Beads On One String

Album: Who (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • The Indian guru Meher Baba (1894-1969) gave many teachings on the cause and purpose of life, including teaching reincarnation and that the phenomenal world is an illusion. This song about race and religion was inspired by one of his sayings: "I want to bring the religions of the world together like beads on one string."
  • This song is based on a composition titled "Morning Dew" by American film score composer Josh Hunsacker. Pete Townshend found it on Soundcloud and offered to write lyrics for the music.
  • Speaking in a Zoom interview, Roger Daltrey said this is his favorite song on the band's Who album. "It's not really a rock song, but there's something about the message that I really, really like,' he explained. "I think it's a masterful piece of songwriting."

    Asked what he liked about the message, Daltrey said, "The world at the moment, there are so many people pulling it apart. We desperately need someone who's going to pull us together, or something. Music can always pull us together. That song is a pulling-us-together song, and the more that gets out there and gets listened to, the better for all of us."
  • Pete Townshend has been a follower of Meher Baba since 1968 and has written several songs inspired by the writings of the Indian guru. They include the Who's "Baba O'Riley," "See Me, Feel Me," "Love, Reign O'er Me," "Bargain" and "I'll Be Back," and Townshend's solo single "Let My Love Open The Door."

    Another well-known track based on a saying of Meher Baba is Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy."
  • The Who performed the song live for the first time during their stripped-back acoustic concert at the Royal Albert Hall on March 25, 2022 in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Daltrey is a patron of the charity and launched the Teenage Cancer Trust gig series at the beginning of the millennium.

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