My iPod #125: The Who – Boris the Spider

One time when I was bored on YouTube, I remembered this cartoon from the nineties that would show on the BBC. The cartoon followed the adventures of a clumsy spider, who played around with his human friend. I completely forgot what the animation was called, until I found the other day that it was simply called “Spider”.

During that time, I typed in ‘spider’ which instead resulted in videos involving real spiders and “Boris the Spider” by The Who. The video above was the one that I clicked onto.

This time, it’s not a song by Pete Townshend. No, no. “Boris the Spider” was the second song on the band’s second album “A Quick One” which is known for being the only album by the rock band to involve songs written by all four members. “Boris” was the first song John Entwistle wrote for the band, and took a tolling time of five minutes to write.

Seems about right. It’s a tale of a black, hairy and very small spider, who crawls up a wall then drops to the floor, heads toward the bedroom door, comes out again, crawls into a ball and is then squashed with a book by the person who sees all of this activity. The spider’s name is Boris too. And all of this is sung over a simple bass line and a haunting bridge where John puts on his falsetto.

This song is also known for being the first in music history to incoporate the ‘death growl’. Betcha didn’t know that, huh?

So that’s the song for today. That fake spider in the video is very similar to one that I saw on my living room floor the other day. I was so freaked out wandering what to kill it with that it disappeared under the sofa. That bastard hasn’t come out since. It’s only a matter of time.

Until tomorrow.



Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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