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This is an old Mose Allison jazz number. No really, I’m not shitting you. As perhaps your discerning ear has told you, it is a wailing sonic explosion. The original Entwistle / Moon rhythm section of the Who is rumored to have caused the great 1964 Alaskan Earthquake, and that’s before they went heavy. The song’s lyrics are spare, “the old man, he’s got all the money, and a young man, ain’t got nuthin’ in the world these days.” This is nothing new for rock ‘n’ roll, and certainly not for the Who. If you’ll recall in “My Generation” they politely requested the older generation “f-f-fade away.” This song is bigger than its words; it’s a montage of war. Pete Townsend’s guitar is a firefight in the jungle, it is napalm cooking human flesh, and the occasional daisy cutter dropped in for good measure. Roger Daltrey’s vocals scream with the anger and desperation of a man watching the mud under him stain red. The young man has been worked by the old man long enough, he’s sick of being robbed, sick of fighting the old man’s war. He’s sick of having to earn his dues in blood, just so he can one day be an old man with all the money so he can send young men off to shred each other to bits like scared pit bulls in a hole. To my friends in the service, I respect your willingness to sacrifice–I just hope you don’t have to make the ultimate sacrifice because those old men on the hill say so. So “happy” Memorial Day to all the young men, who ain’t got nuthin’, including their lives, because some rich old man told them that the young men from (insert country here) hate their freedoms. To the honored dead. Just remember, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

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