Who, The - In A Hand Or A Face Lyrics

Ain't it funny how they're all Cleopatra
When you gaze into their past
When you find out about their birth signs
You realize there was no need to have asked

All the history of a soul in torment
Ingrained in a hand or a face
Ain't it funny how they all fire the pistol
At the wrong end of the race

I am going round and round
I am going round and round
I am going round and round
I am going round
Going round and round

There's a man going through your dust bin
Only this time he's looking for food
There's a tear in his eye, you don't know him
Oh but you know what he's going through

Ain't it funny that you can't seem to help him
Feelin' sick as he staggers away
Is it weird that you hate a stranger
Can a detail correct your dismay

I am going round and round
I am going round and round
I am going round and round
I am going round
Going round and round

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Who, The In A Hand Or A Face Comments
  1. Mark Haus

    They should put this song in their live set when they tour now!

  2. robert brunelle

    i put my hand in your face

  3. machia0705

    The LP cover was shabby looking. It may have affected sales. Looks like a throw-away or “best-off”. To our surprise though in 1975, what was inside was a real powerhouse of music. It’s a great album. One of their best.

  4. Mick Corbett

    Great album, will always love it.💕

    day tripper

    I Agree.

  5. tom morrow

    Pete cares about humanity


    he's a strange man tho

  6. jim carter

    WASP MAN !!!!!!!!

  7. Jim Klinkhardt

    The guitar intro for IN A HAND OR FACE is identical to the "b"side of the 45 "The Relay" which is "Wasp Man".
    Check it out.


    Similar, not identical.

  8. schmittelt

    For best results, play at immature volume.

    Frank Kolton



    It's never too late for a second childhood. :)


    @Sludge I'm working on my third or fourth childhood....but yeah. I get ya.


    @schmittelt :)

  9. Ralph Emerson

    Who by Numbers an underrated classic which suffered from a horrible mix when first released and then again on the first CD, which was muddy as well. Finally Townsend went in, supervised the re-masters of their best material and nailed it. Drums up front and in your face where this material demands it. Ain't it funny how they all find a pistol at the wrong end of a race. This rates with their very best IMHO, as the kids say.

    David Armstrong

    "... 'FIRE' a pistol at the wrong end of the race." ;-)

  10. Frank Grail

    Happy 40th anniv. --- today!!!
    This one has that unmistakable 'Who sound".

  11. 777RockNRollin

    It's all good on this album baby !! These songs are more 'real' , pissed off, confused, and angry than Quadrophenia ,........


    Hi, 'quad' was Pete's self described "solo" lp


    Pete's suicide note.

  12. tom morrow

    Blast this one


    +tom morrow OK! Belly, brain and liver full of rum and coke. I'll go for that!

    tom morrow

    right on schmitty

  13. Luileadolfo

    To me this song was recorded during the Quadrophenia sessions. The sound does not match the rest of By Numbers. I like it because it is the one song that features a Keith Moon solo. The cords are used or are the same or similar to other Who songs like "Wasp Man" or "Here For More".

  14. Derek Wilson

    Total Tommy chord at 2:07. It took me a we while to get this. But it followed Quad. Come on. No one has followed that.  

  15. Don Williams

    There is more than enough filler on By Numbers. However, this song is outstanding.

  16. Melanie Litteral

    Slip Kid period. Absolutely, the most perfectly recorded music in history, woefully unappreciated.


    much better than that song, even on this record.

    Bob Marley

    Well said!

    David Armstrong

    GREAT album, sadly under-appreciated.


    It was a milestone. Nothing as subtle as that had been achieved until then. And not after either.

    sal economos

    Yes, it had to follow the magnificence of QUAD.
    A hard act to come after no doubt.

    But really...unappreciated.... by whom?
    Every WHO fan I knew had this LP on their turntable the day it came out.
    Don't think it was ever "unappreciated" by any of us WHO fans back in 75.
    As they say "You had to be there".

  17. Dunwyche

    My fav album, best one they put out period.



    I consider it their last *great* album.

  18. R.U. Kiddingme

    Ain't it funny how they're all Cleopatra... Fucking genius.

  19. MrGeeMan1980

    Definitely an overlooked album by the Who. Some of their best hits came off this album.

  20. thekraken

    Yeah at first I didn't like it as much as the other Who albums but it eventually grew on me. It's still not my favorite Who album but I like it a lot more than I did initially.

  21. Andy Boerger

    Better than Quadrophenia and Tommy, in my opinion. Both had numerous great songs, but because they were double albums they had lots of filler too. By Numbers was one amazing song after another, with the possible exceptions of Success Story and Blue Red & Gray.


    whats wrong with BLUE RED AND GREY?????!!

    Chris Wray

    Andy Boerger who’s next and who are you are also non double albums every song great I think the former was their best

    David Armstrong

    @freedomisnocrime Nothing.


    @freedomisnocrime kinda wussy.

  22. soxwina

    Derek Wilson...I have been a Who fan since the 60s.
    I could not have said it any better then your comment below. I have tix for Quad in feb!

  23. theunknown302

    wicked bassline...of course

  24. Derek Wilson

    And Pete's genius is to subtley recycle riffs and phrases to give you that sense of familiarity with new songs. The chord before the bridge is a black hole of Tommy. Quad is still the best, but adead heat between this, Tommy, Next and Sell Out. Actually Generation too. Fuck it, thay are mainly, generally, the best thing rock will ever have.

  25. gabarizzo

    yeah ;;;;amazing songs...

  26. derbystardom

    I love this song...but I love more the original In A Hand Or Face...if you notice, this is not the exact In A Hand Or Face we first heard...

    Ray Wylock

    Yeah I noticed that ...still, my favorite Who song of all times

  27. Doug McWilliams

    I'll drunk Irish fight ya over whether this is better than Quadrophenia, but still a fantastic album!

    Lou Costello

    No need to go bareknuckles.
    Quadrophenia was a theme album. Who By Numbers isn't. The two albums defy comparison.

  28. GoldShower1

    @danolson It stands the Test-of-Time better than any other. Plus it out-punks any punk: How Many Friends and Booze sung to the happiest ditties ever recorded.

  29. gabarizzo

    best album ever

  30. limolimo2012

    In some ways...the defiitive Who tune, In a hand or face!!!!

  31. GoldShower1

    In a way, anything after the "let's try to make a three minute hit single period on our own terms (everything prior to Tiommy, essentially), all albums are 'atypical".

    This is the Who Album that stands the test of time better than any other! Straight ahead R'n'R, no holds barred, more punk than any punk album, yet full of happy tunes with amazingly soul baring lyrics(except Squeeze Box, of course, intended as the hit along with Slip Kid (huh????)). Listen to the lyrics angrier than any punk!!

  32. biff0101

    By far this is the best and underated album by the Who!

  33. limolimo2012

    In my top who five

  34. dcamack

    @MrFansyPants Because it was there, idiot!

  35. dcamack

    @MrFansyPants So why listen to it you fucking jerkoff?

  36. Robbie Cadwell

    What a GREAT album!!!!!

  37. georgecarlinx

    Great song, great voice, great bass, great guitarist and... GREAT DRUMMER!

  38. bigvdogg1

    I love this shit drunk!

  39. MrGb1965

    This is so good it's not even funny.

  40. hampden12

    theres an"h" in townshend mate

    the sentiment is commendable though

    ah'll let yi aff fur noo

  41. schmittelt

    is it weird that you hate a stranger? can a detail correct your dismay?

  42. schmittelt

    Moon is a monster on this one.

  43. Daniel Olson

    As atypical as it is, I think this is the Who's best album. There's something deeply moving about it. Townsend lays his heart open with greater honesty than just about anyone in rock, and never moreso than on By Numbers.

  44. Michael Winder

    think there was any windmilling or mic lasooing during this one??...still...and always the best rock and roll ever...

  45. noscrub bub

    "ain't it funny how they all fire the pistol at the wrong end of the race? " being young is wasted on the young, being old is wasted on the old

  46. Andy Boerger

    this is one of the best albums of the 70s (and of the whole rock era), and most people overlook it.


    Nobody knows this fucking gem!

  47. buchananstreet

    great singing here by roger. a very subestimated song.

  48. Dunwyche

    Right on, thanke for the post !

  49. txeire

    thanks for uploading.