A Quick One, While He's Away (Pete Townshend) TRO-Essex Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

From the A Quick One liner notes by Chris Charleworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in early November 1966.

Pete's first rock opera contains six separate songs, 'Her Man's Gone,' 'Crying Town,' 'We Have A Remedy,' 'Ivor The Engine Driver,' 'Soon Be Home,' and 'You Are Forgiven.' Along the way the unnamed heroine pines for her absent lover, selects Ivor as a substitute, regrets her folly when her man returns, confesses her indiscretion and is ultimately forgiven.

"We wanted to put 'cellos on the track but Kit Lambert said we couldn't afford it. That's why we sing 'cello, cello, cello, cello,'…where we thought they should be."
--John Entwistle

Actually "I'm a Boy" had been part of an earlier uncompleted opera called "Quads."

"A Quick One" became a staple of The Who's live act from 1967-1970.

It may have had a direct influence on The Beatles' "A Day In the Life" which was recorded the month after this LP's release.

The stereo version was released in the U.S. and Europe

From the "Thirty Years of Maximum R&B" liner notes by Brian Cady.

Studio section recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in the autumn of 1966.
Live section recorded December 10, 1968 at Stonebridge House Studios, Wembley.

'00-'21 and 6'54-9'39 are from a live performance recorded for the television program The Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus. It's an alternate take (probably take two) of the one that appears in the movie and soundtrack of The Kids Are Alright and on the video and CD of The Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus. '21-6'54 is from the mono version of the studio cut recorded for the LP A Quick One.

From the Live at Leeds liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Pete's first attempt at a rock opera [other than "I'm a Boy;" see above] was inspired, original and amusing, with a rousing climax that redeemed the rather gauche opening sections. It would never have been written had it not been for the peculiar circumstances surrounding the recording of their second album for which each member of the band was supposed to contribute at least two songs each. When the others came up short, Kit Lambert proposed as a solution that Pete write a mini-opera to fill up ten minutes at the end of Side Two. 'A Quick One' was the result. It was certainly complex, moving through six specific sections, all with different melodies of their own, ranging from camp country and western to lush harmonies and all out power pop, with a touch of English music hall in between. There is also a stimulating power chord climax with quite stunning vocal harmonies, especially John's falsetto. By 1970 The Who had been playing 'A Quick One' on stage for at least three years and there's a casual self-assurance to their playing on this version that cannot be found elsewhere. The six 'Quick One' songs are 'Her Man's Gone,' 'Crying Town,' 'We Have A Remedy,' 'Ivor The Engine Driver,' 'Soon Be Home' and 'You Are Forgiven.' Along the way the unnamed heroine pines for her absent lover, selects Ivor as a substitute on the advice of her friends, regrets her folly when her man returns, confesses her indiscretion and is ultimately forgiven.

The original recording was produced by Kit Lambert at IBC Studios, London, in November 1966.

Pete's introduction was cut for the 1996 version. The full-length introduction was restored for the Deluxe Edition.

A flaw in the original recording caused Roger to have to retrack his vocal on the "Ivor, the Engine Driver" part in 1994.

This song (or songs) was dropped from the live act shortly after Leeds.

Other live versions appear on the Monterey Pop boxset (1967), The Kids Are Alright (1968), the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B video (1967) and The Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus (1968).

Track 9 on the 1995 and 2001 CD's.

I. Her Man's Been Gone

Her man's been gone
For nearly a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain't here

Her man's been gone
For nigh on a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain't here

II. Crying Town

Down your street your crying is a well-known sound
Your street is very well known, right here in town
Your town is very famous for the little girl
Whose cries can be heard all around the world

III. We Have A Remedy

Fa la la la la la
Fa la la la la
Fa la la la la la
Fa la la la la

We have a remedy
You'll appreciate
No need to be so sad
He's only late

We'll bring you flowers and things
Help pass your time
We'll give him eagle's wings
Then he can fly to you

Fa la la la la la
Fa la la la la
Fa la la la la la
Fa la la la la
Fa la la la la la
Fa la la la la la

We have a remedy
Fa la la la la la la
We have a remedy
Fa la la la la la la
We have a remedy
Fa la la la la la la
We have a remedy
Fa la la la la la la

(spoken)
We have a remedy.
We have!

Little girl, why don't you stop your crying?
I'm gonna make you feel all right

IV. Ivor The Engine Driver

My name is Ivor
I'm an engine driver

I know him well
I know why you feel blue
Just 'cause he's late
Don't mean he'll never get through

He told me he loves you
He ain't no liar, I ain't either
So let's have a smile for an old engine driver
So let's have a smile for an old engine driver

Please take a sweet
Come take a walk with me
We'll sort it out
Back at my place, maybe

It'll come right
You ain't no fool, I ain't either
So why not be nice to an old engine driver?
Better be nice to an old engine driver
Better be nice to an old engine driver

V. Soon Be Home

We'll soon be home
We'll soon be home
We'll soon
We'll soon, soon, soon be home

We'll soon be home
We'll soon be home
We'll soon
We'll soon, soon, soon be home

Come on, old horse

Soon be home
Soon be home
Soon
We'll soon, soon, soon be home

We'll soon
We'll soon, soon, soon be home

We'll soon be home
Soon be home ...

VI. You Are Forgiven

Dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang

Cello, cello, cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello, cello, cello

I can't believe it
Do my eyes deceive me?
Am I back in your arms?
Away from all harm?

It's like a dream to be with you again
Can't believe that I'm with you again

I missed you and I must admit
I kissed a few and once did sit
On Ivor the Engine Driver's lap
And later with him, had a nap

You are forgiven, you are forgiven, you are forgiven ... (ad lib)

You are forgiven

This song appears on:

Source Length notes
A Quick One 9:10
Happy Jack 9:10
Live At Leeds 8:41 Live
The Kids Are Alright 7:24
Thirty Years Of Maximum R & B 9:40 Live at the Rolling Stones Rock'N'Roll Circus
A Quick One - CD Reissue 9:11
The BBC Sessions 7:02
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