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The Wall

“There is an error in the lyric sheet”

This is one of several cases when a lyric was written for the album, printed on the lyric sheets of the initial LPs, but then not used on the album. Why did it happen here? I don’t know — maybe for space reasons. But they used the verse in concert, and here it is: Do I have to stand up Wild eyed in the spotlight What a nightmare Why! Don’t I turn and run And then the “there must be some mistake…” line begins.

Why is ‘Hey You’ not in the movie ?

‘Hey You’ was originally going to be in the Wall film, and pictures from the shot footage can even be found in the picture book of the film along with the lyrics, but it was left out. The following is taken from the “Behind The Wall” interview with Roger Waters and Ray White. It was recorded (7/19/90), the week before Roger’s Berlin Wall concert.

White> Were you pleased with the movie? I was kind of disappointed with the movie.
Waters> So was I. I sat with Alan Parker when we fin… and we had a…. It was a nightmare making it. We just screamed and screamed at each other, particularly through the editing of the thing. Then, then I dubbed it with James Guthrie reel by reel and as we got to the end of each reel we would look at the reel and go “Hey, that’s not bad you know. It’s a little bit busy, but it’s okay.” But then when we put all 13 reels together and sat and watched it, I felt my heart going lower and lower and lower and sank into my boots. I found it almost unwatchable. Which is why I think it’s so successful on video; ’cause you don’t have to watch the whole thing. You can watch your favorite bits or you can fast forward or you can… and you don’t have to sit there and be bombarded with this unremitting assault on the senses, like you had to in the cinema.
White> In a huge… with a huge screen and big sound system.
Waters> Yea, with all that boom boom up and so um…. In fact when we finished works on these 13 reels I potted off to the bar and Alan came through and we stood in the garden and both felt very depressed. We were hardly speaking when Stanley said “What d’ya think?” and I said “We’ve got to cut out reel 7.” and he went “Okay… What else.” and uh….
White> What was reel 7?
Waters> Hey you. Just threw it away. The thing was just too long and too… and on it’s own it’s great. It’s been destroyed unfortunately; I tried to find it and ah about 6 months ago. It was all kinds of stuff with lines of um British Bobbies in riot gear and uh you know. There was lots and lots of rioting. Which was very prophetic. This was 3 years before the Brixton riots which was the first time their new riot gear was used.

The forthcoming DVD version of ‘The Wall’ film (scheduled for September 1999) will include the deleted scene, which was actually stored for 17 years, not thrown away.
“What is *When The Tigers Broke Free*”

“Tigers” is a song written for the Wall film about the British invasion of Anzio, Italy during WWII. The Allies established a bridgehead, but were unable to expand it. There were several German counterattacks, one of them, on Feb. 16th, 1944, against the area where the Royal Fuseliers Company C was stationed (a “Tiger,” incidentally, is a type of German tank).

Roger Waters’ father, Eric Fletcher Waters (to whom _The Final Cut_ was dedicated) died in that invasion, so it is partially (if not wholly) autobiographical. The song was split into two parts in the movie, and released as a single. The single came in a special picture gatefold sleeve, had the movie version of “Bring The Boys Back Home” as a B-side, and featured the note “Taken from the album ‘The Final Cut'” — which, of course, never featured the song.

As for digital availability, the song was on a special DJ sampler CD issued to highlight the more recent achievements of Waters’ career as a marketing thing for the Berlin concert. It’s also on the Westwood One’s radio disc, “A CD Full of Secrets.” These are the only places that it is officially available on CD. It is, of course, available in digital sound on the Wall laser disc, but it’s broken up into two parts. There is also a decent non-Floyd version of it on the _Orchestral Maneuvers_ disc.

“What is said before ‘Empty Spaces?'”

The soft gibberish you can hear in the background here is a backwards message. When you play it backwards, you hear:

“Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont.”
and, in the background, after that, even softer:
“Roger, Carolyn’s on the phone!” “Okay.”
“Background voices”

[NOTE: The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia lists all this in even more detail]

The following interpretations are culled from the album, movie, concert RoIOs, special shows (including the Berlin ’90 show and the Walden Woods benefit that Roger was part of), and various interviews.

Note the word choice: interpretations. The interpretations presented here are those that seem to be the most popular whenever we engage in Lyric War 47, and are the ones that seem to have the best evidence in their favor. This does not mean that your interpretation is wrong simply because it differs from what is suggested here. What it does mean, however, is that I and a great many other people would appreciate it if you would refrain from starting the next Lyric War just so you can have your say. It won’t resolve anything and it’s just not worth it…

“At the very beginning/end of The Wall”
At the very very very end of The Wall, very quietly, is said “Isn’t this where…” and at the very beginning, “…we came in?” It has been pointed out that this kind of makes The Wall a complete musical “cycle,” right down to the note.

This cyclical nature was a common phenomena of the Mid/Late Waters Era albums — DSotM begins and ends with a heartbeat, WYWH with the delicate veil of “SOYCD” synth- strings, and _Animals is bracketed with “Pigs on the Wing.” And Radio KAOS features a similar “cyclical” message broken between beginning and end (or end and beginning, actually), while ATD begins and ends with Alf Razzel.

“In the Flesh?” “Lights! Roll the sound effects! Action!” “Drop it! Drop it on ’em! Drop it on them!!!!!”
The first line is a certainty, based on a Wall-era interview with Waters (the one done by Tommy Vance). The second is more controversial, but based on the following two facts: – In the original plot idea for the Wall movie, there was to be a segment where the audience was bombed, the parallels of concerts and war being one of the many themes of _The Wall_. – The diving plane sound that follows these words was specifically identified by Waters in the Tommy Vance interview as being that of a bomber.

“The Happiest Days of Our Lives”

“You! Yes, you! Stand still, laddy!”
Another common interpretation is “Stand still will ye!” At the Walden Woods benefit concert where Roger performed the song, it is fairly clear it is “laddy.”

“An acre is the area of a rectangle whose length is one furlong and whose width is one chain.”
Glenn Connell wrote:

An acre is 160 square rods, or 4840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet… a furlong (derived from long furrow..) is 220 yards… a rod is 5 1/2 yards… a little math says a furlong is 40 rods… (this is going somewhere folks) or…

An acre is 160 rods^2 / 40 rods = 4 rods wide… or 22 yards wide… 66 feet… and 4 rods is a tenth of a furlong…

“Another Brick in the Wall part 2”

“You! Yes, you behind the bike sheds! Stand still laddy!”
This one causes a lot of controversy, particularly among people who don’t understand the reference to bike sheds. “Behind the bike sheds” is a common British phrase for those things at school that take place outside the view of teachers. Stuff like smoking, drinking, a bit of Ummagumma, etc.

Other suggestions have been “bedstead”, “bike stand”, and others. But again, the Walden Woods show is pretty decisive on this. (And what would a bedstead be doing in a school…?)

“Goodbye Blue Sky”

“Look mummy, there’s an aeroplane up in the sky”
There are all sorts of other interpretations here, the most common being “small plane” and “no plane.” Given the context, “aeroplane” makes the most sense (especially if you’ve seen the movie).

“Nobody Home”

“Shut up!”
“I’ve got a little black book with me poems in”

Waiting for the Worms”

“Ein, zwei, drei … alle!” (One, two, three … altogether)
-=-

“We’re {waiting to succeed} and going to convene outside Brixton Town Hall where we’re going to be…”

-=-

“The Worms will convene outside Brixton Bus Station. We’ll be moving along at about 12 o’clock down Stockwell Road {…} twelve minutes to three we’ll be moving along Lambeth Road towards Vauxhall Bridge. Now when we get to the other side of Vauxhall Bridge we’re in Westminster Borough area. It’s quite possible we may encounter some Jew Boys by the way we go. {…}”

Some of this I’m sure of, again based on the Tommy Vance interview. Other parts just make sense from the context.

The Trial”

“Go on Judge! Shit on him!”
Defecate being a more polite synonym for “shit.”

What is *What Shall We Do Now ?*

Originally, The Wall was supposed to include the song “What Shall We Do Now?” but this was cut because of time limitations. The change was made so late in the game that the album sleeves had already been printed, including the lyrics and the original order.

“What Shall We Do Now?” was to come right after “Goodbye Blue Sky,” followed with “Empty Spaces” showing up later (before ABitW 3) as a sort of reprise. Also, on side 3 of the album, they had planned to place “Hey You” after “Comfortably Numb,” but that too was changed at the last minute.

“The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot”

This song appears at the beginning of the film “The Wall” (while slowly tracking down along the floor of the hotel corridor), and was sung by Vera Lynn, who was a popular singer during World War II.

“The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot”
Christmas comes but once a year
For every girl and boy
The laughter and the joy
they find in each new toy
I’ll tell you of a little boy
Who lives across the way
The little fella’s Christmas
Is just another day

He’s the little boy that Santa Clause forgot
And goodness knows he didn’t want a lot
He sent a note to Santa
For some soldiers and a drum
It broke his little heart
When he found Santa hadn’t come.

The crucial last verse, not included in the film, explains why Roger Waters used this song. The lyrics were transcribed by Dave Ward :
I’m so sorry for that laddie,
He hasn’t got a daddy,
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot.

Roger must have felt some identification with the little boy described in the song, who was troubled by the loss of his father as Waters was by the loss of his own.
A RoIO (‘The Film’) of the movie also includes at the end of side three another song sung by Vera Lynn, “We’ll Meet Again.” This is the song that Waters was alluding to in “Vera,” and goes something like this:

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where,
Don’t know when,
But I know we’ll meet again,
Some sunny day.

The song also appeared at the very end of the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” when the world was being destroyed by the “Doomsday Machine.”
“What does Pink sing in the bathroom stall?”

When Pink is sitting in the bathroom stall, he sings, of course, “Stop.” However, before he sings that, he sings scraps of other songs he has been working on, reading them from his song book. These later became parts of “Your Possible Pasts” from The Final Cut and “The Moment of Clarity” from Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.

Here is what he’s singing:

Do you remember
The way it used to be?
Do you think we should have been closer?
I put out my hand
Just to touch your soft hair
To make sure in the darkness
That you were still there
And I have to admit
I was just a little afraid
Of the ones living under
Their dirty old macks
And the ones who were pointing
The guns in their backs

“Was The Wall soundtrack ever officially released?”
Nope. It’s never been released, in spite of the fact that the movie includes the note “Soundtrack available on Columbia records and tapes” near the end of the credits. There have been a couple RoIOs of the soundtrack, (some very professional looking) but your best bet would be to buy the Hi-Fi videotape of the film (or get the laser disc or DVD version).

“Mother”

The line sung on the album as:

“Is it just a waste of time?”
in the movie is sung:
“Am I really dying?”
Interestingly, the written lyrics in some early Wall LPs (and Harvest CDs) have this change as well. In other words, the original lyric was apparently “am I really dying,” which was changed at the last minute to “Is it just a waste of time” for the album, and then changed back to “dying” for the movie. In between, at some live shows, it was sung “what a crazy time” (see, for example, ‘Brick by Brick’).

1 response on the “The Wall” page

  1. January 5th, 2012 at 7:41 pm


    gregflets

    good day everyone im a little late but just back off holls, all the best to yous for 2012
    G flets

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