Jesus, Jesus, what's it all about?
Trying to clout these little ingrates into shape
When I was their age, all the lights went out
There was no time to whine and mope about
And even now part of me flies over Dresden at angels one five
Though they'll never fathom it behind my sarcasm
Desperate memories lie

Sweetheart, sweetheart, are you fast asleep? Good
That's the only time that I can really speak to you
There is something that I've locked away
A memory that is too painful
To withstand the light of day

When we came back from the war
The banners and flags hung on everyone's door
We danced and we sang in the street
And the church bells rang
But burning in my heart
The memory smolders on
Of the gunner's dying words on the intercom

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by digitalmanMKII

The Hero's Return Lyrics as written by George Roger Waters

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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The Hero's Return song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentit IS about the Schoolmaster. This album was actually supposed to be the 3rd part of The Wall. This is one of the major things that the band fought about prior to the break-up. The rest of the band didn't like these songs because they felt that it delt to singularly to Roger Water's past (his father died in WWII, or at least was in it). The band refused to use this as part of The Wall, so Roger Waters released it after the break-up. If you don't believe me, go to the Pink Floyd web site ( and watch the movie. It includes only a few of the songs from the album though. And SURPRISE! Who stars in this short film? Oh yes, The Schoolmaster!
    _helephanton June 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningWhat really links this to the teacher from the wall are the lines:

    Sweetheart, sweetheart, are you fast asleep? Good
    Cos that's the only time that I can really speak to you

    referring to "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives" where the last lines let us know that the teacher's wife is psychopatic and not at all sympathetic, so the traumatized teacher can only speak to her when she's asleep, otherwise she would just thrash him within inches of his life.
    TheUniversalSighon July 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Schoolmaster also stars in Fletcher Memorial, I do believe...

    Anywho, "The Final Cut" was ultimately a tie up album. Not really "The Wall, pt. 3", seeing as at the end of the Wall Pink's problems are resolved, but they do tie up a few loose ends.

    Bashyou, yeah, the teacher was insecure because his wife was abusive, as said by "The Wall".

    But what ho? "Sweet-heart, sweet-heart, are you fast asleep? / Good, that's the only time that I can really speak to you?" Hey! What do you know! IT'S THE WIFE!

    Anywho, I felt like pointing that out.

    Back to the main focus, this song is part of a story-line regarding the teacher. One that, in my opinion, includes "Your Possible Pasts", "One of the Few", this song, "The Gunner's Dream", and "Paranoid Eyes".

    Notice that these were all sequential songs in the initial publishing of the album.
    Ingannoon June 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentguessin its about world war 2.
    - "trying to clout these little ingrates into shape
    when I was their age all the lights went out
    there was no time to whine and mope about" -
    is a drill instructor from world war 1(?) havin a go at this "new generation"

    2nd verse, mentions dresden, dresden was virtualy wiped out by British bombers in the war. +he regrets it

    3rd verse, sorta straightforward...

    4th sums it all up. no winners in war, +hes saddend by the crowds of cheering people who think its a victory.
    Davetheinvincibleon April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOnce again, this makes more sense if you understand that the titular 'Hero' is the teacher from the Wall (see the Gunner's Dream). The little ingrates are his pupils, who are growing up without the pressures of war.
    Kailsaron May 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNever thought of that before - it just put a whole new light on it.
    justanotherjammeron June 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is an alternate version that has additional lyrics placed at the end of the song, immediately after "...on the intercom"

    I can't decipher them, buy the version (called The Hero's Return Parts 1&2) can be found on "".
    inpraiseoffollyon July 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI will try to decipher the lyrics here:

    Jesus Christ I might as well be dead
    I can see how dangerous it must feel to be
    Training human corps for the machine
    Without some shell-shocked lunatic like me

    But burning their still soft-shells
    With sticks and stones that were lying around
    In the pile of unspeakable feelings I'd found

    And I turned back the stone
    Turned over the stone
    Of my own disappointment back home

    I think this is right, except for the burning (But burning their still soft-shells).

    It's about training up more people for the war.
    inpraiseoffollyon August 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI created a radio station that has this song on it's playlist. Can't wait to see if it hits one of Pink Floyd's epics. Still hoping.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line would make more sense if it were "traing human COGS for the machine" and thats what I think it is.

    and in regards to the last line of the song...the gunners dream is obviously "a place to stay enough to eat...(a place where) No one kills the children'll never hear the standered issue kicking in your door".

    thats a quote from the song after this on the album "the gunners dream" its a dream of peace
    snowleaderon May 17, 2007   Link

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