The Who – Behind Blue Eyes

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Chin/Ears/Eyes/Face/Mouth/Nose.

From their 1971 album, Who’s Next. The song reached #34 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on December 18, 1971.

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend originally wrote this about a character in his “Lifehouse” project, which was going to be a film similar to The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia. Townshend never finished “Lifehouse,” but the songs ended up on the album Who’s Next.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey both have blue eyes, but the song is not autobiographical. Townshend has said that he wrote it to show “How lonely it is to be powerful.”
Townshend was going to use this as the main song in the Lifehouse film for the villain, Jumbo.
Pete Townshend has explained that he never behaved like a typical rock star when he was on tour, especially when it came to groupies, which he tried to avoid. He says it was a run-in with a groupie that was the impetus for this song. Townshend, who got married in 1968, was tempted by a groupie after The Who’s June 9, 1970 concert in Denver. He says that he went back to his room alone and wrote a prayer beginning, “If my fist clenches, crack it open…” The prayer was more or less asking for help in resisting this temptation. The other words could be describing Townshend’s self-pity and how hard it is to resist.
Roger Daltrey’s dog got run over on the day he recorded his vocals for this song – it was the first dog he ever had. The Who singer recalled to AARP The Magazine that he “was desperately trying to hold it together.”

Behind Blue Eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

No one knows what it’s like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And if I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And if I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Songwriters: Pete Townshend

The Who – Don’t Let Go The Coat

From their 1981 album, Face Dances. The song reached #84 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on July 11, 1981. I was inspired by today’s weather. It is 15 degrees here right now.

From Wikipedia

Several authors, including Stephen Thomas Erlewine, regard the lyrics of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” as an ode to spiritual guru Meher Baba. The title then refers to Meher Baba’s charge that his disciples “hang fast to the hem of my robe,” where the robe is a metaphor for his teachings. Alternatively, the song could refer to Pete Townshend‘s parents, who were the ones who would pick him up when Pete Townshend descended into drugs and alcohol.[1] But regardless, the song strikes themes of spiritual torment, fear of abandonment and the need to keep faith, beginning with the lines:

“I can’t be held responsible for blown behavior

I’ve lost all contact with my only saviour”

Musically, “Don’t Let Go the Coat” has a country rock flavor. Authors Steve Grantley and Alan Parker describe the guitar sound as being similar to that of The Pretenders, and note that the Pete Townshend‘s acoustic guitar solo has Spanish inflections.

Don’t Let Go The Coat

I lost all contact with my only saviour
No-one locked me out because I failed to phone up
I can’t bear to live forever like a loner

Don’t let go the coat

It’s easy to be sad: when you lack a partner
But how would I react to a broken heart now
It ain’t really true rock and roll unless I’m
Hanging onto you and when I hold it next time

I won’t let go the coat

I try to explain but you never understand it
I need your body but I can’t just demand it
I won’t let go like a stray at heel
(Never let it out of your sight)
Every lonely wife knows the way I feel
(Don’t let go tonight)
Don’t let go the coat
Never let go the coat

Your friends all pass for life is just a market
But you have to finish everything you started
So I live my life tearing down the runway
Sure to get the hang of hanging in there someday

Don’t let go the coat
Won’t get no more chances – forget the war dances
Go blind and hang on – don’t try the slang son
Never let go the coat.

Songwriters: Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend