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The Meaning of The Who’s “Squeeze Box”

“Squeeze Box” by The Who is a classic rock song that has gotten a lot of attention over the years for its double meaning. Released on the group’s 1975 album The Who By Numbers, the track’s title is a reference to a slang term for an accordion, but the lyrics themselves are rife with sexual innuendo, making it a playful song that is simultaneously about music and sexual satisfaction.

In this article, I will dissect Pete Townsend’s lyrics to “Squeeze Box” to reveal its humorous double meaning.

“Squeeze Box” Lyrics Meaning

Verse One

Mama’s got a squeeze box
She wears on her chest
And when Daddy comes home
He never gets no rest

First verse to “Squeeze Box” by The Who.

As I mentioned earlier, an accordion and other related instruments are also known as “squeeze boxes.” So, on the surface, this song is about a woman with an accordion who plays it all day long. When her husband comes home, he can’t sleep because she is playing that accordion all night long.

However, beneath the surface, one can easily see how this could be taken as innuendo. There are other things that married couples do sometimes that would cause them to stay up all night. Not to mention, a “squeeze box” could be a reference to a certain female body part.


‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s alright
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

Chorus to “Squeeze Box” by The Who.

The chorus continues to tread the line between music and pleasure. Mama plays her accordion all night long, and it’s sounding pretty good.

Or, the married couple is up all night getting it on, and they’re having a great time in the process.

Verse Two

Well, the kids don’t eat
And the dog can’t sleep
There’s no escape from the music
In the whole damn street

Second verse to “Squeeze Box” by The Who.

Mama places her squeeze box at the top of her priority list. She shirks even the feeding of her children to play that thing. It’s getting to the dog, whose sleeping patterns have also been interrupted by Mama’s rampant accordion playing.

Or, Mom & Dad can’t get enough of each other, and they ignore the rest of the world. They’re so loud that the entire street gets an earful.

The chorus comes again, and then there’s a short pre-chorus that repeats some of the most obvious innuendo in the song.


She goes in and out and in and out
And in and out and in and out

Pre-chorus to “Squeeze Box” by The Who.

Playing the accordion is done with an in and out motion of the arms to produce sound. Something else is also done with a similar in and out motion.

Another chorus, and then the bridge, which is rather directly sexual.


She goes, “Squeeze me
Come on and squeeze me
Come on and tease me like you do”
I’m so in love with you
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

Bridge to “Squeeze Box” by The Who.

Mama is quoted asking Daddy to squeeze her, and tease her, because she’s so in love. While this could still be Mama talking to her accordion, it’s a bit of a stretch to think so.

Another pre-chorus and chorus round out this classic song, and Mama keeps on playing that “Squeeze Box” all night long.

Listen to “Squeeze Box” by The Who below.

The Who – “Squeeze Box” (1975)