What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?

Shall we buy a new guitar?
Shall we drive a more powerful car?
Shall we work straight through the night?
Shall we get into fights?
Leave the lights on?
Drop bombs?
Do tours of the east?
contract diseases?
Bury bones?
Break up homes?
Send flowers by phone?
Take to drink?
Go to shrinks?
Give up meat?
Rarely sleep?
Keep people as pets?
Train dogs?
Race rats?
Fill the attic with cash?
Bury treasure?
Store up leisure?
But never relax at all
With our backs to the wall

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by digitalmanMKII

What Shall We Do Now? Lyrics as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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What Shall We Do Now? song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentthis song to me was always about Roger Waters issue with success, a question as to "How much bigger can we really get?"
    dragon442on July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI interperet this song as pink asking the question.. what shall I do with my life now? It follows empty spaces in the movie The Wall, which is about the void left in his life after his wife started banging some anti-war group leader..
    Xeroxedon December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's not 'Store up leisure?' it's a continuation of the previous line 'Bury treasure for our pleasure?' :)

    Typical RW song, written in a list. It refers to what he can do to fill the Empty Spaces created by success and alienation
    Arnold Layneon April 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt IS "Store up leisure", Arnold! Go and raid some washing lines for new panties! Lol. Excellent song! Strong emotion! I sometimes play it instead of Empty Spaces when I listen to The Wall. I always add Empty Spaces as well though because it seguees perfectly into Young Lusts,
    dom_stapletonon July 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it is extremely catchey and fits in great with the whole plot of the wall.
    MrYon January 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have live version of The Wall with this. The move from Empty Spaces to What Shall We Do Now is a much better medly than Empty Spaces and Young Lust. Young lust stands on its own and is much better that way.

    This song definately about the band's worry that it has become to big to be real. "With our backs to the wall" finishes a list that says they have everything they want, but can't have a life. It is kind of the same message as Comfortably Numb, but before the narrator goes nuts.
    DeanNon January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell... No... In that list of questions we can see a a serious of tradional "rock and roll" things to do. Extravagent and pointless. Water's life is filled with empty spaces, and this is what connects this, Empty Spaces and Young Lust. We have a list of pointless odds-and-ends in this song and pointless, emotionless sex to try and fill the void. Obviously it doesn't work.
    Eskimo_8on March 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen mr floyd was growing up he saw himself as a homosexual so he experimented with alot of guys and found himself asking questions, in another sing there is a list of all the answers - the songs hidden on track 15 of the wall - you need a Paradigm CD player and go to track 15 - hit the load cd button while holding down the pitch key and press ##4 "tremolo" then twist the bias knob while hitting the A/D converter boost switch - the result is teh ansers such as

    Shall we buy a new guitar? Hell no, I can't afford that and whats wrong with the fender I got?

    theres another song which answers the embedded questions in his answers too.
    riotpackon July 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLet me make this clear: I do not own this song but do have the Wall album. I would just like to say that lyrically this song is similar to Motion Picture Soundtrack by Radiohead. In that song there are lines such as "Red wine and sleeping pills help me get back to your arms. Cheap sex and sad films help me get where I belong." From these lyrics it seems like Pink is trying to fill in where his wife was with pointless little thrills much like in Motion Picture Soundtrack, although most aggree that in that song a loved one has died not run off with some bloke.
    Wallamanageon September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favourite songs of all time, and easily favourite music video (but in close competition with 'The Trial'). I myself write songs, and I'm inspired by how perfectly Waters decribes the frivolous trivialities of life which so easily seduce us. While clearly angled toward the rockstar lifestyle, it also applies to the common life when we forget what really matters and out of absent-mindedness, or a depressed desperation, we turn to material pleasures which we hope vacantly wil fill our 'empty spaces'.

    Personally, I wish that the studio 'Empty Spaces' had been added as a first verse to 'What Shall We Do Now', and I often play the two together.

    Any colour you like... So long as it's black...
    Unsoundon April 25, 2007   Link

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