"Athena" is a song written by Pete Townshend and recorded by The Who. It appears as the first track on the group's final studio album before their dissolution, It's Hard (1982). It was released as the first single from that album, achieving moderate chartal success at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, but good airplay on album oriented rock and later classic rock radio formats, and number 40 on the UK Singles Chart. Along with the second single, "Eminence Front", "Athena" was one of the two tracks that were well-received on an album generally not regarded very highly by critics and consumers alike.
Pete Townshend wrote this song after an encounter with actress Theresa Russell. He promptly fell in love with her, and his frustration of being rejected is contained in this song. In this context, associated with an issue with a film director, it became a subplot of the much later The Lifehouse Chronicles. While the subject of the song is now widely known, Townshend initially changed the title to "Athena" to disguise who the song was really about. And indeed given the lyric and Roger Daltrey's vocal phrasing it can fairly be interpreted in ironic context of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, as well: