Bargain (5:36)

Cover of The Ultimate Collection (disc 1)

From The Ultimate Collection (disc 1) and 34 other releases

“Bargain” is a song written by Pete Townshend that was first released by The Who on their 1971 album Who’s Next. It is a love song, although the intended subject of the song is God rather than a woman. The song has been included on several compilation and live albums. It was also included on several of Townshend’s solo projects. Critics have praised the song’s lyricism and power, as well as the performance of the band on the song.

“Bargain” is a love song. The opening lines are:

I’d gladly lose me to find you

I’d gladly give up all I had
To find you I’d suffer anything and be glad

Basically, the lyrics are typical love song lyrics in which the singer says he will give up everything to win his love, and that the singer would consider that a bargain. However, the lyrics do not identify who the subject of the singer’s love is. Townshend has stated the song was influenced by Indian mystic Meher Baba and that the subject of the song is God. Townshend has stated “The song is simply about losing one’s ego as a devotee of Meher Baba. I constantly try to lose myself and find him. I’m not very successful, I’m afraid, but this song expresses how much of a bargain it would be to lose everything in order to be at one with God.”

“Bargain” begins with a gentle acoustic guitar part played by Townshend. A drone is played softly in the background. The energy picks up with Keith Moon’s drum fills and Townshend’s rhythm guitar chords before Roger Daltrey begins to sing the lyrics. Daltrey sings most of the lyrics energetically powerfully, but there is a gentler section sung by Townshend.

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