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I've Known No War (Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc. (adm. by Longitude Music Co.) - BMI

Pete: "One of the best examples is what the Who did over the last six weeks with a song of mine, which is the key song on the new album. Basically we just started with the word 'war' and went from there. It's possibly one of the best Who tracks we've ever done, I believe. It's very archetypal, very 60's issue, but it's also bloody great. I started it off with just a clock ticking, and we went from there, just dum, dum, dum, dum; a kind of throbbing noise. You do it to remind yourself that that's the starting point of a lot of music these days; the half-beat, the ticking clock, the throb, the pulse...the rhythm...It's really just about the fact that we're a privileged generation in the fact that our fathers and grandfathers did go through two world wars and we didn't...I think to a great extent we've abused that. We've allowed ourselves to make our own wars and allowed life to get a bit violent. I think basically we're a bunch of spoilt brats."

This contrast would become an underlying theme in his White City film and The Iron Man. In the original mix, the strings are barely audible on the fadeout but are mixed full on the 1997 CD version. Click here to see the original lyric sheet: I've Known No War.

 

I've known no war
And if I ever do I won't know for sure
Who'll be fighting whom
For the soldiers lonely tomb
Now opens as soon as the referee's gun starts to roar
I'll know no war

Galbraith took his pen
To break down the men
Of the German army defeated
On the nineteenth day
Of a spring day in May
Albert Speer was deleted
And as soon as the battle was over
I was born in victorious clover
And I've never been shot at or gassed
Never tortured or stabbed
And I'm sure - I'll never know war

I know I'll never know war
And if I ever do
The glimpse will be short
Fireball in the sky
No front line battle cries
Can be heard and the button is pushed
By a soul that's been bought
I'll know no war

In and out of reach loft
The medals are lost
They belong to a lone broken sailor
His provinces now
Are the bars of the town
His songs and his poems of failure
For his grandchildren can't see the glory
And his own kids are bored with the story
But for him they'd have burned behind netting
>From the brink they were grabbed
And I'm sure
I'll never know war

I've known no war
And if I ever do I won't know for sure
Who'll be fighting whom
For the soldiers lonely tomb
Now opens as soon as the referee's gun starts to roar
I'll know no war

War - I've known no war
I'll never know war
And if I ever know it
The glimpse will be short
Fireball in the sky
No front line battle cries
Can be heard as the button is pushed by a soul that's been bought
And the armies remaining will judge without people or courts
And there's no point pretending that knowing will help us abort
I'll know no war

This song appears on:

Source Length notes
It's Hard 5:56
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