"Cry If You Want" as written by and Pete Townshend....
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

Don't 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 writhe 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 hurrah

While they are propping up the bar
Maybe things were better then
Before you led a promised life
Rash commitments and heavy raps and left wing spiel all compromised
You fall in love with other's wives
Drive 'em nuts with empty lies
Angry 'cause you lost the prize
Forgot the color of their eyes.

Cry if you want, cry if you want

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

Lyrics submitted by Chris_Gough

"Cry If You Want" as written by Pete Townshend

Lyrics © Spirit Music Group

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Cry If You Want song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis is on the last album from The Who: It's hard.
    this is a total Pete Townshen Bio-song (as were many of the later Who songs) but it's also a kind of goodbye to the fans: Cry if you want
    regbon November 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song, the lyrics especially..

    I think everyone has felt the ways described at some point.

    "Don't you get embarrassed?" "Don't you get ashamed?"

    The lyrics seem fairly straight forward, but they're good nonetheless.
    kantsuuon March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanother one of those perfect songs.
    suckswhenon June 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song tells people that shit happens but you have to live your life. great job by Roger.
    babathespider515on July 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is an amazing song. I've seen other bands try to work this same concept, but they all tend to seem superficial, like they're talking more about their own lives rather than people's lives as a whole. All except this one. This one somehow feels, with the march and the lyrics, more sincere and heartfelt. Like it really is alright to cry if you want to. And I definitely second the great job by Roger. =^D
    westbound_thinkeron August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think "It's Hard" gets way too much harsh criticism. But I can understand it, as it took me a while to really get into it. Maybe it took me listening it more, getting older, or both. But this song has become one of my favorite Who songs.

    The lyrics come at you at such a frantic rate, as though the song is stabbing you with its sharp words. Which matches Pete's feeling that his guitar is like a machine gun, knocking down audiences. That reminds me of my favorite quote about Pete's guitar playing: "Jimi Hendrix made love to his guitar. Pete Townshend F***s his."

    Pete said in his Autobiography that this was one of the hardest songs for Roger to learn and how impressed he was with his performance of it, and I can see why! This is absolutely an all-around magnificent song, lyrically and musically.
    EmeraldFoxon March 11, 2013   Link

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