A song by Pete Townsend, performed by the Who.

I read somewhere that this song was going to be part of a 15-song rock opera like "Tommy". The plot was something like this:

In the future, with test-tube babies and all, you wouldn't get your kids the old way, (Heaven forbid!) you'd get them by sending in your order form. One couple's wish is to have four lovely little girls. However, at the Fertilisation Plant (or wherever they do it) they get the order wrong and send 3 fabulously feminine females, and one boy. Naturally, his parents don't particularly like him, and treat him (sorry to be so frank) like shit. When guests come over the poor boy must wear a wig and dress up like a girl, being bullied by his sisters.

The song "I'm a boy" is the kid's feelings in terms of being a girl or being a boy. It's not deep, but it's cute, and the tune is groovey.

The boy say he wants "to play cricket on the green, ride his bike across the street, I want to come all covered in mud, cut myself and see my blood." etc.etc.

As a Who fan, I reckon it would have been quite nice to have a whole opera done out, but alas, it was not to be. This is the one song they did.

"I'm a Boy" was part of a larger aborted rock opera by Pete Townshend called Quads about the future when parents could control the sex of their kids, as explained in the above write-up. This song was featured on Who's Missing and Live at Leeds. It was released as a single 26 August, 1966 and reached #2 on the UK charts.

Certainly the first song about tranvestism, this was one of the first Who songs in a line of singles taking on taboo subjects, such as masturbation ("Pictures of Lily"), hand jobs ("Mary Anne With the Shaky Hands")...to...um....acne ("Medac"). Ok, that's not really taboo, but it's funny....

I couldn't find the lyrics anywhere, so I transcribed them from Live at Leeds. Lyrics by Pete Townshend, vocals by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.

One girl was called Jean Marie
another little girl was called Felicity
Another little girl was Sally Joy
The other was me, and I'm a boy!

My name is Bill and I'm a head case
they practise making-up on my face
And I'll be lucky if I get trousers to wear
Spend evenings taking hairpins from my hair

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my mum won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, if I say I am, I guess

Put your frock on Jane-Marie
Flatten your hair, Felicity
Paint your nails, Sally Joy
Put this wig on, little boy

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my mum won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, if I say I am, I get it

ooooh, ooooh
ahhh, ahhhh

I wanna play cricket on the green
ride my bike across the street
Cut myself and see my blood
I wanna come home all covered in mud

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my mum won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy!

CST Approved

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