"Dogs" as written by and Roger/gilmour Waters....
You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you're on the street
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking

And after a while, you can work on points for style
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder
You know it's going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you get older
And in the end you'll pack up and fly down south
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man
All alone and dying of cancer

And when you loose control, you'll reap the harvest you have sown
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone
And it's too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around
So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone
Dragged down by the stone (stone, stone, stone, stone, stone)

I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone's expendable and no-one has a real friend
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
And everything's done under the sun
And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer

Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel

Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home

Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone
Who was dragged down by the stone

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by BIRDDUDE830

"Dogs" as written by Roger Waters David Jon Gilmour

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dogs song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentThe Dogs are cutthroat business men who will do anything to achieve their means. But in the end, everything they've done in life is all for naught because they will either become "just another sad old man, all alone and dying of cancer" or they'll be pulled down by the weight of the stone. The stone is the dirty tricks they pulled throughout their life to achieve everything they want, but just as karma works, they are dragged down by all of that. Kinda like the corporate scandals where the guys at Enron are being dragged down by the weight of their stone.
    BrainDamageon August 24, 2002   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThe following are lyrics written by Roger Waters in 1974 titled "you gotta be crazy" then reworked into "Dogs" for the Animals album. This might add some insight to the meaning.

    You gotta be crazy, you gotta be mean
    You gotta keep your kids and your car clean
    You gotta keep climbing, you gotta keep fit
    You gotta keep smiling, you gotta eat shit

    You gotta be small to be a big shot
    You gotta eat meat to stay at the top
    You gotta be trusted, gotta tell lies
    You gotta be able to narrow your eyes

    You gotta beleive they've gotta beleive you
    You gotta appear easy to see through
    Gotta be sure you look good on the TV
    Gotta resemble a human being

    You gotta keep one eye over your shoulder
    Gonna get harder as you get older
    Gotta fly south and hide in the sand
    Gotta forget that you're gonna get cancer

    And when you loose control
    You'll reap the harvest you have sown
    And as the fear grows
    The bad blood slows and turns to stone

    And it's too late to loose the weight
    You used to need to throw around
    So have a good drown
    As you go down
    Dragged down by the stone

    Gotta be sure, you gotta be quick
    Gotta divide the tame from the sick
    Gotta keep some of us docile and fit
    You gotta keep everyone burying this shit

    You gotta get you started early
    Processed by the time you're thirty
    Work like fuck 'till you're sixty five
    And then your time's your own until you die

    I gotta admit to a lot of confusion
    Pain in the head is the child of collusion
    Gotta resist the creeping malaise
    You gotta beleive in the way you get out of the maze

    But you, you just keep on pretending
    You can tell a sucker from a friend
    But you still raise the knife to
    Stranger, lover, friend and foe alike

    Who was born in a house full of pain
    Who was sent out to play on his own
    Who was raised on a diet of shame
    Who was trained not to spit in the fan
    Who was told what to do by the man
    Who was broken by trained personnel
    Who was fitted with bridle and bit
    Who was given a seat in the stand
    Who was forcing his way to the rails
    Who was offered a place on the board
    Who was only a stranger at home
    Who was ground down in the end
    Who was found dead on the phone
    Who was dragged down by the stone

    Floydman444on June 09, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTo understand any of the songs fully, you need a full understanding of what the album is about
    So here it is, even though some of it may be obvious.

    ----Capitalist nations are nations made up of sheep that are owned by pigs, and competed for by dogs

    Cutthroat businessmen and always in vicious competition like dogs fighting for scraps that the masters (pigs) give them
    Either end up "sad old men dying of cancer" or "pulled down by the stone"
    All that competition actually give them no fulfillment in the long run
    The stone -- dirty tricks the pull and bad things they do to others to get ahead (conscious?)
    Probably not conscious -- more like getting caught breaking the law -- Enron or Bernie Madoff

    Pigs (3 different kinds)
    Heads of society who pull the strings and control all the dogs and especially the sheep
    1. James Callaghan - prime minister. Fat dude -- big man pig man
    Mining industry - keep on digging
    2. Maggie thatcher
    Bus stop rat bag -- "a man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure."
    3. Mary whitehouse
    Media censorship advocate -- pirate radioesque
    Hey you whitehouse

    Play on the bible: The Lord is my shepherd (but not primarily a religious commentary)
    Pigs: the "good" shepherd
    We are all just sheep in the flock mindlessly feeding on grass ignorant of our masters controlling our every move
    Dogs/wolves competing to pick off the sheep but we are ignorant until it is too late
    Therealdtaylzon May 08, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always considered 'Animals' to be one of their weaker albums... it's basically an album full of rejected material from 'Wish You Were Here'. 'Dogs' and 'Sheep' originally had different titles and were originally intended to be part of that album.

    The whole 'Animal Farm' concept thing didn't come in until later, and it always seemed to me to be a fairly half hearted attempt to make a bunch of unrelated songs look like they fit together... and it doesn't really come off, for me.

    Anyway, Dogs was written at around the same time as 'Have A Cigar' off 'Wish You Were Here', and is basically about the same thing - greedy, hollow, upper level management types who care only about money nothing else. And they will happily lie, steal, cheat and betray their colleagues in order to get what they want.

    I love how, at the start of the song, the 'suit' is portrayed as this ultra cool character who's in complete control of his life, but as the song progresses it's revealed that he's actually really insecure and not very happy.... until eventually he dies a fairly unhappy man.

    I love the line 'who was found dead on the phone'... I think it's hilarious, that black sense of humour that runs through 90% of Pink Floyd's stuff but no one seems to pick up on. When you've heard of all the studies of management executives going to see specialists to manage their stress levels, and the high rate of heart attack and related afflictions in people in the corporate world... I mean, if their job is that bad, why not quit and do something else?

    But it's that fear of being perceived as a failure if they're not wearing an expensive suit and pulling in a six figure salary. That need to somehow elevate themselves above the unwashed masses... as if they need that prestige to convince themselves that they're worthwhile people.

    I think it's funny... these people work themselves to death for a coporation that's only going to turf them out on their arse the minute they hit retirement age. And yet this type of work is still considered to be the epitome of vocational choices in the Western world.

    Now that's Orwellian :-).

    And although I think the album doesn't quite work as whole, I should point out that this is one of my favourite Floyd songs... it's bloody fantastic.
    ch0ganon December 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation..

    I find the "Animals" album to be vastly underrated. After all these years, I find myself listening to it most of all.

    I've worked in radio since 1984 and what a wonderful interpretation of a certain segment of broadcasting this is for me, personally. There are several departments to a large broadcasting operation. They are very, very segmented .. it's almost like high school with the different social classes. There's engineering (these are the smart guys that work on the transmitter and fix the mixing boards and the transponder on the tower).. there is accounting, which schedules the commercials and keeps track of all of the accounts and pay structure (these are the math whizzes) .. there is, of course, several layers of management (these are the inept clumsy geeks that can't do anything right. And that, actually, is the truth. All their wives are hideous ugly and they are pitiful creatures, tormented even) .. there is talent, which is on-air (and that is broken down in to "news guys" and "music guys") .. and then there is sales.

    "Dogs" so flawlessly describes the salesmen that it is spooky.

    I first went on the air for a paycheck in 1984 and it has never changed with these guys. And all of us jocks so look down on these guys. And this song captures it perfectly.

    One of the reasons I wanted to get in to radio was that old tv show "WKRP in Cincinnati". That show is so amazing in it's caricature of the radio industry. And this song was played during an episode. I don't think it was by accident. Obviously, WKRP writers had a close connection with radio. And they must have felt the same way as me about "Dogs" from the "Animals" album. Mr Carlson asks Johnny Fever in the episode that this song is in "Is that dogs barking on that record?" and Johnny goes, "I hope so".

    They probably didn't mean it the way some of us in radio take it but, man, they hit it dead solid center, night in the ruts, when it comes to salesmen in broadcasting.

    *POW* Outta the park .. Gone.

    StealBreezon August 18, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPink Floyd is my favorite band no doubt about it and i have no idea what this song means i listened to it so many times but one part gets to me because my friend is all alone dying of cancer so it has great meaning to me

    "Just another sad old man
    All alone and dying of cancer."
    noah7789on February 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not sure where I can post corrections, so I'll post it here.

    In the last stanza: "who was given a seat in the stand," should be "who was given a pat on the back."
    Raust84on November 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionIt's lose control. Not loose control (or loosen).
    It's lose the weight. Not loose the weight (or loosen).
    Please fix and remove my comment. Thanks! :)
    Tozzanoon May 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm just going to try to explain my interpretation of this song
    in general, you clould probably write a whole essay about each
    line so i'm not gonna bother with that (if i would then it will
    definitely become tl;dr...)

    The first two verses are probably things that "dogs" should do
    if they want to become "succesfull". This is probably said by
    a "pig" because they are dogma's that should not be doubted.
    Because "dogs" are thaught (by "pigs") that this is the right
    way to life their lives, they believe it and start living like
    the pigs told them to do.

    The third and fourth verse is probably about what will happen to
    you when you start living like a "dog". The 4th is my favourite
    verses so i'll elaborate a litte bit here.
    In the 4th verse "you" are becoming heavier and heavier
    (you reep the harvest= more weight,
    blood turns into stone = more weight,
    you can'tloose the weight you used to throw around = the more of a dick you were in your career the more weight you'll have in the end)
    all this weight (=guilt, resentment, loneliness) causes you to drown (= get depressed).

    The 5th verse is the doubts that dogs have during their careers.
    But they resolve this doubt by convincing themselves that they
    are doing the right thing.

    The 6th verse explains how the dogs convince themselves about
    doing the right thing. They pretend that no person is perfect
    and that no one has a real friend (just like themselves). Dogs think
    that they will be done/happy/rewarded if they become the best.
    In order to become the best they have to isolate (=kill/hinder)
    the winner (= the person who is the best at this moment).

    The 7th, 8th and 9th verse should probably two equally long
    verses (including the final repetition of the last line).
    The 7th verse is about how pigs manipulate dogs into their
    servants and who they choose as servants. The pigs choose the insecure/scarred(=born in a house full of pain) and weak/dumb (trained not to
    spit in the fan) (if you spit in a fan your spit will fly back in your face)
    so they could order them around (told what to do by the man) and
    tame to their liking (broken by trained personnel). When they are
    done with their training (=the first two verses aswell) they
    reward the dog (given a pat on the back) for his obedience (collar and chain)

    The last verse is about the consequences of the training for the dogs.
    The dogs become selfish (breaking away from the pack) and their
    family starts to hate them (only a stranger at home). This makes
    the dogs realise that they weren't the ones opressing, they were
    oppressed themselves (ground down = being oppressed).
    The egocentric behaviour of the dogs made them so alone that no one
    was around when they died (found dead on the phone). In the end
    the dogs are suffering because of the system they kept in place
    themselves (dragged down by the stone).

    Well, it still turned out to be quite a long story... Luckily PF fans are usually very patient.
    CarelessEugeneon February 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove how Gil just makes his guitar cry @ around 5 and a half minutes into the tune
    bearlybooon June 06, 2014   Link

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