• 905

    Article by Ey@el and music & lyrics by The Who

    Original en français

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    This track from Who Are You, the latest album by the original Who before the premature deaths of drummer Keith Moon (1978) and bassist John Entwistle (2002) may not be their most famous nor their best and it definitely never was a favourite of mine either. Yet it certainly sprang to my mind after many decades for a good reason. Make your own idea first, and then I'll tell you.

    Lyrics

    Mother was an incubator,
    Father was the contents
    Of a test tube in the ice box
    In the factory of birth.

    My name is 905,
    And I've just become alive.
    I'm the newest populator
    Of the planet we call Earth.

    In suspended animation,
    My childhood passed me by.
    If I speak without emotion
    Then you know the reason why.

    The knowledge of the universe
    Was fed into my mind
    As my adolescent body
    Left its puberty behind.

    And everything I know is what I need to know
    And everything I do has been done before.
    Every sentence in my head
    Someone else has said.
    At each end of my life is an open door.

    Automatically defrosted
    When manhood came on time,
    I became a man
    I left the ice school behind.

    Now I'm to begin
    The life that I'm assigned —
    A life that's been used before
    A thousand times.

    I have a feeling deep inside
    That something is missing.
    It's a feeling in my soul
    And I can't help wishing

    That one day I'll discover
    That we're living a lie
    And I'll tell the whole world
    The reason why.

    Well, until then, everything I know is what I need to know
    And everything I do has been done before.
    Every sentence in my head
    Someone else has said.
    At each end of my life is an open door.

    © John Entwhistle, 1978

    About this song

    Was The Ox1 a visionary?

    I had started a concept album along the same lines as Lifehouse2. My story was a little different. It was set in the future. I put it on the shelf for a long time. When that album came along I took them off the shelf and changed them around a little bit. But "905" was actually one of the songs from that. The hero's name was “905” and he lives with this guy named “503” and they're absolutely identical. There aren't any women around because that's what they're eating. (:O)

    ~ John Entwistle

    Your alarm bells should be ringing, this is the gloaming3

    These lyrics written about 40 years ago depict a dystopian society, quite similar to the one found in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, in which the entire population of the Earth is made of clones produced in laboratories by machines. Held in suspended animation until adulthood, they come to life with implanted memories and are programmed to live the same lives again and again to fulfil a sole purpose one can easily guess as being slaves serving some kind of (human or extraterrestrial) elite. Yet, somehow and in spite of their altered DNA and complete inability to feel any emotion, “deep inside” and “in (his) soul” one of the clones, 905, senses something wrong with this prospectless and all mapped-out life: “One day I'll discover that we're living a lie and I'll tell the whole world the reason why.”

    Does it ring any bells? Or rather, shouldn't your alarm bells be ringing?

    I may be paranoid, but no android4

    Transhumanism, microchipping, massive depopulation through wars, terrorism, genocides, epidemics, vaccinations, drugs, GMO's, nanoparticles, and ongoing terraformation via geoengineering which will eventually render this planet uninhabitable to all its non-genetically modified living species including plants, wildlife and humankind (see Related articles). Sadly, none of this is science-fiction but readily ascertainable from reliable sources. Do carry out your own research!

    Ey@el

    Endnotes

    1. ^ A nickname Entwistle owed to his strong constitution and his major contribution to The Who's powerful sound. Incidentally, he and Keith Moon almost became part of the original line-up of Led Zeppelin while Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend's ego were fiercely competing over the leadership of the band, all in great Oasis style.
    2. ^ Lifehouse was another sci-fi rock opera project imagined by Pete Townshend as a follow-up to the previous Tommy (1969) which brought The Who international fame, but was to be put aside in favour of Who's Next (1971) rightly considered to be the best album of their career.
    3. ^ "The Gloaming", Radiohead (2003).
    4. ^ "Paranoid Android", Radiohead (1997).

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