"The Post War Dream" as written by and Roger Waters....
Tell me true tell me why was Jesus crucified
Is it for this that daddy died?
Was it for you? was it me?
Did I watch too much t.v.?
Is that a hint of accusation in your eyes?
If it wasn't for the nips
Being so good at building ships
The yards would still be open on the clyde
And it can't be much fun for them
Beneath the rising sun
With all their kids committing suicide
What have we done maggie what have we done
What have we done to England
Should we shout should we scream
"What happened to the post war dream?"
Oh Maggie Maggie what have we do?

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by joplet

"The Post War Dream" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Post War Dream song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentIndeed this song isn't about the war at all, but - as the title says - what had become of England *after* his daddy died (WW2) - esp. in the years under the Maggie "Iron Lady" Thatcher regime.
    Hence the lyrics:

    What have we done?
    Maggie what have we done?
    What have we done to England?

    Should we shout should we scream
    "What happened to the post war dream?"
    Oh, Maggie, Maggie what did we do?

    Namely Maggie's economic programme (or rather economic debacle) resulted in collapse of many branches of British industry and high unemployment (something Mark Knopfler also sings about in his song "Why, Aye Mate!" and others).

    This verse:

    If it wasn't for the Nips
    Being so good at building ships
    The yards would still be open on the Clyde

    means simply that Japanese surpassed British at building ships (as in (too) many other branches as well - but this is esp. painful for the English, since UK used to be the world's #1 naval force once - and very proud of it), consequentially driving Brit's industry - that just wasn't on par with Japanese - out of business.

    However Japanese are also paying a high price for their own success: they're also a world leader in the suicide rate among students - many of whom just cannot cope with their insanely fast-paced and totally goal-oriented Japanese economy.

    So this:

    And it can't be much fun for them
    Beneath the rising sun
    With all their kids committing suicide

    has nothing to do with kamikaze at all, but the Japanese own problems today.

    That's more or less it.
    Just one more verse left:

    Was it you?
    Was it me?
    Did I watch too much TV?
    Is that a hint of accusation in your eyes?

    I believe he's asking himself who (beside Maggie, of course) is to blame for the steady decline of the post-war UK.

    Not sure who's accusing eyes he means (probably people in general, who are worse off today than some 30 years ago), but I'm pretty sure he feels guilty because his generation also didn't do their part, but rather wasted their time in vain (watching TV, partying, etc.) while the things happened.
    Hlloygeon August 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWaters doesn't think england is where it wanted to be after WW2. Nips are Japnanese (Great Nippon)
    usa-1on April 17, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song brings a lump in my throat everytime..
    knate15on January 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere goes: So if Jesus was crucified to save the human race, and Daddy died in WWII, why are we going through another war?
    This album is mostly made up of ideas "cut out" from the 'final cut' of The Wall, redirected to comment on the Falklands conflict rather than WWII, but still smiting war in general with more emphasis than in The Wall.
    karkarinuson August 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Rising Sun is the japanese flag, and "all their kids committing suicide" is the kamikaze bombers.
    shadow1on April 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenteva floyd, it's actually about the kids in Japan (whose flag is the rising sun), and their practicing of kamikaze.
    inpraiseoffollyon August 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWould people please stop referring to the whole of Britain as England. The lyrics refer to the Clyde, and where is that? Scotland.
    lkr4me2on October 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrilliant, childhood question about hypocratic parents who bring there young ones up to not notice what arround them, for god's sake stop it with the protection crap. Sorry, very good song.
    johnanthonycoxon March 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow. really emotional. its the torture of war and its aftermath through the POV of an innocent person.

    the last riff on the horn at the end sounds like "what heppens to me" from pigs on the wings. this might be some sort of subliminal intertwining of the two albums, or, more likely some freak coincidence.

    oh yeah... for anyone like me (non-british), maggie is margaret thatcher, the former english PM, yes a woman.
    floydian_slipon June 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs far as i know the whole cd is about water's father (he died in the war)
    perhaps writtne from roger's point of view. Not sure, I haven't heard the album enough.
    aduheyon July 30, 2005   Link

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