"The Thin Ice" as written by and Roger Waters....
Momma loves her baby
And daddy loves you too
And the sea may look warm to you babe
And the sky may look blue
Ooh baby
Ooh baby blue
Ooh babe

If you should go skating
On the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach
Of a million tear-stained eyes
Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by nasses321

"The Thin Ice" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Thin Ice song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is sort of a warning from someone whos already been through it all
    slaterfamouson May 03, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah, there's the innocent, unknowing verse at the beginning, followed by the cynical, experienced words of wisdom at the end
    nukethesunon May 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this is just showing their cynical, pessimistic view of life, saying to younger generations "Go for it, but dont be surprised when life turns bad".
    mikemacon November 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI completely agree. The contrast between the gentle voice of Gilmour and the abrasive voice of Waters works well for the song.

    But I really don't understand what the "tear stained eyes" and the "thin ice of modern life" alludes to. My best guess is that the water embodies all of the negative outcomes possible in Pink's life, and the "thin ice" is the protectiveness Pink's parents constantly enforce. Perhaps his parents sacrificed their own dreams and aspirations, and that is the cause of the "tear stained eyes." Just guessing.
    QuixoticComradeon March 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song. maybe one of my favorites on the album. it is so sweet and soft at the beginning, and while the melody stays soft, the lyrics become somewhat dark. i love it when that happens.
    kathrynlhon March 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentok every1 listen...its really hard to get this song, but i have it...ok dragging behind you silent reproach of a million tear stainded eyes means that with life one has to accept the fact that some1 will always despise, hate them its a hard song to get....skating on modern life means getting wrapped up in life itslef until life actaully kills you...witch is falling through the ice.....im pretty sure thats what it is
    shortshotalex90on August 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy theory (entirely my own from listening to the song so it might not make any sense when you read it because my thoughts aren't very organized.):

    Going skating on this ice is being compared with being naive about life and just skating along without a care in the world. Going through life hardly aware about the fact that you're on thin ice or maybe even thinking that your thin ice is perfectly supportive and there's no way it would cave in.
    In the song when it says "Dragging be hind you the silent reproach of a million tear stained eyes" the million tear stained eyes are all the people that are aware of all the evil. They also could have already been ignorant before and and suddenly fallen through the ice. They also could be the people effected by all the evils like people living in poverty, or even more pertinent with the theme of this whole album, victims of war. By dragging behind the naive skater it means that they are trying to warn him, or stop him. Or they are simply just present and he is not aware and that's why they would be silent. So then the crack in the ice is when the false protection finally gives way and the naive person is bombarded with reality and all the evils of modern society. When it says "You slip out of your depth and out of your mind" it means he will slip out of his understanding, or realize the things that aren't in his depth of understanding. He had formerly only been looking at the surface of his life and the people close to him and now he sees all these other people out there and all these problems he wasn't aware of and he can't comprehend any of it so it drives him insane. "With fear flowing out behind you as you claw the thin ice" He suddenly becomes afraid and tries to cling to the thin ice that had been supporting him for so long. He tried to stay innocent and away from all the scary things he fell into.

    I might have left some things out, but i'm interested in hearing what other people think. So say something.
    rivotskickmyhaton January 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenton the movie it showed the army camp pinks dad died with while dave was singin then when roger started you saw the hotel room then pink layin there in the pool
    i think the thin ice is your mental self ready to crack at any moment
    what i think a million tear-stained eyes means is all of your bad memories that you have gotten and brought tears to your eyes and when your ices finally cracks all you have is a world of bad memories and get nothin but new bad memories while your clawin the thin ice
    tring to set everthing back to normal
    maybeyesterday616on January 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe first part of the song symbolizes the birth of the character Pink and foreshadows the overprotectiveness of his mother (later shown in more detail in Mother). She explains that at this point the world "may" look comforting and inviting, but stops short of explaining the "but" in an effort to protect him.

    And the sea "may" look warm to you babe
    And the sky "may" look blue
    "but" Ooooh baby
    Ooooh baby blue
    Oooooh babe.

    In the second part, older and wiser Pink (Roger Waters) fills in the "but". Many here have said that the "silent reproach of a million tear stained eyes" refers to the generations that preceded him, and they is an interesting interpretation. I, however, tend to think he is referring to his fans. Reproach literally means "disapproval" and only a celebrity could have such disapproval from a "million" people. Trying to please that many, and taking their criticism personally while still wanting to be an individual and true to yourself artistically would certainly send someone "out of their depth and out of their minds", which in Waters' case climaxed with the spitting incident on the In the Flesh tour (the incident that planted the seed for the Wall album).
    MatthewDamianon July 14, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI believe this song means that at first life is great and all but once you get older as a natural human being you become more careless skating on the thin ice shows the carelessness one has and the tear stained eye you drag are all the people you hurt unwillingly of your own carelessness and as you go deeper you start to realize what life is but its too late the ice cracks you should'nt be surprised what you do will effect you later on and all the cold darkness you created you drown in and you drown in your own demise. So this is a message to value life and not let yourself lose your humanity just cause of your carelessness. Everything has an effect , just like the butterfly effect. You can't just ignore everything.
    onlyfoodcanfillthegapinmysoulon March 06, 2016   Link

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