Boris The Spider

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 37

  • Sludge from WheelingTo the Englishman who talked about freedom. I, an average person, can walk around and drive around with a gun. That’s freedom.

    To those who write that The Ox is underrated, well, he’s always among the top three when there’s a ranking of rock bassists.

    John sang this song. In the opening bass line, all he did was run down a scale.
  • Jefro52 from Santa Cruz, CaReally interesting stuff! We have a local DJ that adds such snippets with the songs she spins. Her name is Lory Roberts for KPIG radio! Search for it!! They stream!
  • Kaz from Saint Louis, MoTom, 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.
  • Bluewaves from CaliforniaIt'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.
  • Jeff from Santa Clarita, CaJohn 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.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaI 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!
  • Chris from San Diego, CaYou 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 book
  • Rose from Boston, MaJohn 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.
  • Sam from Seattle, Wathanks danny, i saw some videos on youtube, and they showed the entire band singing
  • Danny from Middleboro, Majohn sings the raspy growl part. i know this from the live clips on youtube.
  • Sam from Seattle, WaI know that John sang the verses, but who sings the deep, raspy growl of "boris the spider"
  • Sam from Seattle, WaI know John sings the verses, but during the chorus, who has the deep, dark. raspy growl of "Boris the spider"
  • Rachel from Cleveland, Ohanyway, great song. I used to have a little black spider that lived in my bathroom that I called Boris.. haha
  • Shelby from The Other Side , United StatesAwwwwwwww man. This is so funny. You gotta love John Entwistle and The Who. Why'd they hafta take him and Keith Moon away?!!
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaI 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!
  • Karl from Midland, MiGreat 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.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis was supposedly Hendrix's favorite Who song. LOL!
  • Zach from Boston, MaThe 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.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScAwesome bass at the beginning.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScCool song. Kind of trippy in an odd way.
  • Fintan from Cheltenham, EnglandEntwistle 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.
  • Rex Jackson from Sleze Lans, MaThe Who used to play with Hendrix back in the old days...This was supposedly Hendrix's favorite Who song
  • Andrew from TorontoLeave 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...
  • Eddie from Petaluma, CaThank God John Entwistle won bassist of the century
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeah! John Entwistel was a great bass player. He rocked, and his fbass solos were pretty cool!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeh, i think it's John Entwistle singing. doesn't sound like roger daltrey. Wel sort of... but not really. anyway, fun song though.
  • Ryan from Albion, Nyi agree, enwhistle is very underrated, incredible bass player..who rocks
  • Tressa from Eaton Rapids, MiAwesome song!!! GO BLUE!!!
  • Jordan from Ontario, Canadathis is 'trippy, in a not-really-trippy way'
  • Karl from Ferndale, WaBush 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.
  • Jonathan from Ann Arbor, MiTom, 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!
  • Tyler from Farmington, MiTom- 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 songs
  • Cassie from Detroit, Migood question Tom... most of us wonder the same thing.
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandIs 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?????????
  • Jake from Berkeley Heights, NjThis 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.
  • Greg from Portland, OrIn the 1980s and 1990s, Entwistle had a female tarantula named Doris. She died in 1999, I believe.
  • Angie from Columbus, OhJohn Entwistle was a LEGEND! He deserves far more recognition than he ever gets!
see more comments

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."