Cry If You Want (Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc. (adm. by Longitude Music Co.) - BMI

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.


Once it was just innocence
Brash ideas and insolence
But you will never get away
With the things you say today

But you can try if you want

Dont' you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said
Many many years ago when life appeared rosy red
No one ever shared your bed
Nothing ever filled your head
Except yourself and little Ted
And scary dreams that you were dead.
Don't you want to hide your face
When going through your teenage books
And read the kind of crap you wrote
About "Ban the Bomb" and city crooks
Think about how long it took
To get over that sudden "Yuk"
When in the mirror you would look
Well now my son you're well in stook

Cry if you want Cry if you want

Didn't you writh in anger when you saw the man in his big car
Didn't you drive a banger and a gallon didn't get you far
Should have been a famous star
But that ain't what you really are
You could shout your last harrah
While they are propping up the bar
Maybe things were better then
Before you led a promised life
Rash commitements and heavy raps and left wing spiel all compromised
You fall in love with other's wives
Drive 'em nuts with empty lies
Angry 'cos you lost the prize
Forgot the color of their eyes.

Cry if you want Cry if you wnat

Let your tears flow Let your past go

Don't you get embarrassed when you think about the way you were
Yesterday the day before when you were young with much to learn
Aren't you glad it's your last term
No more acting lowly worm
You can make the suckers squirm
When you tell them how much you earn
Don't you feel ashamed at all the bitterness you keep inside
Does your ego save your face "I had a go - I really tried"
Now you know your leaders lied
Does it stop you acting snide
Or are you still a boy that cried
Tears now surely long since dried.

Cry if you want Cry if you want

This song appears on:

Source Length notes
It's Hard 7:12 Live
It's Hard 5:23
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