May 9, 2021

Cry If You Want

Roger: "I think the statement, the song that most captures what The Who feel at the moment is a song called ‘Cry If You Want.’ I think it should have been the single…I think that really does state how it feels to be 38 years old and singing in a rock band called The Who!"

Pete: "I think in people of our generation it expresses itself not as an aggressive frame of mind but rather a realization that we’ve been a pretty useless generation of people, I think. We’ve done very, very little. We haven’t actually even fought for what we’ve believed in. We’ve been pacifistic, we’ve been spoiled by peace…I’m trying to deal with my life and trying to face up to my responsibilities as a human being. That’s boring to seventeen- and eighteen-year old kids. They don’t want to know how miserable their lives are going to be, how much hard work they’re going to have to do when they’re thirty or forty years old. They just want to believe that they can stand onstage with a guitar and change the world."

In the original version, Kenney’s martial-style drumming doesn’t begin until 35 seconds into the song. On the 1997 CD it has been extended back to the beginning of the song. That CD’s version also extends the ending another 43 seconds for some more Townshend power chords.

Click here to see the original lyric sheet: Cry If You Want.