"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" as written by and Roger Waters....
Doctor doctor!
I'm in bed
Achin' head
Gold is lead
Choke on bread
Underfed
Gold is lead
Jesus bled
Pain is red
Are goon
Grow go
Greasy spoon
You swoon
June bloom

Music seems to help the pain
Seems to cultivate the brain.
Doctor kindly tell your wife that
I'm alive, flowers thrive, realize, realize
Realize.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" as written by Roger Waters

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Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentgold is lead probably means nothing more than the singer does not appreciate or find value in things that normally are worth something to people. as in he is not feeling well or finding worth in life at the moment, i doubt it has anything to do with bullets. i think this is one of roger waters best songs along with 'if'.
    i are spectreon July 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBleedingHeartArtist strikes me as the kind of Floyd fan who thinks The Final Cut was Waters' greatest of achievements, meaning we can safely disregard everything he says as being wrong. TUTSaW is a FANTASTIC song, and so is Pow R. Toc H. Anyone who says differently clearly does not understand British psychedelia. Probably the same people who inexplicably can't understand the humo(u)r of Monty Python.
    crazydiamond1to9on March 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy interpretation...

    I'm in bed, aching head
    gold is lead
    choke on bread
    underfed
    gold is lead
    jesus bled
    pain is red
    dark doom

    he seems to be talking about dark times here, perhaps suffering from depression. the person doesn't appreciate the great things in life, hence.. gold is lead, dark doom

    gruel ghouls, greasy spoons
    used spoons, June Bloom

    this part seems to be about the transition out of that depressive episode, going from something horrible like gruel ghouls to june bloom. metaphorically, the flowers are coming out finally!

    music seems to help the pain
    seems to contemplate the brain
    Doctor kindly tell your wife that I'm alive
    flowers thrive
    realise
    realise
    realise!

    music can help one get through tough times. as for the doctor tell your wife line... i think its just a way of saying don't worry about me anymore i've figured things out, i've realized i need to appreciate life now instead of worrying and dwelling on the bad things.

    to me, the title, "take up thy stethoscope and walk," has the same type of meaning too: stop looking for problems within yourself (take up thy stethoscope), get up and live your life (walk) because its a beautiful thing
    away666on May 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not sure if anyone hit this by the title is an obvious reference to the parable of Jesus healing the cripple. He pretty much tells a guy to "pick up thy mat and walk." however since it is now stethoscope the doctor is being healed.
    Kleachon July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe title of this song is "Take up thy stethoscope and walk"
    idioticon March 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot to be an ass here, but can we get the lyrics any more wrong? lol
    This is straight outta the book that comes with the CD, so they are the right lyrics:

    I'm in bed, aching head
    gold is lead
    choke on bread
    underfed
    gold is lead
    jesus bled
    pain is red
    dark doom

    gruel ghouls, greasy spoons
    used spoons, June Bloom


    music seems to help the pain
    seems to contemplate the brain
    Doctor kindly tell your wife that I'm alive
    flowers thrive
    realise
    realise
    realise!

    Sounds to me like this guy is a soldier who has been hurt in battle. Gold is lead is a tricky line. I'm guessing what matters most is the lead that's in his body, so gold meaning the most valuable thing.
    underfed, choke on bread (there's not enough water either lol)
    Jesus bled, pain is red... dark doom... simple enough
    gruel is nasty ass food that army people eat.
    gruel ghouls are maybe the people who eat up all the gruel lol.
    the spoons are dirty
    My favorite part of the song is "June Bloom"
    I think he has the flowers represent being alive.... that's why later he says so strongly that flowers thrive.
    The one line I don't get is "doctor kindly tell your wife"
    Did the doctor steal his wife from him? Is the doctor's wife a nurse? Who the hell knows lol. This song is amazing.... people need to stop dissin on songs they don't understand because not being accessible is almost synonymous with artistic. Thanks for reading through all this. Send me an IM people. I love talking Floyd! Syd Barrett may be the greatest poetic mind in history.
    steve82con December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoops, it was Roger Waters. He's a hell of a writer too though lol. My bad!
    steve82con December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsteve you're right, lead is valuable from a soldier's POV -- lead is a synechdoche technique, representing bullets, which are extremely valuable in a war zone; i think there are two ways to interpert why they're valuable: (a). if your side has more "lead" than the enemy, you'll kill 'em faster and go home, and (b). if you get hit with "lead" you'll either be put in the infirmary and hopefully soon go home (or at least get a break from the warfare) or you'll be dead and never have to fight the war anymore.
    just my $.02
    res87cueon January 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't stand the first part of the song but after all the annoying lyrics the instrumentals are cool.
    Killspyon July 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, it always sounded like a description of a trip. the "doctor" is the guy who gave him the acid. the opening lyrics are just the images and thoughts he's experiencing ("gold is lead" is obviously a reference to alchemy, and I never thought anything of it beyond that). the middle, lyrics-free section is him experiencing the rest of the trip. he sets it up to make it sound as if it's a bad one, but then at the end he has an epiphony ("I'm alive/flowers thirve/realise!"). I don't know how valid that is, but it was just always my take on it.
    TeNon October 02, 2005   Link

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