I was listening to The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and there was a phrase

"Meet the new boss same as the old boss"

and I was wondering about what this represents?

  • 1
    It means the new boss is the same as the old boss (in some significant way). The Who were probably mindful of Orwell's Animal Farm, where The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


The phrase

Meet the new boss same as the old boss

has the meaning that nothing changes.

The Who's song Won't Get Fooled Again references changing social circumstance

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me

but with the warning that nothing changes

And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

and then ending the song with

Meet the new boss same as the old boss

It's the Who's elegant way of saying

The more things change, the more they stay the same

  • 1
    This is a great answer, but not specific enough; the key point is that this song was recorded in 1971 - it's a cry of disappointment or cynicsm about the outcome of the 'revolutionary' spirit of the 60's
    – peterG
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 19:29

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