"Baba O'Riley" as written by and Pete Townshend....
Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland

Sally take my hand
We'll travel south cross land
Put out the fire
And don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together, before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh yeah, teenage wasteland
They're all wasted


Lyrics submitted by Lucky1869_420, edited by Mellow_Harsher, bmcf1lm, richard105

"Baba O'Riley" as written by Peter Townshend

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Baba O'Riley song meanings
Add your thoughts

149 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +13
    General Commentive read/seen several interviews with pete where he either implies or flat out says that this song is about vietnam, but ive never heard why. the way i see it is that the song is from the point of view of a refugee from communist north vietnam. he doesnt want to be involved in the war ("i dont need to fight to prove im right"), he just wants to live normally and he can only doing that by escaping to south vietnam ("travel south crossland"). i think the chorus comes from the fact that the war devestated vietnam both economically and enviromentally (the "wasteland"), and that when pete wrote this song in 1971, americans had been occupying vietnam for well over a decade (and so, "teenage").

    the title comes from 2 names: meher baba, petes mentor, and terry o'riley, a minimalist composer who inspired pete. pete set up a way to program information about people into a synthesizer so that every person would have a unique melody. he programmed in information about meher baba, such as his birthdate and his height, and came up with the background melody of baba oriley. the original loop was over 9 minutes long, but it was shortened for the song. people dont realize how revolutionary the whos synthesizer use was. now, every other song you hear has a synth loop, but in 1971, basically the only people experimenting with them in their music were the who and stevie wonder.
    PJ10on June 18, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Commenti hate how so many people call this song just 'teenage wasteland'
    well i suppose not HATE, but it sure does irritate me.
    nicoleon May 17, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Commentpete said "this whole notion of teenage wasteland, it's not about getting wasted, it's about waste...i take full responsibility for the fact that my generation complained aobut the state of the world, and did absolutely nothing to change it"
    ericfarsadon July 13, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe Who's Next was originally going to be part of a huge extravanganza project with involving film, technology, and live rock n roll. The complexity of it all caused the project to just implode upon itself from the beginning so the best songs were brought together for The Who's Next. The song Baba O'Riley is about the dystopian world that the characters of Lifehouse would've been set in. The song's title came from the Townshend's twin inspirations, Meher Baba and Terry Riley. Baba O'Riley was merely a prelude to the story of Lifehouse.
    BrainDamageon August 24, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI always kinda looked on this song as my life. I live on a farm town and i work my ass off at our farm with hay, laying corn down, maintaining all kinds of animals and working so much, then I go to school and always see all these preppy chicks, jocks and "punks" always not doing shit in there lifes except go to parties get wasted and fuck. then they critize people like me who work and rather jam with some friends and just hang out rather then go out and get wasted and label us "hicks" and shit. Its only a teenage waasteland. their all wasted.
    Staticburn89on April 30, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think this song might have been written about telling someone to come with you to woodstock
    myhotelyearon May 29, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is about having a pet armadillo
    vipergt196on May 11, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEGGPLANT!!!!!!!!1!!1!11!11oneeleven

    No...seriously....uhmm..it's about..planting. planting..eggs of, uh, barley. i mean, seeds. seeds of babaoriley...baboriley...babrley...barley! see?? Eggplant and Baba O'Riley are linked!

    See? A completely random thought can have meaning, inserted into it by someone who doesn't have much of a clue about its true meaning!

    Nah, actually, I agree with TaoAvatar20 (from the beginning.) That sounds like a reasonable meaning. I also agree with vipergt196 - who said this song is about having a pet armadillo. "Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals." Life as an armadillo can be hard, especially when you're a teenage one. "Get back into my living" means getting rolled up into your shell. All armadillos should get wasted once in a while. They should also have spiritual gurus and eat lots of eggplant and evict themselves from South Vietnam to the North Pole and use synthesizers named O'Riley on their gurus to turn them into eggplants. No, wait, they should use eggplants on their synthesizers to compose tunes about

    RANDOM BULLSH*T LIKE THIS XD
    Bodesteron October 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's basically a song written to Pete Townsend's Indian mystic teacher, telling him not to worry about the state of youth in the world, that it'll all be okay. This is bar-none my favorite song ever on my favorite album ever...I learned how to use a stereo so I could listen to this song.
    TaoAvatar20on June 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat a great way to start off with one of the best albums ever released...though actually I'm kinda thankful Lifehouse didnt work ou... it would have been a disaster... but hey we got Whos Next didnt we... oh and Teenage Wasteland... what a ghastly way to refer to this classic...so in my humble opinion whos Next is better than Led Zeppelin IV... so who agrees with me? Of course... i dont need to fight to prove i'm right...
    piper_@_the_gates_on June 27, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain