The Who – Love, Reign O’er Me

This is an epic song That was on the Who’s concept album Quadrophenia. The album peaked at #2 in 1973 in the Billboard Album Charts.

This may be Roger Daltrey’s best vocal performance in the Who’s long career. Pete has said he wanted a quiet song but when Roger sang it…it was more of a scream…Pete liked what Roger did and thought it fit the story better.

“Love, Reign o’er Me,” date back to 1972. It was originally intended to be part of the unreleased autobiographical album, Rock Is Dead—Long Live Rock! This later evolved into Quadrophenia.

The song peaked at #76 in the Billboard 100 and #31 in Canada in 1973.



From Songfacts

This is the last track on The Who’s rock opera Quadrophenia. The main character Jimmy suffers from a four-way split personality, with each personality reflecting a member of The Who. This is Pete Townshend’s theme. The personality is described as “A beggar, a hypocrite, love reign over me.”

At the end of the story, Jimmy steals a boat and takes it to a rock out on the sea. What happens out on the rock is described in this song.

Townshend was a follower of the spiritualist Meher Baba. Meher Baba’s teachings were incorporated into some of Townshend’s songs, including this one.

Townshend (from the Quadrophenia liner notes): “(Love, Reign O’er Me) refers to Meher Baba’s one-time comment that rain was a blessing from God; that thunder was God’s Voice. It’s another plea to drown, only this time in the rain. Jimmy goes through a suicide crisis. He surrenders to the inevitable, and you know, you know, when it’s over and he goes back to town he’ll be going through the same s–t, being in the same terrible family situation and so on, but he’s moved up a level. He’s weak still, but there’s a strength in that weakness. He’s in danger of maturing.” 

In 2007, Adam Sandler starred in a dramatic film titled after this song, named Reign Over Me. Sandler played a widowed dentist who can only relate to old rock music since losing his family in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The soundtrack of the film featured a cover version of this song by the band Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder is a huge Who fan, and has covered many Who songs in the past.

Love Reign O’er Me

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers’
Laying in the fields.

Love, reign o’er me.
Love, reign o’er me, rain on me.

Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky.
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high.

Love reign o’er me.
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain.
I can’t sleep and I lay and I think
The nights are hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

22 thoughts on “The Who – Love, Reign O’er Me”

    1. I wanted to explain it further but I would have lost people… it had to do with the 4 personalities of the band in the story and the main mod Jimmy…I thought no…I’ll let songfacts say the rest.


    1. Thanks Jim… I have never seen the movie that was made from this album in the late 70s that tried to explain it… I do want to see it someday. It has Sting in it I know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we do…
        When my son Bailey was growing up…he was born in 00… I heard a lot of The Wiggles…I have to admit…some of it was fun…He ended up liking older music…I was very careful not to push it though…he just picked up on The Beatles from Yellow Submarine and Help. When I was watching it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Of course “Quadrophenia” ends with this great recording. The original studio version of “Love Reign O’er me” which concludes with Keith Moon absolutely demolishing any argument belittling his ability. The man was a great rock drummer.

    Liked by 1 person

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