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The Who - Pictures of Lily - Lyrics Meaning

Pictures of Lily was written and performed by The Who, one of the World's leading rock bands that came out of London, England in the nineteen sixties.

The song was written by the group's principal songwriter, the enormously gifted Pete Townshend, with some collaboration by the other members of the group, singer Roger Daltrey, bass guitarist John Entwhistle and eccentric drummer Keith Moon. Pictures of Lily was released at the height of the group's popularity in 1967 and made it to the top five in the UK charts. However the song "bombed" in the US failing to even make it to the top fifty.

Pictures of Lily's lyrics were typical of Townshend's creative yet quirky writing talents. He describes the singer, obviously a young man, suffering from of insomnia caused by suppressed sexual desire. The young man approached his father to discuss the problem, and the father, being resourceful, pinned up a picture of some silent movie star up on his son's bedroom wall so that he could gaze upon her image when he was lonely. Eventually the young man found himself falling in love with Lilly, and he went back to his father asking where he could find the vision of his fantasies. His father told him, with a certain lack of sensitivity, that Lily had been dead since 1929.

Meanings of other songs by The Who:
Baba O'Riley
Eminence Front
I'm a Boy
My Generation