When I woke up Tuesday, I had to hear my favorite Election-Day song — and quite possibly the best rock-n-roll song ever recorded. Ironically, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was written and recorded by a bunch of Brits — a band called The Who. Maybe you’ve heard of them.
It happens that this political anthem is also the song I most associate with my college days. When I arrived at the East Green on Ohio University in 1971, that song was blasting from every window in the quad. Anti-war sentiment was everywhere, and so were the hippies. I won’t lay claim to the “hippie” title, but I did have the requisite shoulder-length hair, and I aspired to the hippie lifestyle.
I also had a draft card with 1-A status along with a sincere hope that our nation would find its way out of Southeast Asia before asking me to join the fray. Our boys died in Vietnam for a few more years. I got lucky and didn’t have to join them.
Political activism isn’t as prevalent on campus today. But neither are draft cards. You think there’s a correlation?
I listened to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on my way to the polls yesterday. Cranked it up so loud the windows in my Subaru were pulsating (Yeah, I still drive a “hippie” car.). But The Who didn’t lift my spirits in quite the same way as they did 35 years ago.
Back then, when I cast my first vote for a dude from South Dakota, I honestly believed things could change. I don’t much believe that anymore. I’m also not nearly as liberal as I was then. But life goes on, as Billy Joel told us five years later, “no matter who (is) wrong or right.”
So I guess you could say I’ve come to accept Pete Townshend’s anthem of resignation about the political system, even if I don’t interpret the lyrics exactly the way he does. If your side won yesterday, enjoy the buzz that comes with victory. But don’t be fooled — again. Better yet, check out the lyrics to the final stanza of this awesome rock-n-roll tune. Sing along, and be sure to scream long and loud at the end, just as Daltry did. It’ll make you feel better.
I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss