Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

I woke up in a Soho doorway
A policeman knew my name
He said, "You can go sleep at home tonight
If you can get up and walk away"
I staggered back to the underground
And the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwin' punches around
And preachin' from my chair

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I took the tube back out of town
Back to the Rollin' Pin
I felt a little like a dying clown
With a streak of Rin Tin Tin
I stretched back and I hiccupped
And looked back on my busy day
Eleven hours in the tin pan
God, there's got to be another way

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Oh, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Come on and tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Oh, who the fuck are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Who are you?
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)
(Ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh wa, ooh)

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

I really wanna know (who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Come on, tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I really wanna know (who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I know there's a place you walked
Where love falls from the trees
My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees
I spit out like a sewer hole
Yet still receive your kiss
How can I measure up to anyone now
After such a love as this?

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Oh, tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Oh, I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell, tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Come on, come on, who? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Ah, who the fuck are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Oh, tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Ooh)
I really wanna know
Oh, I really wanna know
Come on, tell me, who are you, you, you, ah, you? (Yeah)


Lyrics submitted by Lucky1869_420

Who Are You Lyrics as written by Peter Townshend

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Who Are You? song meanings
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71 Comments

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  • +12
    General Comment

    This song is based on a day in the life of Pete Townshend. It began with a very long meeting dealing with royalties for his songs: "Eleven hours in the Tin Pan, God, there's got to be another way." The "Tin Pan" he is referring to is "Tin Pan Alley" which is the name given to the collection of New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States. After this excruciating meeting he received a large check for royalties, left and went to a bar and got completely drunk. In that bar he encountered Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, who thought very highly of Pete for paving the way for Punk rock music. Townshend was conflicted because he feared The Who had sold out, and seeing The Sex Pistols, who were icons of rebellion, exasperated him even more. Pete left that bar and passed out in a random doorway in Soho (a part of New York). A policeman recognized him ("A policeman knew my name") and being kind, woke him and and told him, "You can go sleep at home tonight (instead of a jail cell), if you can get up and walk away." Pete's response: "Who the f--k are you?"

    Conn8on August 10, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This song is actually about a night of horrible drinking from Townshend. He came back from a meeting with the The Who about money and he met two members of the Sex Pistols in the bar, who were absolutely crazy about him and his music and he tore up a check of six figures in front of their eyes. just a random fact. =]

    [the]whorockson June 22, 2008   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation

    My Dad (A huge fan of The Who, a really smart guy by all accounts), told me his opinion of the song, which makes a lot of sense to me. He pointed out that the end of the last verse "How can I measure up to anyone now after such a love as this", doesn't really sound like he's talking to a girl, it sounds more like he's talking about religion, which we know Pete Townshend kindasortamaybe dabbled in. So that would explain the chorus, he's asking who or what is above him, what is outside this world. And then the rest of the song is about an event that became a religious epiphany, that makes him questions how he got here.

    MagusMirificuson April 29, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I had not heard about Pete's comments regarding this song... the end of the song makes a lot more sense now.

    And puts an entirely different spin on this work of art. It's not exactly one I would sing in church per se, but a fantastic message nonetheless. "I, who screw up so much, am still loved. Who ARE You?"

    byteskaton August 06, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I spit out like a sewer hole- I give you a lot of crap to deal with Yet still recieve your kiss- but you still love me

    How can I measure up to anyone now After such a love as this? And the last two lines are detailing the regret he feels at losing probably the best love he will ever have; no one else could even come close.

    Goatllamaon April 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this is one the most awesome songs ever!!!

    berserkeron July 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I always thought of this song kind of meant that he got hurt in a relationship, and then to drown out his anger he went out and got fucked up. Thats why the last stanza is talking about love. And when he sings the "Who are you" parts, i think he is kind of asking himself who he is, because now he has to reinvent himself after his traumatic breakup. But thats just what i get out of it anyway....

    vipergt196on May 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Awesome song, I think it's about getting srunk out of your mind, which makes sense with the lyrics. It's awesome because on the ardio, the 'fuck's come so fast that they can't block them out.

    whofreak777on November 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    how could no one have commented yet? the who is one of the most influential rock bands ever. their music is timeless.

    champienneon July 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i agree with the first 2 comments, amazing song yet i'm disappointed that there are no other comments about this song... even in this day and age, a TV series such as CSI uses this song as their theme song or whatever... that means something!

    dylmeisteron September 03, 2002   Link

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