The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has said be careful what you wish for when it comes to revolutions: you might not get what you hoped for: you might get fooled again. Even if major change is required in a country, there is no guarantee that things will change after any fighting in the streets, after any new constitutions, after any banners are flown and liberation has supposedly come. This is a cynical but practical examination of social and political policy directions, and in a way, conservative, too, to the extent of being skeptical of the benefits of major, yet untested reforms. In another way, coming from 1971, Won’t Get Fooled Again could be seen as damping the spirits of the youthful flower power naivete of the hippies. Even if that’s a tad mean-spirited, and squelches enthusiasm…

Townshend also called documentary film maker Michael Moore a “bully” for using the song in his 2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 film about the USA after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Townshend did not want his anthem of sorts to be used by Moore, as he felt his films could be more accurate. Moore charged back that Townshend supported the war in Iraq, which may not have been the case.

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