The Who Mailing List Digest, V12 #83



David Huntington huntington at mindspring.com
Fri Apr 29 09:23:39 CDT 2005


Alan,

> Another aspect...it's so muddled that when Roger says, "I'm sure
> there's not one of us here who'd say no/To somebody's daughter" and
> Keith and the others shout "No!", what exactly are they saying No to?
> 
I have wondered this same thing. Semantically, it really doesn't make sense.
I am resolved to believe that Keith was just wasted or whatever and it
seemed like something to do during the recording. When the lines says, "Say
No" regardless of the double negative, Keith yells out No! and the band
joins in. 


> Then there's the weird mention of the unnamed, anonymous parent --
> the "somebody" off in the wings somewhere.  Generally, guys who are
> out howling to meet a girl at a Who show aren't really interested in
> thinking much about her parents.
> 
> It's just a mess.


Well, as someone mentioned earlier, if you put this song into the context of
the Lifehouse story, some things begin to make more sense. Two of the main
characters are a father and a daughter who has run off. I see this song as
setting up the rough and tumble world she ran off to, confirming her
father's fear of what may happen. The song isn't directed at either
character, but to the "audience" as a way of creating the tension.

For further context, the title and subject of the song are about a world
without an ample supply of clean water, hedging towards an ecologically
challenged future. 

All that said, I have come to appreciate how lyrically awkward the
water/daughter rhyme is. It's a bit sophomoric. But if you can get over that
ridiculous lyric, the song really rocks. Keith's drum rolls are awesome.

David




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