Hopelessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I've looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem

What do you get for pretending the danger's not real
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
What a surprise

The look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by
With bright knives he releaseth my soul

He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
He converteth me to lamb cutlets
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger
When cometh the day we lowly ones

Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead
You better stay home
And do as you're told
Get out of the road if you want to grow old


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by FlyFloydia, leech3, Title5, morrizon07, Christon74

"Sheep" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Sheep song meanings
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  • +14
    Song MeaningThe song is about "sheep" going with the flow until they finally realize the rut that they're in (being led to the slaughter) and decide to do something about it (they learn karate). The "pigs" essentially charade as a "good shepherd", when in reality, they're anything but that. In the end, the sheep attack the "shepherd", and once that happens, everything falls apart (the dogs die, etc.), and they march onto freedom.

    At the end they're told to stay off the road - in other words, if you want to have a long/good life, then don't join the rat race.

    It's a song that fits well for any strict political or corporate culture. It's not really about religion - they just use the Psalm intro since it fits so well with what the elite want to be come: the "shepherd" that controls everything, even the dogs, even though in reality a shepherd is supposed to watch over the flock and keep it away from harm, not abuse it. False messiahs in suits.
    Ahmson August 14, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis is about people who are "sheep-like" and follow everyone else blindly. In this song the sheep rebel against their opressers, the Dogs. Cool little poem there by Rog.
    SongMeaningson January 05, 2002   Link
  • +5
    Lyric CorrectionTwo corrections to the lyrics:

    1. The opening line is "Harmlessly passing..." not "Hopelessly passing..."

    2. Despite what the actual lyric sheet says, the vocoded section quite clearly says "judo" not "karate".
    AmbientSheepon May 04, 2012   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningI read somewhere that this album is about Roger Waters views on society. The sheep represent the lower class workers. The dogs represent higher class business men. I'm not sure if they have the same meaning on this song, though. The pigs represent the upper class, rich people.

    'into the valley of steel' I think represent the slaughterhouse, which from a human perspective would be the factories.

    Can't think of many more interpretations, but great song though.
    tforencichon January 02, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe rise of the commoners against the dictatorial (is that a word?) tyrants who selfishly take disgusting advantage of the people, to a point that it is anmost like devouring them, while deifying themselves as to justify the horrible acts of injustice they commit every day. The people excitedly take charge against the "Lord" (the deified leaders) as they "march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream", a dream of freedom and equality, with leaders no longer selfishly exploiting the people.
    Once the people have taken over, they establish a new world order. But, ironically and sadly enough, a NEW tyranny is esablished ("You better stay home and do as you're told, get out of the road if you want to grow old", almost EXACTLY like the situation that they fought so adamantly and sacrificed so much to abolish.

    A theme is that history repeats itself, be it good or bad...

    Brilliant...one of the greatest pieces of music of all time.
    deadeye093on July 21, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis album is not based around, modeled after, or even inspired by ANIMAL FARM. like dark side of the rainbow (or dark side of oz, whatever you decide to call it) it's just a coincidence. roger waters did notice the similarities, but they were already recording. the subject was pretty much the same. except ANIMAL FARM was, i think, about eastern communism, and ANIMALS was about western capitalism. but the metaphors still apply to all animals.
    obeofon December 04, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDirect allusion to Animal Farm. Love George Orwell - genius. Love Pink Floyd- genius. Axtually, in the book, "Another Brick in the Wall" it says PF loved George Orwell. But then, PF never gave their stamp of approval the book, so you never know.
    It makes perfect sense that this song is directed at religion, but I don't think that was Pink Floyd's intent.
    It is my opinion that the whole "heil hitler" crock is absolute and undilluted crap. And unless I am very mistaken, Pink Floyd recoils at the mention of The Wizard of Oz and The Dark Side of the Moon having similarities. I've tried it, just for laughs, and I didn't find anything too spectacular or earth-shattering.
    QuixoticComradeon March 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou'd better watch out! there may be dogs about.
    sixstringshredderon October 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot to be too much of a jackass, but if you think Dark Side of the Rainbow is "just a coincidence," then you are "just an idiot"

    Start it on the third roar of the lion during the MGM thing.

    The clocks go off the exact monent you see the witch lady for the first time on her bike. They march down the yellow brick exactly to the beat of Money (exactly). The lady sings during the tornado, then the song dies down when the tornado is over with lol. All that stuff. Come on now, use some common sense.
    steve82con February 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDirect allusion to Animal Farm. Love George Orwell - genius. Love Pink Floyd- genius. Axtually, in the book, "Another Brick in the Wall" it says PF loved George Orwell. But then, PF never gave their stamp of approval the book, so you never know.
    It makes perfect sense that this song is directed at religion, but I don't think that was Pink Floyd's intent.
    It is my opinion that the whole "heil hitler" crock is absolute and undilluted crap. And unless I am very mistaken, Pink Floyd recoils at the mention of The Wizard of Oz and The Dark Side of the Moon having similarities. I've tried it, just for laughs, and I didn't find anything too spectacular or earth-shattering.
    QuixoticComradeon March 19, 2005   Link

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