But I'm one.
I am one.
And I can see
That this is me,
And I will be,
You'll all see
I'm the one.
Where do you get
Those blue blue jeans?
Faded patched secret so tight.
Where do you get
That walk oh so lean?
Your shoes and your shirts
All just right.
But I'm one etc.
I got a Gibson
Without a case
But I can't get that even tanned look on my face.
Ill fitting clothes
I blend in the crowd,
Fingers so clumsy
Voice too loud.
But I'm one.
The Dirty Jobs
I am a man who looks after the pigs
Usually I get along okay.
I am man who reveals all he digs,
Should be more careful what I say.
I'm getting put down,
I'm getting pushed round,
I'm being beaten every day.
My life's fading,
But things are changing,
I'm not gonna sit and weep again.
I am man who drives a local bus
I take miners to work, but the pits all closed today.
It's easy to see that you are one of us.
Ain't it funny how we all seem to look the same?
We're getting put down etc.
My karma tells me
You've been screwed again.
If you let them do it to you
You've got yourself to blame.
It's you who feels the pain
It's you that feels ashamed.
I am a young man
I ain't done very much,
You men should remember how you used to fight.
Just like a child, I've been seeing only dreams,
I'm all mixed up but I know what's right.
I'm getting put down etc.
(Roger's theme) When a man is running from his boss
Who hold a gun that fires "cost"
And people die from being cold
Or left alone because they're old
And bombs are dropped on fighting cats
And children's dreams are run with rats
If you complain you disappear
Just like the lesbians and queers
No one can love without the grace
Of some unseen and distant face
And you get beaten up by blacks
Who though they worked still got the sack
And when your soul tells you to hide
Your very right to die denied
And in the battle on the streets
You fight computers and receipts
And when a man is trying to change
But only causes further pain
You realize that all along
Something in us going wrong...
You stop dancing.
Is It in my Head
I see a man without a problem
I see a country always starved,
I hear the music of a heartbeat,
I walk, and people turn and laugh.
Is it in my head
Is it in my head
Is in my head here at the start?
Is it in my head
Is it in my head
Is it in my head, or in my heart?
I pick up phones and hear my history.
I dream of all the calls I miss.
I try to number those who love me,
And find exactly what the trouble is.
Is it in my head etc.
I feel I'm being followed,
My head is empty
Yet every word I say turns out a sentence.
Make love to a stranger
Just asking for directions
Turn from being help to being questions.
I see a man without a problem.
I've Had Enough
You were under the impression
That when you were walking forward
You'd end up further onward
But things ain't quite that simple.
You got altered information
You were told to not take chances
You missed out on new dances
Now you're losing all your dimples.
My jacket's gonna be cut and slim and checked,
Maybe a touch of seersucker, with an open neck.
I ride a G.S. scooter with my hair cut neat,
Wear my wartime coat in the wind and sleet.
Love Reign O'er Me.
Love Reign O'er Me.
I've had enough of living
I've had enough of dying
I've had enough of smiling
I've had enough of crying
I've taken all the high roads
I've squandered and I've saved
I've had enough of childhood
I've had enough of graves...
Get a job and fight to keep it,
Strike out to reach a mountain.
Be so nice on the outside
But inside keep ambition
Don't cry because you hunt them
Hurt them first they'll love you
There's a millionaire above you
And you're under his suspicion.
I've had enough of dancehalls
I've had enough of pills
I've had enough of streetfights
I've seen my share of kills
I'm finished with the fashions
And acting like I'm tough
I'm bored with hate and passion
I've had enough of trying to love.
Why should I care, why should I care?
Girls of fifteen
The ushers are sniffing
The seats are seductive
Pretty girls digging
On a quiet street corner
In our minds and our toes
Uppers and downers
Either way blood flows.
Inside outside. Leave me alone.
Inside outside. Nowhere is home.
Inside outside, Where have I been?
Out of my brain on the five fifteen.
On a raft in the quarry
On the back of a lorry
Born in the war
He man drag
In the glittering ballroom
In my high heel shoes
They know what they're showing
That their heroes are news.
Why should I care?
Sea and Sand
Here by the sea and sand
Nothing ever goes as planned,
I just couldn't face going home
It was just a drag on my own.
They finally threw me out
My mother got drunk on stout,
My dad couldn't stand on two feet,
As he lectured about morality.
Now I guess the families complete,
With me hanging round on the street
Or here on the beach.
The girl I love
Is a perfect dresser,
Wears every fashion
Gets it to the tee.
I got to match her
She knows just how
She wants her man to be
Leave it to me.
My jacket's gonna be cut slim and checked
Maybe a touch of seersucker with an open neck
I ride a G.S. scooter with my hair cut neat
I wear my wartime coat in the wind and sleet.
I see her dancing
Across the ballroom
UV light making starshine
Of her smile.
I am the face,
She has to know me,
I'm dressed up better than anyone
Within a mile.
So how come the other tickets look much better?
Without a penny to spend they dress to the letter.
How come the girls come on oh so cool
Yet when you meet 'em, every one's a fool?
Come sleep on the beach
Keep within my reach
I just want to die with you near
I'm feeling so high with you here.
I'm wet and I'm cold
But thank God I ain't old
I should have split home at fifteen
Why didn't I ever say what I mean?
There's a story that the grass is so green,
What did I see?
Where have I been?
Nothing is planned, by the sea and the sand
There are men high up there fishing,
Haven't seen quite enough of the world,
I ain't seen a sign of my heroes,
And I'm still diving down for pearls.
Let me flow into the ocean,
Let me get back to the sea.
Let me be stormy and let me be calm,
Let the tide in, and set me free.
I'm flowing under bridges,
Then flying through the sky,
I'm travelling down cold metal
Just a tear in baby's eye.
Let me flow into the ocean
Let me get back to the sea
Let me be stormy and let me be calm
Let the tide in, rush over me.
I am not the actor
This can't be the scene
But I am in the water,
As far as I can see...
I'm remembering distant memories
Recalling other names.
Rippling over canyons,
And boiling in the train.
Let me etc.
(Keith's theme) The beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real,
Well I see a face coming through the haze,
I remember him from those crazy days.
Ain't you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces,
I don't suppose you would remember me,
But I used to follow you back in '63.
I've got a good job
And I'm newly born.
You should see me dressed up in my uniform.
I work in hotel, all gilt and flash.
Remember the place where the doors were smashed?
Bell Boy! I got to keep running now.
Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down.
Bell Boy! Carry this baggage out.
Bell Boy! Always running at someone's heel.
You know how I feel, always running at someone's heel.
Some nights I still sleep on the beach.
Remember when stars were in reach.
Then I wander in early to work,
Spend the day licking boots for my perks.
A beach is a place where a man can feel etc.
People often change
But when I look in your eyes,
You could learn a lot from
A job like mine.
The secret to me
Isn't flown like a flag
I carry it behind
This little badge
(Including John's theme, Is It Me?) Laugh and say I'm green
I've seen things you'll never see.
Talk behind my back
But I'm off the beaten track.
I'll take on anyone
Ain't scared of a bloody nose,
Drink till I drop down
With one eye on my clothes.
What is it? I'll take it.
Who is she? I'll rape it.
Got a bet there? I'll meet it.
Getting High? You can't beat it.
Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him,
He only comes out when I drink my gin.
You say she's a virgin.
I'm gonna be the first in.
Her fellah's gonna kill me?
Oh fucking will he.
I'm seeing double
But don't miss me if you can.
There's gonna be trouble
When she choses her man.
What is it? etc.
Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim etc.
Is it me? For a moment
The stars are falling.
The heat is rising
The past is calling.
I'm going back soon
Home to get the baboon.
Who cut up my eye,
Messed up my Levis.
I'm feeling restless
Bring another score around
Maybe something stronger
Could really hold me down.
Love Reign O'er Me
(Pete's theme) Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers'
Laying in the fields.
Love, Reign o'er me.
Love, Reign o'er me, rain on me.
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky.
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high.
Love Reign O'er me.
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain.
The nights are hot and black as ink
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain.