Pictures of Lily

Pete Townshend

About Pictures of Lily

"Pictures of Lily" is a single by the British rock band the Who, written by guitarist and primary songwriter Pete Townshend. It was released in 1967 as a single, and made the top five in the UK, but failed to break into the top 50 in the United States. In 1971, "Pictures of Lily" was included in the Who album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, a compilation of previously released singles. Townshend coined the term "power pop" when he used it to describe the song in a May 1967 interview with NME.  


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I used to wake up in the morning
I always feel so bad
I got so sick of having sleepless nights
I went and told my dad

He said, "Son now here's some little something"
And stuck them on my wall
And now my nights ain't quite so lonely
In fact I, I don't feel bad at all

Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily let me sleep at night
Pictures of Lily solved my childhood problems
Pictures of Lily make me feel alright

Pictures of Lily
Pictures of Lily
Pictures of Lily, Lily, oh Lily
Pictures of Lily, Lily, oh Lily
Pictures of Lily

And then one day things weren't so fine
I fell in love with Lily
I asked my dad where Lily I could find
He said, "Son, now don't be silly"

"She's been dead since 1929"
Oh, how I cried that night
If only I'd been born in Lily's time
It would have been alright

Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful
But their was always,
Pictures of Lily helped me sleep at night
Pictures of Lily to help me feel alright
Cause me and Lily are together in my dreams
Hey I was wondering mister, have you ever seen
Pictures of Lily?

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Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Eddie Vedder, "possibly the greatest live band ever." more »

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10 facts about this song

Artist Background
"Pictures of Lily" is a single by the British rock band The Who, which was released in 1967. The band is widely known for their energetic performances and for introducing the rock opera genre.
Pete Townshend, the band's guitarist, was the primary songwriter for The Who. He wrote "Pictures of Lily" and is also known for penning many of the group's other hits.
Lyrics Interpretation
The song is often interpreted as a story about adolescent fantasy, with the titular "Lily" serving as the subject of a young boy's dreams and desires.
Chart Performance
The song reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart, proving to be a fairly successful release for The Who.
Musical Style
The song is a great example of The Who's early psychedelic sound, featuring a catchy melody, colourful harmonies, and Townshend's distinctive guitar playing.
Despite its innocent-sounding melody, the song's suggestive lyrics caused some controversy upon its release. This is typical of many songs by The Who, which often tackled provocative themes.
The song's title was inspired by a postcard with a concubine that Townshend found in a shop. That very postcard was used as the artwork for the song.
B Side
The B-side of the "Pictures of Lily" single was a song called "Doctor, Doctor," which was not as well received as the lead track.
Over the years, the song has become one of The Who's defining tracks and is considered a classic of the British Invasion era of rock 'n' roll.
Live Performances
Despite its popularity, "Pictures of Lily" was not frequently performed live by The Who. However, it has been covered by numerous artists, including David Bowie and Pearl Jam.

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