What does Won't Get Fooled Again mean?

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The Who: Won't Get Fooled Again Meaning

Song Released: 1971

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Won't Get Fooled Again Lyrics

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 judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    jim morrison
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    Jun 18th 2005 report

    This is a song about how governments and leaders and revolutionists come and go but nothing ever changes. They "won't get fooled again" by this.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 16th 2008 report

    Townsend has actually stated that this was his statement against the counter culture of the 60's. They betrayed him and asked for more than what he could give (IE, his kids, his life, his soul). This was basically his way of telling the hippies to fuck off.

  3. anonymous
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    Jun 20th report

    One can clearly see that Pete Townshend was an avid reader of George Orwell and had a deep appreciation of Orwell's work. Great minds do think alike and flow in similar patterns. With the epic Who anthem, "Won't Get Fooled Again!", Pete Townshend both with his cutting lyrics and The Who's music blasting through your speakers, key themes of both Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984" are seared into your ears at high decibels.

  4. anonymous
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    May 22nd 2020 report

    It’s about the Beatles. and The parting on the left...is the parting on the right.. it”s about Paul’s hair. And the beards have all got longer overnight... is about the Beatles going from cleans cut boys to rebels with long hair.

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 14th 2017 report

    As an Vietnam vet. I've have always felt that was a song about the generation that fought in the Vietnam war. Our generation was made up of
    Mom's apple pie, Father knows best, the beaver and Wally,John Wayne won ever war, Sgt. Rock and easy company comic books were a staple of ever young mans library.
    "My Country right or wrong" was drilled into our heads no matter what anyone else said!
    1963 was the start of questing the government
    "What really happened in Dallas on November 22nd". But not my country it would never lie to us. Drafted in 1967, it was our duty to stop the Communist aggression in Southeast Asia better known as the Nam, but this was my duty and proud to serve. My Country right or wrong would never lie to us. Since 1967 to the present day it is our duty to never be fooled again!!!

  6. anonymous
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    Feb 1st 2017 report

    I've seen a video of an interview of Pete where he talks about Won't Get Fooled Again. "Meet the new boss Same as the old boss" is him saying that we the people are the boss and always have been the boss. It is we that vote for our leaders and need to hold them accountable.

  7. kooljohn176
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    Apr 3rd 2015 report

    What a great song by The Who and the wailing of Roger Daltrey is awesome to be used in venting of suppressed anger by healthy positive way through music just to survive in the circle of life on the times of the past that reflect todays time in the world that we are in now. Things on the big picture don't really change in ''the soul of certain men'' that still want to keep the rest of us down [similar like controlled sheep] but by the polotics of bad government that play both sides. There is nothing new under the sun in the soul of The Same Boss in this song that remains the same as they say, but the faces of men certainly changes throughout time, so now we need to look deeper in their eyes to feel and try to know the their soul,s past, so that we '' Won't Get Fooled Again'' by the wrong ones in our government in this present moment of our time by sraying us like lost sheep away from the Good Lord into foolishness.

  8. anonymous
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    Sep 24th 2013 report

    The song is about the bogus political systems that seem to run the world. At election times the populace are presented with a choice of who to vote for, but in reality they all stand for the same thing so there is no choice and no change.The status quo is maintained. "Won`t Get Fooled Again" is sarcasm for "actually we get fooled all the time"

  9. anonymous
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    Jan 26th 2013 report

    quite interesting that people interpret this song as anti- "counter culture". when two years earlier .Townsend produced the ultimate "counter-culture " No1 record "something in the air" by Thunderclap Newman(and the trippy "my White Bicycle" by Tomorrow,) definitely a case of "meet the new boss, the same as the old boss"

  10. anonymous
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    Dec 3rd 2012 report

    Pete Townshend stated that this is his way of attacking the counter-culture of his times. It's a cynical anthem doubting the effectiveness of revolutions in inducing any real change.

    The song instrumentally symbolizes a revolution against the system. The narrator describes this as a popular uprising aimed to remove the old regime and system. "The morals that they worshipped will be gone!"

    But even with such an uprising, "The world looks just the same!/And history ain't changed!/'Cause the banners they all flown/In the last war!" The scenes look familiar, the demands were the same as they were the last time around, and not much has changed. And so when the narrator sings the refrain, "We don't get fooled again!", we know that he's just cynically laughing at the rebels and what they think the outcome of such a revolution will be, as opposed to what really happens.

    He further stresses this with such lyrics as "And nothing in the street/Looks any different to me./And the slogans are replaced/by the by!" before warning us ourselves "Don't get fooled again!" (As opposed to saying that he won't get fooled "We don't get fooled again.")

    As the song progresses, we can feel that it is the theme song to an actual revolution occurring, first rather calmly, and then getting more hectic, before reaching a point wherein the suspense builds up through Keith Moon's drum solo. The suspense is finally broken through the iconic and climatic screech of victory, "YEEAAAH!!!" indicating the success of the revolution, but wait! Not 7 seconds afterwards, the narrator introduces us: "Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!" The revolution is successful, but we have no real change: the powers that be will continue to function in the same way, and no change has been achieved. The song instrumentally ends in much the same way as it has begun, perhaps hinting at another replay, and another "revolution".

  11. anonymous
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    Jan 10th 2011 report

    It's quite possible that George Orwell's Animal Farm was one of the (direct/indirect) inspirations for this song. The idea that so called grass roots revolutions are doomed to fail, because of the gap between leaders and followers in terms of education and morality.

    The new leadership may start out in an idealistic way, vowing to never make the same mistakes as the old regime, but over time the new leaders get corrupted with power and, since there is no serious opposition, become indistinguishable from the old ones: meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 13th 2010 report

    Adding a little perspective:

    The impressive movie of 1971 (the year of the release of Who's Next) was "2001: A Space Odyssey".

    The Monolith in the film represented a change in human development and, so, The Who are desecrating that movie's omnipresent Monolith, on the album cover, by pissing on it.

    Pete Townshend used that very image to mock the future that he saw coming. He did it not to say that they were wrong, but to warn them that the heroes of tomorrow just may not look very different from the heroes of yesterday.
    The reason for that is that we are still humans here, after all, not some wise outerspace-begotten superbeings.

    Basically, it's a warning about getting caught up in the kind of revolution that can't be deliver by pretenders.

  13. anonymous
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    Jul 8th 2009 report

    Townsend stated he wrote this whole musical while on acid on a transatlantic flight so who knows where it comes up except to watch the movie Tommy.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
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    Jun 19th 2009 report

    "We'll be fighting in the streets. With our children at our feet" A revolution on home grounds with everyone suffering. The chorus: congratulating the new revolution and being happy until they realize that everything's the same just with different names and then hoping that it doesn't happen again. A major thing to realize about this song is that the "revolution" is just attempting to change ideas that don't have to be in a violent way. "And the world looks just the same. And history ain't changed" Again, everythings the same. "Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war" The rebels will soon be rebeled against. "I'll move myself and my family aside" Give up everything for 'the cause' (revolution) "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss" just emphasising my point there. It's about the constant change that results in no change except different words and another revolution to tip your hat at.

  15. anonymous
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    Apr 23rd 2007 report

    Well, it is obviously about the changes in gov't - moving toward the more conservative ways in the future...

    The reference to "the beards have all grown longer overnight" refers to the fact that conservative leaders of other countries are judged on the basis of this: the longer the beards the more conservative they are.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. bubbabigdick
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    Oct 18th 2006 report

    Heh, that was really stupid. Funny too!

  17. anonymous
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    Jun 21st 2006 report

    The song was originally called "Won't get O'Toole'd again" about Pete Townsends bisexual relationship with Peter O'Toole but keith Moon rewrote the lyrics to "Fooled "

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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