"Oi, get your filthy hands off my desert!"
"What 'e say?"

Brezhnev took Afghanistan.
Begin took Beirut.
Galtieri took the Union Jack.
And Maggie, over lunch one day,
Took a cruiser with all hands.
Apparently, to make him give it back

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

Get Your Filthy Hands off My Desert Lyrics as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentNO no no no no

    Everyone is just scanning the surface of this song!!
    Do you think Roger Waters would waste a track to give us an obscure history lesson?? This is an important album track!

    Look CAREFULLY at the diction he uses, (or listen, you'll hear it too!): "And maggie,over lunch one day, took a cruiser [croissant] with both hands, and didn't give it back."

    COMEON people look at the title. Desert is a commonly misread word. It is confused with Dessert! (two s's). By doing this parallel, Waters is showing how taking over a desert has become as trivial as stealing someones lunch dessert!! Its just a political move to gain advantage in war, and now, we as people completely ignore the cultural upheavals we create as a result of our 'chess moves.'

    "Get your filthy hands off my dessert/desert" applies to both meanings, and it has EXTREMELY ironic connotations when applied to someone 'taking' a desert,' like they would a croissant. The way the melody is played almost hints that this song cannot be taken literally and reeks of dry British sarcasm. This is surely how Roger Waters feels about the war!
    After he says this, still on this track, he hums the reprise from the first song which goes "what have we done". What have we, as human beings, done that we have such low regard for human life. It's not like the real reason we are fighting is to control a barren wasteland.

    This song is NOT suppose to focus on taking a cruiser in the 4th line (although that's what it LITERALLY says and is historically accurate.)
    Rogers is discussing the irony of war and asks them again "what have we done?" The theme of the album
    afireinside9on April 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDubya took Afganistan,
    and Olmert Took Beiruit...

    "Maggie over lunch one day took a cruiser, with all hands..." In 1982 the UK sunk The ARA General Belgrano, an Argentine cruiser, during the Falkland War, resulting in significant loss of life and no shortage of controversy. Waters suggests that the order to sink the cruiser was given by Thatcher like she was simply picking up a magazine from the local store on her lunch break. No deep thought to the act, just another thing on her to-do list .
    kds1978on July 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFirst off, the British flag IS called the Union JACK, not Union Jag.

    Second, this was written in 1982, so it has to do with fighting around that time.

    Third, it is definitely about the Falkland Islands war between Britain and Argentina.

    Fourth, the line about Brezhnev took Afghanistan had to do with Russia invading that country. (Which the Americans, in turn, boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Russia, as well as gave weapons and training to the Afghans... Who, as we now know, had a young man named Osama Bin Laden fighting for them...)
    Potchon September 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSoviet invasion of Afghanistan
    One of the wars involving Israel
    And the war going on at the time that Waters hated the most, the Falkland Island War
    nukethesunon December 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    karkarinuson August 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor some reason I have an image of Pink Floyd in the desert, with a violin, and the explosion is the sound of a piano falling infront of them.

    The piano explodes in a cascade of splinters, while the band plays on. Yeah, I don't know what this means either.
    Denzilon March 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song was written in 1982 and states the current world scene. The Soviets had moved into Afghanistan, but were never able to quell the Taliban (sound familiar?). Israel, under Menachim Begin, took control of all of Lebanon (a widely criticized move, even Reagan told them to pull out) and Galtieri invaded the Falklands (took the Union Jack).

    The whole album gives Waters a chance to denounce the militarism of the Thatcher/Reagan/Breznev era. No wonder Waters has such little tolerance for W now.
    Pirtyfool22on July 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthas anyone listened closely to the begining? he says "get your filthy hands off my desert". you just have to turn it up really loud, you'll hear it.
    theriverknowson November 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe title is a reference to the stupidity of it all. Desert being a desolate wasteland, of no use to anyone. Keep your filthy hands off being a nationalist rage that someone dare try to take my desert. Useless to me, but mine all the same damn ya! Waters' dad died in WWII, this event formed his feeling towards war in general and the likes of the Falklands war when young lives were again lost for what was no more than a pissing contest over a remote island community really got him going. And trust me, I was in the uk at the time and NOONE had heard of the Falklands until the Argentines landed!
    CheekyBoy099on December 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't listen to anything other than this album these days, thinking about he Iraq war and all that.
    inpraiseoffollyon August 29, 2006   Link

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