The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path

The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by mellowcat

Brain Damage Lyrics as written by George Roger Waters

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Brain Damage song meanings
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  • +16
    General CommentA man's final descent into insanity. The whole album itself was posing the question "Can everyday life make you go insane?". The themes expressed in Time, Money, Us and Them, and so on all lead up to this when this normal person finally goes insane from his normal life. And for the record, I've never heard anywhere that DSotM was about Syd. Wish You Were Here was of course. All I've ever heard about this album is that the members of Pink Floyd wanted to know if everday life can make you go insane so they stopped people on the street and asked them questions, then they put them on the album. Trivia note: Paul and Linda McCartney were among those interviewed but they weren't put into the album because they thought that they sounded "too average".
    BrainDamageon August 24, 2002   Link
  • +15
    General CommentOnly shallow lyrics deserve shallow analysis. Shallow analysis involves trying to pick out things like every possible drugs reference. The Dark Side of the Moon has very deep lyrics and they deserve better than that. And when I say deep analysis, I don't mean vigorous, I mean emotionally deep.

    "The lunatic is on the grass" - this is obviously a reference to the notorious "Keep off the grass" signs. So the man who is considered insane is sitting on the forbidden turf, in his own happy world of "games and daisy chains and laughs". Insanity is looked on as stepping off the boundaries of accepted society ("the path").

    Then we have the lunatic being mentioned again, but we discover he is only one of several "lunatics" being held down and repressed. Repressing insanity and trying to keep people in place becomes routine, as "every day the paper boy brings more". Essentially doing the same unnatural thing to many naturally different individiuals. There is no nature in it.

    The first chorus builds up to the title line of the album. If disaster strikes and "the dam breaks open many years too soon" and there is limited refuge "on the hill", it leaves a silent question as to what would happen to the people in society that we don't value. It also asks us what'll happen if the same thing happens to us, and says that's if that's the case "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon". More on the title line later.

    The other verse is actually told in the first person, a person who is mad. And the "lunatic" is something deeper. "You raise the blade" and "make the change" does indeed imply brain surgery, but it could be psychological. But it shows how society will try to fix and "rearrange" people and questions the need for this. The last part ("You lock the door and throw away the key") says we abandon and repress insanity, as though it is the victim's fault when it isn't. He just surrenders to society. Just like Syd Barrett being left behind by the band, and as his own song 'Dark Globe' shows, you shouldn't get the impression Syd wasn't aware of himself.

    The end of the song is about a "cloud burst", a huge and powerful force. Why then does the thunder only go in one ear and (presumably) not the other? It's a strong and terrible force, and when you shout for help "no-one seems to hear". But this chorus is now in the second person, and we are the lunatic. We get another clear Barrett reference hear, which needs no explaining. I've always interpreted it that Roger was guilty of leaving Barrett behind.

    "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" - Roger felt he could relate to Barrett's own feelings, and also to our own madness. The moon has often been associated with Insanity and darkness. And the moon itself is split between a bright side and a dark side, slowly moving between the two. The light and dark imagery - we hear that at the end of Eclipse.
    noonebeatsdylanon June 24, 2010   Link
  • +9
    General CommentOkay...I just want to say what I think this one verse thing is about. Cause my friends think I am strange for this view...but I just think they all are crazy.

    "The lunatic is in my head
    The lunatic is in my head
    you raise the blade, you make the change
    you rearrange me ' till I'm sane
    you lock the door
    and throw away the key
    there's someone in my head but it's not me"

    Basically, the "raise the blade" and "make the change" is saying to a doctor "'re giving me a lobotomy, aren't you?" And if you don't know what a lobotomy is, look it up sometime. "You rearange me till I'm sane" is about the doctors messing with his brain mentally and physically. Very interessting...I wonder, could it be in connection with Syd?

    Oh, yeah, and the last lines, basically, is just someone being locked in a room, possibly believing that a crazy person is stuck in his head.

    I do like the maniacle laughter in the middle of the song. It is very fitting.
    Jaspin Demotheneseon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +9
    Song MeaningI have a lot of ideas over what this song means. I love Pink Floyd because they deal with something that I think still is not dealt with enough and that is metal illness. I recently read a couple of essays from a book called Speak To Me: The Legacy Of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. Again, I do not any finite interpretations of this song. However, I thought it interesting that the book talked a lot about the anti-psychiatry movement. Specifically it mentioned the ideas of such figures as R.D Laing and Thomas Szasz who are both well known for there unique view on mental illness and the entire field of psychiatry. I also found it very interesting that the members of Pink Floyd actually went to R.D. Laing himself to see if he could help Syd Barret. This leads to believe that the members were no doubt influenced by R.D Laing's ideas. Laing was very critical of psychiatry. He did not believe that people suffering from mental illness were really suffering from any illness at all. Rather, he believed that the people who society is quick to call "insane" and throw into an institution, lobotomize, or give a pill too were really people who were suffering from some existential crises. Laing further asserted that it should be the ultimate goal of psychiatry to help a patient find the root of this crises. I don't want to go any further for I feel like I don't no so much about Laing as to feel confident in explaining his unique view of mental illness. I will give those who might be interested in his views a link to a Wikipedia explanation of the anti-psychiatry movement and another link to R.D. Laing in particular even though Laing never identified himself with the anti-psychiatry movement. Nevertheless, form my own interpretation of The Dark Side Of The Moon I do think the album is asking an interesting question. What right do "sane" people have to call other people "insane"? I think Waters really wanted to bring to light how the people who deem themselves "sane" might be even more insane than the "insane". Furthermore, it just might be the "insane" who are more "sane" for not being able to live in the place that Roger Waters lives amongst himself, in his case England. A modern industrialized world where people strive to be fulfilled through money ("Money") or making enemies to win wars ("Us And Them")as they live their lives in conformity watching the time fly by ("Time") never daring to be an individual to seek a deeper and more lasting fulfillment. I am with Roger in thinking that the masses have no right to call those who never conform "insane". If you look at the way most people live their lives in my country of America as well as his country England I would never want to be considered "sane".……
    jpmarin21on January 13, 2009   Link
  • +9
    General Comment"The lunatic is on the grass"

    These words mean everything. The song is about the indignation of societies contempt of uncustomary behavior. People walk on the pavement, the man who steps on the grass is the "lunatic".

    "you raise the blade, you make the change
    you rearrange me ' till I'm sane
    you lock the door
    and throw away the key
    there's someone in my head but it's not me"

    As already mentioned on this forum, these lines refer to a lobotomy, which is metaphorical for sociological conditioning. Pressure to conform, and escape the socially destructive label of lunatic, overwhelms, and people are changed mentally, their idiosyncratic ways perish, and as a result we all live with "Someone in our head, and it's not us".
    verumon July 25, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI suppose insanity is not a topic to laugh at.. but whenever that bit comes in with the guy laughing.. i cant help but laugh along with him... gets me every time.
    anna118kon June 05, 2002   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is a prophecy. All songs (and other creations) in life point us to the truth of what we are as one being, but this song plays a major role in it. Actually, all Pink Floyd songs do. This song prophesied the "end time" in which we find ourselves these days. The apocalypse.


    At the time this album was written, Syd Barrett was labeled mentally ill, but he was more sane than all the rest of us. It refers to people like Syd, who are labeled "lunatic", and who - like already written here - are the misfits that are regarded as abnormal or who don't conform to society's rules, where society is a complex system in which people are conditioned to behave in a certain way.

    The main method for strengthening this behavior is through social- and media-conditioning. In this case, people like Syd remember how much fun life was when we were children, but how much of a dread it has become when growing up and having to conform to society's insane rules. That way... people like Syd are trying to keep "the loonies" from straying too far from the right path.


    "The hall" most likely refers to city hall: the politicians. The media ("the paper") are what's guiding them in this life, and driving us to despair with war, poverty, crime, homelessness, unemployment.

    They are living a lie, and they want us to cooperate with them and their lies. And the media brings more and more of the insanity every day. Their "faces are folded" by all the lies in the media, almost literally, because we ourselves are information. Not only the media presents us with information, but everything in our physical world is information, including ourselves. Food too, for example. This is because everything we experience comes from our senses interpreting the light of the sun.


    For Barrett, the dam broke open way too soon. The song was written in 1973, and the "end game" is of this time. The "dark forebodings" is what Barrett saw in his visions. We all have now been given to see these forebodings of what's to come too. They are 9/11, Madrid, London, Sandy Hook, Boston. These are all staged terror attacks (with Sandy Hook and Boston being the most obvious of them), by which the United States will advance their "world agenda".

    This is all because of what the "dark side of the moon" specifically refers to. It's the actual dark side of the moon, and the symbolic meaning of what is hiding there. It is something that is controlling our minds, and has created an entire reality that is only in our heads, but which is leading this world to destruction by Armageddon. Remember that "luna" means "moon", and "lunatic" doesn't refer to the moon for nothing.

    This will probably be way too much of a stretch for most people, who have never questioned our reality, but questioning reality is the whole purpose of this life. To be able to get to this understanding, you have to first look at the Freemasonry symbolism on the one dollar bill (the pyramid-and-eye that appears all over our Western culture).

    If you look at the one dollar bill, the whole pyramid-and-eye stands within the "circle of life". The top of the pyramid and the eye within it symbolizes the sun. It sits within a triangle that's "cut off" from the rest of the pyramid. The whole pyramid itself too stands for the rays of the sun, but it evidently has been cut off. The eye means that the sun is all-seeing; it is the "eye of providence" (the eye of "God"). This is because the light of the sun stands for information. Our whole human experience is us being in-formation; the forms and shapes that this world consists of, including ourselves.

    When the sun would shine without any distortion, there would be nothing but pure light, pure love. But as you can see, the light has been cut off by the triangle. The top triangle itself stands for a number of things: the pyramid structure of our civilization, which is a command structure that symbolizes the mind and its desire to control life. It has hijacked life for the time being, by indoctrinating our minds with the use of television and viral, peer-to-peer illusion-strengthening into believing in a world that most of us probably never even have seen with our own eyes, except on all our electronic devices.

    It also symbolizes a kaleidoscope/prism mechanism. When you set up a kaleidoscope, the prism will be a triangle of mirrors that reflects light into all kinds of different, unique patterns when you rotate the device. Symbolized, our own human experience could be seen as someone looking through a kaleidoscope, with the sun being the light source, and the planets and stars being the "beads" that create all the different patterns while everything is rotating, and of which we would be projections.

    In "reality", the prism symbolizes a satellite.

    NASA had two satellites "crash" on a place on the Moon that was not going to be visible to anyone (like amateur astronomers). Neil Armstrong supposedly already had mentioned that he saw two objects "watching him" when he was on the Moon. And NASA's project is called "Grail".

    The word "Grail", as in "Holy Grail" or "Holy Chalice", is from the Bible.

    When the Chalice is empty, it signifies Life Eternal: an unbroken information signal, stemming from the Sun. When the Chalice is filled, it signifies Human Life: the broken, distorted signal.

    This leads up to the probable conclusion that the prism-like satellites were being replaced by new ones, and that they are responsible for distorting our human experience.


    The lunatic is in all our heads (but it is not us, not who we really are), because it's our mind that is making us do crazy things. It is signified by all the sinning in this world. Instead of using thoughts only for useful things, we have come to a point that is is running the show altogether.

    So, the insane declare the sane (like Syd Barrett) insane, and then go on to "lobotomize" the "patient". In this song, this is a symbolic lobotomy. It's about social conditioning and peer-pressure. With it, we are all taught to believe what some forces want us to believe, and not to listen to our heart and common sense. It drives us further away from the truth and into the arms of those who are lying and deceiving the world. Instead of being guided by our conscious being, we are guided by the mind.

    "The door is locked" and "the key is thrown away" because WE are they door that needs to be opened. And WE are also the key for opening the door. This entire physical life is one whole entity. There is no time, there is no space. But instead of looking within ourselves for the key to understanding this life and the truth, we look everywhere BUT inside ourselves. We look in this world for all kinds of solutions to become happy, and more peaceful. But these solutions only work for a short while, so you'll always need to come back for it again and again. It's like a drug, and the drug dealers are those who control the information and who stimulate us to look outside ourselves for the cure to a problem that they have created in the first place.


    This is about Barrett's revelation. A revelation in which "God" parts the clouds with "His" voice thundering in Syd's ear. I don't know what kind of revelation Syd had specifically, but my own revelation (a month ago) was a symbolical one, in which I suddenly started connecting all symbolical references within our informational existence, leading up to the knowledge of a coming apocalypse, directed by the United States.

    All these symbolical connections made it very clear to me that we are not what we are taught to believe. That we are pure consciousness. Spiritual beings, who are playing in an illusory world that is more a game or a riddle than anything else. We aren't supposed to make this reality our home, but free ourselves from it, because it's a prison. But because we have given "crayons" to color the walls of our prison with pretty patterns, we kind of have fallen love with our prison cell. :)

    The "band started playing different tunes" because despite Syd's prophecy, nobody would care to listen to him. Everybody just went on with their daily races, going nowhere. Much like how we still live these days, but even more entranced by it. Trying to "make it", when there is really nothing to make. Everything will be gone in a relatively short while. It will be now, because time is an illusion.

    Now... the question is, of course, if everything will be gone soon anyway, what's the point of all this, and why bother going on at all?

    We need to go on, because we are supposed to wake up from the dream, and then start acting accordingly. When you have awoken from the dream, this life suddenly becomes a breeze. There is no fear anymore. No more struggle. No more strife or ambition. Nothing to attain. There's only letting go. And we are meant to learn to let go, without dying. Otherwise, we will be living the karmic life until the game is ended by the creator instead of ourselves.

    Next to "the dark side of the moon's" reference to the satellite/prism symbolism, it is also a reference to our true nature. Our true nature is darkness. Pink Floyd's song "Eclipse" ends with the following lines:


    Our true nature is what "it's all dark" refers to. Our solar system is a "device" that has been put there by our creator. Much like an orrery, but less "mechanic" and more "organic". ;) I already explained how much our solar system seems to work like a kaleidoscope. Well, this device has been put there to have us look inside ourselves and trust ourselves, instead of constantly looking outside of ourselves for meaning, believing everything all "authority figures" want you to believe.

    All other songs on Dark Side of the Moon refer to the same themes of life, and all point towards the same conclusion.

    *Breathe:* "All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." It's an illusion. A trick of light. Nothing to believe in, really. "Run rabbit run, dig that hole, forget the sun." Being completely occupied with the games of this world, and forgetting what you really are, and where you're supposed to come back to. "The tide" is mentioned here. Tides are caused by the moon. But our insane minds are too ("balanced on the biggest wave, race towards an early grave").

    *Time:* All about wasting your life away in our illusory world that's dominated by the illusion of time. It's all about waking up from this illusion and starting to LIVE for once, instead of only existing.

    *Money:* Well, what can I say? The value of money is only in our minds, but it is at the verge of destroying us all. It's all about greed, and never having enough. People make all sorts of foolish decisions based on money.

    *Us and Them:* This is about our division, and the wars that have been waged because of our illusory separation. We have never really been separated in life, we still are one, but because we believe to be separated, we create all sorts of conflicts with each other. It really is the most foolish and destructive of all games. There is only "us". There is no "them".

    Even if some parts of this interpretation may be not exactly right, all songs (not only Pink Floyd's music) still point to a symbolism that is the language of our physical reality. Like science is the literal language of our physical world, there is also this very symbolic sign language. And we should learn to understand this language, because it holds the key to truth and freedom.
    repentofyoursinson May 30, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"

    I simply interpret this line to be based around death. We associate the actual dark side of the moon with mystery, alongside the ideology of the afterlife. This line is basically saying "I don't know where, but I'll see you someday".
    Dyljames13on May 10, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about Syd. Waters said that the whole album was about Syd... well, not about him... but the themes of insanity and death (I'm not sure why death came in) were inspired by Syd (which is the whole album).

    -The Prynce
    theprynceon June 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe mental health system is a disgrace. give the crazy people some medication to shut them up, and just hide the problem. what the staff does not realize, is that they are only covering up the physical symptoms. have a hole in the wall? put a picture frame over it. roger waters seems to share my view on this, portraying the faults of this system with his ever present angst and sarcasm. way to go roger!
    piperatthewallon August 24, 2002   Link

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