1921 (Pete Townshend) BMG Music o/b/o Towser Tunes, Fabulous Music, ABKCO (BMI)

From the Tommy liner notes by Brian Cady:

"The father shoots the mother's lover. Tommy's father was assumed missing -- 'Don't expect to see him again' -- before Tommy was born. Then we move to 1921 -- three years after the war -- and we see that the mother is obviously involved with someone else; she is saying, '1921 is going to be a good year.' Then Tommy's father bursts in, throws open the door, and shoots the lover. There was a gunshot that was taken off the record. Our producer, Kit Lambert, was very much against all sound effects, except for the mirror smashing...[Tommy] witnessed a traumatic event, and the key which people have missed is that it was mirrored. We purposely obscured the fact of his witnessing a murder in the mirror; but the key is that in the background vocals of '1921' you get reflections -- 'You didn't hear it (I heard it)' and so forth."
--Pete Townshend

All of this got further obscured by the movie which reverses it; the lover shooting and killing the father.

An early draft had the line "I had no reason to be over-optimistic, but I dreamed that you'd be faithful and wait for me forever."

The demo version has the lines: "Gotta feeling '29 is gonna be a good year, especially as you and him saw it out together."

On the U.S. LP it was called "You Didn't Hear It."


I've got a feeling twenty one
Is going to be a good year.
Especially if you and me
See it in together.


So you think 21 is going to be a good year.
It could be for me and her,
But you and her-no never!
I had no reason to be over optimistic,
But somehow when you smiled
I could brave bad weather


What about the boy?
What about the boy?
What about the boy?
He saw it all!

Mother and Father:

You didn't hear it
You didn't see it.
You won't say nothing to no one
ever in your life.
You never heard it
Oh how absurd it
All seems without any proof.
You didn't hear it
You didn't see it
You never heard it not a word of it.
You won't say nothing to no one
Never tell a soul
What you know is the Truth.

This song appears on:

Source Length notes
Tommy 2:49
Join Together 2:51 Live
Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 2:27 Live
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