"Dreaming From The Waist" as written by and Pete Townshend....
I feel like I want to break out of the house
My heart is a-pumping, I've got sand in my mouth
I feel like I'm heading up to a cardiac arrest
I want to scream in the night, I want a manifest

I've got that wide awake, give-and-take, five o'clock-in-the-morning feeling
I've got the hots for the sluts in the well thumbed pages of a magazine
I want to drive, want to fly like I do in the dreams I've never really been in
I want to hump, want to jump, want to heat up, cool down in a dream machine

I'm dreaming... from the waist on down
I'm dreaming... but I feel tired and bound
I'm dreaming... of a day when a cold shower helps my health
I'm dreaming... dreaming - of the day I can control myself
Day I can control myself

Sound like a priest and then I'm shooting dice
I'm burning tires with some guy whose hair is turning white
I know the girls that I pass, they just ain't impressed
I'm too old to give up, but too young to rest

I've got that numb-to-a-thumb over-dubbed
Feeling social when the world is sleeping
The plot starts to thicken then I sicken and I feel I'm cemented down
I'm so juiced that the whorey lady's sad sad story has me quietly weeping
But here comes the morning
Here comes the yawning demented clown

I'm dreaming...but I know it's all hot air
I'm dreaming...I'll get back to that rocking chair
I'm dreaming...of the day I can share the wealth
I'm dreaming...dreaming - of the day I can control myself
Day I can control myself
Hey, hey!
The day I can control myself

Lyrics submitted by Chris_Gough

"Dreaming From the Waist" as written by Pete Townshend

Lyrics © Spirit Music Group

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Dreaming From The Waist song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis was Townsend's view of how it sucks getting old but the heart still thinks it can keep up with the sexual escapades of the younger generation. The best he can hope for is a cold shower while he dreams of that teen machine while in his rocking chair.
    biff01on June 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn amazing song about getting older, and of course sex. I can't believe no one has commented on it, blah blah blah.
    Flinchy17on July 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe bass in this song is RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING!

    R.I.P. John Entwistle
    the orrible ooon August 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"....feeling social when the world is sleeping." That's still me a little too often.
    BabsieWhoHead on August 03, 2019   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis is a really excellent song that blends the band's classic vigorous sound with Townshend's subversive, introspective and shape-shifting choral style. Although it's not a song that's talked about much, there's much to unpack here. There are multiple levels to read this on, but it is most definitely about sex and masturbation and there are many blatant references to this including the song title. The singer experiences the dualism of wanting sex ("I want a manifest", "want to hump...want to heat up, cool down in a dream machine") but presumably only masturbating ("dreaming"). The singer evidently imagines life as a rich tapestry, but that's not what it actually is for him ("I want to drive, want to fly like I do in the dreams I've never really been in").

    The music in the verses bring the words alive and even thematically match them with an upbeat punchy flair that remains rhythmically tempered. The melody is like this, too; each line or set of two lines rises then falls abruptly, like a series of buildups without climax. The chorus is vastly slower, less jumbled, and more open-ended; this echoes the dualism of the singer's feelings.

    There are many great lines in this song and many of them make the same point: I'm fired up, but all at once frustrated and unfulfilled. The singer is aging and he knows it: "I feel like I'm heading up to a cardiac arrest" "I know the girls that I pass, they just ain't impressed" He's aware that he's aging and that they wouldn't go for him, but he's living his life anyway ("Too old to give up/ But too young to rest") and he stays engaged, gambling and street racing: "Shooting dice/I'm burning tires with some guy whose hair is turning white" Whether or not this is anything admirable depends on your perspective, but at least he has his lot in life. Later, in the second part of the verse, it's useful to try to figure out what the singer is really doing; it lends power to the final chorus. It seems like he's up late and compulsively masturbating again; he has "that numb-to-a-thumb overdubbed" feeling, basically meaning he's masturbated so much this night that he's not really even receiving pleasure from it anymore. He's drunk as well ("juiced"), and probably watching soft-core porn; there are references to "the plot start[ing] to thicken" and "the whore-y lady's sad sad story". It seems like the singer is processing this shamefully; the post-ejaculation feeling "cement[s him] down" and the morning is represented by a "yawning demented clown". This is a notably grotesque image and hard to decipher, but could possibly be the sleep-deprived singer's distorted conception of himself brought on by his shame about himself. It's worth noting that in the choruses, the singer pines for a life unbridled by his masturbation habits; the meaning of his "dreaming" switches between "masturbating about" and "wishing for", and he genuinely wishes for a life where he "can control himself" and where a "cold shower helps his health" (This is a reference to how taking a cold shower can calm down a guy's sexual excitement. The implication here is that he is so over-the-top and compulsively horny that this cure doesn't help his condition in any way). He's "dreaming", but it doesn't help him make his proverbial dreams come true, and that's where his shame originates from.
    Ultimately no matter how you look at it this is a kick-ass song that is yet another gem in the Who's diamond-studded library.
    Krunchon September 19, 2019   Link

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