The Who - Behind Blue Eyes




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.


The lyrics are based on Townshend's own feeling of angst - that no one knows what it's like to be him, with high expectations and pressure to be someone he's not.




Lyrics


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


If I swallow anything evil

Put your finger down my throat

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

Behind Blue Eyes lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing




6,810 views

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE