Sunday Song Lyric – Moore v. Townsend Edition:

Michael Moore sought to use The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in Fahrenheit 9/11. As Moore tells the story:

At the end of the film Bush says “Fool me once, shame on… me. I won’t get fooled again.” Clearly that moment demands that we hear Roger Daltrey scream, “Won’t get fooled again!” That’s how I had it cut. Pete Townsend blocked it, would not allow the song to be used. Word came to us that he is not a fan of Michael Moore’s and in fact supports the war and supports Tony Blair and doesn’t want the song used in any way that would make Blair look bad. Harvey [Weinstein] personally made an appeal to him to reconsider. And he wouldn’t.

As with so much that comes from Moore, there is a kernel of truth, but ample reason to doubt the details.


Pete Townsend tells a quite different story. Moore was initially turned down by Townsend’s publisher because Miramax offered substantially less for the rights to the song than is usually paid. At that point, Harvey Weinstein interceded in an effort to change Townsend’s mind. According to Townsend, he was uneasy due to concerns about the accuracy of Moore’s prior film, Bowling for Columbine. Nonetheless he said he would reconsider if he had a chance to see the film and how the song would be used, but he never heard back. Townsend says he has “nothing against Michael Moore,” but he “greatly resent[s] being bullied and slurred” by him merely because Moore did not get to use the song.


Townsend also suggests that, despite its title, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” might not have been the most appropriate song for the movie.

WGFA is not an unconditionally anti-war song, or a song for or against revolution. It actually questions the heart of democracy: we vote heartily for leaders who we subsequently always seem to find wanting. (WGFA is a song sung by a fictional character from my 1971 script called LIFEHOUSE. The character is someone who is frightened by the slick way in which truth can be twisted by clever politicians and revolutionaries alike).

Is “Won’t Get Fooled Again” an anti-war song or not? It seems Conspiracy readers should make up their own mind, so here are the lyrics:

We’ll be fighting in the streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgement of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song



I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again



The change, it had to come

We knew it all along

We were liberated from the fold, that’s all

And the world looks just the same

And history ain’t changed

‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war



I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

No, no!



I’ll move myself and my family aside

If we happen to be left half alive

I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky

Though I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?



There’s nothing in the streets

Looks any different to me

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye

And the parting on the left

Are now parting on the right

And the beards have all grown longer overnight



I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

Don’t get fooled again

No, no!



Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!



Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

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