‘Baba O'Riley’ is a song by the English rock band the Who, and the opening track to their fifth album Who's Next (1971). It was issued in Europe as a single in October 1971, coupled with ‘My Wife’. Widely regarded as one of the Who's finest songs and as one of the greatest rock songs of all time, ‘Baba O'Riley’ appears in Time magazine's "All-Time 100 Songs" list, Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Roger Daltrey sings most of the song, with Pete Townshend singing the middle eight: "Don't cry/ don't raise your eye/ it's only teenage wasteland".
The song is often incorrectly referred to as "Teenage Wasteland", due to these oft-repeated words in the song's chorus refrain. "Teenage Wasteland" was in fact a working title for the song in its early incarnations as part of the Lifehouse project, but eventually became the title for a different but related song by Townshend, which is slower and features different lyrics.
According to Townshend, at the end of the band's gig at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, the field was covered in rubbish left by fans, which inspired the line "teenage wasteland". In another interview, Townshend stated the song was also inspired by "the absolute desolation of teenagers at Woodstock, where audience members were strung out on acid and 20 people had brain damage.
Label – Polydor
Songwriter – Pete Townshend
Producer – The Who
[Verse 1: Roger Daltrey]
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
[Bridge: Pete Townshend]
Don't cry, don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland
[Verse 2: Roger Daltrey]
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
[Chorus: Roger Daltrey]
Teenage wasteland, it's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland, oh, yeah
They're all wasted