Thursday, May 28, 2009

Naked Eye vs. Faith

The above performance of "Naked Eye" by The Who is from their 1982 "farewell" tour. Of course, it was only one of many "farewell" tours. I was at their stop in Cleveland. Was that really 27 years ago?

"Naked Eye" is one of those songs that always sounds better live. And for any interested Whostorians (as opposed to Nestorians?) out there, here are a couple other versions taken from live shows: 1970 (as young men in their 20s) and in 2007 (as senior citizens in their 60s).

There is something rather Augustinian in these haunting lyrics: the idea that the sinful desires of the flesh actually distort our perception of reality, and ultimately, giving reign to these lusts never satisfies, because they are rooted in falsehood. Though it all looks fine, things aren't as they appear. We know right from wrong, but we deceive ourselves. And though we aren't pawns, there is indeed One who has the power to move all of us.

Naked Eye by Peter Townshend

Take a little dope
And walk out in the air
The stars are all connected to the brain.
Find me a woman and lay down on the ground,
Her pleasure comes falling down like rain,
Get myself a car, I feel power as I fly,
Oh now I'm really in control,
It all looks fine to the naked eye,
But it don't really happen that way at all,
Don't happen that way at all.

You sign your own name and I sign mine,
They're both the same but we still get separate rooms,
You can cover up your guts but when you cover up your nuts,
You're admitting that there must be something wrong,
Press any button and milk and honey flows,
The world begins behind your neighbor's wall,
It all looks fine to the naked eye,
But it don't really happen that way at all,
Nah nah no, don't happen that way at all.

You hold the gun and I hold the wound,
And we stand looking in each other's eyes,
Both think we know what's right,
Both know we know what's wrong,
We tell ourselves so many many many lies,
We're not pawns in any game, we're not tools of bigger men,
There's only one who can really move us all,
It all looks fine to the naked eye,
But it don't really happen that way at all.

1 comment:

Jim Pierce said...

That is a great version of Naked Eye. Thank you. What might be interesting to some is that Pete Townsend was apparently fighting a pretty nasty cocaine and heroin problem during that time according to A&E Biography. Puts that song in a whole new perspective doesn't it?