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Boris The Spider by The Who

Album: Happy JackReleased: 1966
  • This was the first Who song written by their bass player, John Entwistle. Pete Townshend ordered him to write a song for their second album. To encourage the band to write their own songs, their record company offered them a £500 advance if each member wrote a song on the album.
  • Entwistle was afraid of spiders as a kid. He wrote this about seeing a spider crawling from the ceiling and squishing it.
  • Entwistle wrote this as a joke, but it became a concert favorite. It is a fun song that offset many of the more serious Who songs.
  • This was the only song from the album that they continued to play live.
  • In the UK, the album was called A Quick One. It was changed to Happy Jack in the US to avoid being offensive.
  • After he wrote this, Entwistle started wearing a spider medallion at concerts.
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Comments: 35

Tom, the US is not a democracy, it's a republic. Democracy is the Tyranny of the Majority, which is evil, as your British government has demonstrated time and again, as does the US government when it teeters in the ugly direction of democratic mob rule.Kaz - Saint Louis, Mo
It's funny that the album was changed from A Quick One to Happy Jack "to avoid being offensive." Both names could be interpreted to go hand-in-hand.....so to speak.Bluewaves - California
John Entwistle released a few solo albums. On the album "Smash Your Head Against the Wall", the song "My Size" is a sequel to "Boris". The chorus is "Now you're always haningin' 'round, you never touch the ground, you make me feel so small, wish I was ten feet tall." The bass line at the very end of the song mimics the Boris bass line to tie the two together.Jeff - Santa Clarita, Ca
I never knew the point of this song til now -- just loved the killer bass (guitar & vocals)

I've been known to sing to any big ol black hairy spider this song, just for fun!
Cyberpope - Richmond, Canada
You are dumb tom BBC is British Broadcasting Corporation and from your location you of all people should know that dumbass Long Live Boris the Spider!!!! ohhh wait he got smashed by a bookChris - San Diego, Ca
John was out drinking with Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones and they were thinking up funny names for animals...that's where the title's from.
Also, later on in the Who's career more of John's songs ended up being sung by Roger.
I love the Who. This is a crazy awesome song.
Rose - Boston, Ma
thanks danny, i saw some videos on youtube, and they showed the entire band singingSam - Seattle, Wa
john sings the raspy growl part. i know this from the live clips on youtube.Danny - Middleboro, Ma
I know that John sang the verses, but who sings the deep, raspy growl of "boris the spider"Sam - Seattle, Wa
I know John sings the verses, but during the chorus, who has the deep, dark. raspy growl of "Boris the spider"Sam - Seattle, Wa
anyway, great song. I used to have a little black spider that lived in my bathroom that I called Boris.. hahaRachel - Cleveland, Oh
Awwwwwwww man. This is so funny. You gotta love John Entwistle and The Who. Why'd they hafta take him and Keith Moon away?!!Shelby - The Other Side , United States
I was humming this on a city bus and the guy across me (Jerk) told me to shut the F*** up! Obviously he's got no appreciation for the greatest Bassist ever born. props to you Entwistle!Joe - Bellingham, Wa
Great stuff. Good song. If I ever have a small, black, hairy spider for a pet, no question, I will name if Boris. Too bad my comment couldn't get in that 3 comments in a row from Michigan.Karl - Midland, Mi
This was supposedly Hendrix's favorite Who song. LOL!Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
The BBC did quite a bit of censorship with songs at this time as well, although I agree that the title of the album should not have been changed.Zach - Boston, Ma
Awesome bass at the beginning.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Cool song. Kind of trippy in an odd way.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Entwistle had planned to do an album with children's songs on it and wanted to put Boris The Spider on it, along with songs like Silas Stingy. He wrote them for that album and then got trademarked with black humour.Fintan - Cheltenham, England
The Who used to play with Hendrix back in the old days...This was supposedly Hendrix's favorite Who songRex Jackson - Sleze Lans, Ma
Leave the sports comments for another site we,re talking The Who here and more specifically John Entwhistle.Great bass player,great band at least until Keith Moon passed away,then it was a joke,still is with only Daltry and Townsend left.They should have done what Zeppelin did,broke up the band after Moon died and called their recent tour Townsend-Daltry instead of driving the legacy and name into the ground...Andrew - Toronto
Thank God John Entwistle won bassist of the centuryEddie - Petaluma, Ca
Yeah! John Entwistel was a great bass player. He rocked, and his fbass solos were pretty cool!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Yeh, i think it's John Entwistle singing. doesn't sound like roger daltrey. Wel sort of... but not really. anyway, fun song though.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
i agree, enwhistle is very underrated, incredible bass player..who rocksRyan - Albion, Ny
Awesome song!!! GO BLUE!!!Tressa - Eaton Rapids, Mi
this is 'trippy, in a not-really-trippy way'Jordan - Ontario, Canada
Bush had nothing to do with re-titling this album, the record company did. Typical risk-averse attitude of upper management in fear of the stock holders.Karl - Ferndale, Wa
Tom, It seems ridiculous to almost every american.. well, maybe not the ones in the south. But hey with bush in charge, we can't even express our religion without having a bunch of police coming to our door (just kidding.. but bush sucks). Anyway this is a great song and is very funny. The Who is one of my alltime favorite bands. They just plain rock. Hey look at this, three michigan people in a row. Go Tigers, and Angie, OSU sucks. But you're right about Entwistle!Jonathan - Ann Arbor, Mi
Tom- Boris the spider was actually sung byJohn Entwistle, in the book 'before i get old', the authr explains this and how daltrey got quite perturbed by the fact that he was out of a job when it came to Entwistles songsTyler - Farmington, Mi
good question Tom... most of us wonder the same thing.Cassie - Detroit, Mi
Is it just me, or does Roger Daltrey sing with a Welsh accent in this song? Also, about the album having different titles, what is it with you Americans? I thought you were a democracy, 'land of the free', etc? But you don't seem to allow anything, why?????????Tom - Trowbridge, England
This song makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever. But its a great a fun song to listen to. I love this song but I always am curious of how you can come up with a song like this. But I love the Who and I love thie song.Jake - Berkeley Heights, Nj
In the 1980s and 1990s, Entwistle had a female tarantula named Doris. She died in 1999, I believe.Greg - Portland, Or
John Entwistle was a LEGEND! He deserves far more recognition than he ever gets!Angie - Columbus, Oh
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