This is for those who want to know the concept behind The Wall: the album, and not just the songs. This is for us to discuss why the entire album was written, not just the songs individually, but for the concept behind the entire album.

This is also for discussion about the movie, which covers the album in a whole different light.

Lyrics submitted by RainbowDemon, edited by Mellow_Harsher

[The Wall Concept] song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentRight, I'm going to try my best here, wish me luck...


    The Wall basically deals with depression and, as a result of that, a loss of sanity. The protagonist, Pink, is beaten down all his life; his mother smothers him (Mother), his father was killed in an act of pointless sacrifice during World War II (When The Tigers Broke Free), his teachers destroyed his confidence (The Happiest Days Of Our Lives) and his wife cheating on him (Don't Leave Me Now). He then goes from merely depressed (merely!) and crosses over into madness. The difference between the two is clearly delineated; on Disc One he is depressed and is looking over his past, in Disc Two he is mad.

    This also coincides with the building of The Wall, which is designed to keep everyone out and leave Pink alone, inside and undisturbed. It is gradually built up over the course of Disc One and by the end of it is completely finished.

    In Disc Two, Pink has gone over the tipping point into total insanity. His manager finds him comatose in his hotel room, and enlists a doctor to wake him up (Comfortably Numb), however Pink is trapped behind the Wall and in a world of his own. In his mind, the concert he is about to perform is nothing but a Nazi rally (In The Flesh), and the image of him being a cold-blooded dictator comes fully formed into his mind (Run like Hell). He eventually rebels against this (Stop) and puts himself on trial (use your bloody common sense). At this trial, he finds himself to be responsible for a lot of his problems, for pushing away his wife and mother, and is ordered to tear down the Wall. In the end, he finds that the "bleeding hearts and artists" have been trying to reach out to him, but thanks to the wall their efforts were in vain. This is neatly summed up in the beautiful line "After all, it's not easy; banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall".

    The Wall is a brilliant work on depression and insanity, showing those who have probably never been so low just how terrible it the end however, you don't know whether to feel sorry for Pink or to scold him; the Trial is quite vague on what the verdict is. Is it Pink's fault for not talking, or everyone else's fault for not listening? Maybe a bit of both; he was so far gone, he didn't care any more. Whatever the verdict, this is a powerful work which every single person on Earth should listen to...the film is a work of genius, a mindfuck in every single way. Very well recommended.
    JoeBaldwinon May 07, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is what the whole album really comes across to me as. For granted, I'm probably wrong about 90% of it, but this is what I always interpret it to be. And yes, it is about Pink and not Waters/Barrett.

    IN THE FLESH?: This is a prologue to Pink's story, in one of his shows, and he's addressing what he truly is and why he's that because people interpret him as just a mindless drug obsessed rocker.

    THE THIN ICE: The very beginning of the story, starting with Pink's birth, and concluding with the story of Pink being overprotected by his mother (which is what I always see 'the thin ice' as being).

    ABITW PART 1: This is quite simply, Pink's father's death and Pink wondering what he left for him.

    THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES/ABITW PART 2: This is obviously Pink's school days, which were incredibly troubled, and Pink's general opinions on it, expressed in ABITW part 2.

    MOTHER/GOODBYE BLUE SKY: These refer to Pink's overprotective mother in different ways. Mother is just all the things that she wants to protect Pink from, but Goodbye Blue Sky is all the dangers that are coming about around the area because of the war. Simple as that.

    EMPTY SPACES/YOUNG LUST/DON'T LEAVE ME NOW: These three songs are about Pink's wife, with Empty Spaces representing their empty marriage, Young Lust being both of them and their separate mindsets, and Don't Leave Me Now representing Pink's further depression over it.

    ABITW PART 3/GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD: ABITW part 3 represents the very beginning of Pink's insanity, as well as him leaving behind the depression he faced with his wife, and Goodbye Cruel World is just a continuation of that. In conclusion, disc 1 is Pink's growth and depression which manifests into the essence of disc 2.

    HEY YOU: Really just Pink's beginning of his insanity and realizing that he's becoming different, what with the insanity that's enveloping him, and he's expressing a message that he has become different, and if anyone can see what he used to be.

    IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?/NOBODY HOME: More into Pink's insanity and how the wall has separated Pink from the world.

    VERA/BRING THE BOYS BACK HOME: And of course, Pink obviously needed drugs to continue with his shows as a rocker. So as these two go along, he's doing the drugs and collapses to what ends up as:

    COMFORTABLY NUMB: And this is Pink in the doctor, expressing what he saw as a child, his depression from his early years, and the doctor helping him to get to his next show. So it is kind of a symbiosis of his mental depression, insanity, and drug use to me.

    THE SHOW MUST GO ON/IN THE FLESH: And this is the show itself, with In The Flesh being Pink's insanity really being released. I occasionally see In The Flesh being from where the prologue left off, but that's just my weird interpretation.

    RUN LIKE HELL/WAITING FOR THE WORMS: The aftermath of the show itself, and Pink getting closer to the point in which he cannot go on at home. Run Like Hell is him escaping from everything, and Waiting For The Worms is him simply waiting for the climax.

    STOP/THE TRIAL: Stop is the climax itself, and it results in what The Trial is. Really all it is to me is Pink completely losing his mind, and with the flashbacks of the schoolmaster, his wife, and his mother, he eventually loses his mind and decides he doesn't care anymore, and what he has always dreading for all his life finally happens: he is 'exposed before his peers', and the wall is torn down.

    OUTSIDE THE WALL: And after the chaos that ensues from The Trial, Pink finally goes through the horror mentioned above, and finally meets his death. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Many of the songs can be interpreted in several different ways, though... particularly The Thin Ice, Goodbye Blue Sky, Young Lust, Comfortably Numb, and Run Like Hell.
    Gbnesson May 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthas anyone tried playing disc 2 THEN disc 1? because incase you haven't noticed Outside The Wall ends on the beginning of the first cd,( just my opinion but you have to be a complete moron to not have known that) i think it almost makes sense to do it that way, because the music flows perfectly, while the album would end on goodbye cruel world.
    Floydian42on April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh by the way, this is also for The Wall the movie, if you care.

    A good friend of mine (and a major die hard Pink Floyd fan) told me that Roger Waters started up the concept behind The Wall, when he was thinking about how much he hates his generic fans. He was talking about how the only reason they come to the concerts is because they want to see someone famous on stage, or something to that point. Then he went on to say that it wouldn't really matter who was on stage, it could be Pink Floyd, or anyone, it didn't make a difference. They weren't there for the music, they were there to see famous people. And then he thought it would be cool to build a wall between him and the "fans" so that they could only hear the music, and be forced to love the music for what it is. So really... our Wall was built because Roger Waters is a dick ^_^

    There are a lot of concepts in the movie I could discuss too, but it was so long and complicated, I think I'll just wait for other people to comment.
    RainbowDemonon March 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"And then he thought it would be cool to build a wall between him and the "fans" so that they could only hear the music, and be forced to love the music for what it is."

    Hmm, that's not a bad consept per se, but not what Pink Floyd and Roger Waters inteneded. After the famous incident during a concert when Waters spat on a fan (who I think got up on the stage during a song), he felt that he had buildt a wall between himself and the audience.
    There's more to it, but that's the very rough meaning.
    PubliusEnigmaon April 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really enjoyed the whole album, and I got most of the stuff in the first disc and most of the second one about Pink, but the trial, breaking down the wall, et cetera, didnt make sense at all. Does anyone know how they relate?
    thatdtctvchppyon April 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRead the comments on the individual songs, and you'll understand it better. Also, if you get the opportunity, watch the movie The Wall. It helps understanding the album better.
    PubliusEnigmaon April 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow I can't beleive this i have been searching for the meaning that the wall symbolizes, I love your explanation RainbowDemon, thank you alot!
    Chumplumpon April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBut my interpretation(meaning it's not THE answer, just what i think) of The Wall is:
    All of the negative forces, problems, obstacles, etc. in one's life can be summarized into The Wall. Every brick is every little problem, and they all seem to come together and team up to stop one from what one wants to do/ where one wants to go. It also isolates one from everything/everybody else, almost destroying your sense of expressing feelings and communicating with others.
    Floydian42on April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe wall An imaganitive wall set around his mindso noone will know or understand his feelings .The government was one ''brick in the wall'' in the movie they the judge which in a way represents the govern ment, floyd shows this by the government being a butt .pink's mother ,school and teachers, the death of his father, and the war all caused pink to build the wall.''The trial'' was caused by pink wanting to expose his feelings ''he was caught red handed showing feelings of an almost human nature.'' It was also caused by the showing or telling of his deepest fear.Pink would not let anyone inside the wall his fear (which was the one that was exposed)was if he let someone in the wall they would know his fears and emotionsand the wall would be destroyed.

    This the way i see the wall it may be right it may not but i think just trying to understand the wall would make the members PINKFLOYD happy trying to understand the way they feel
    SGT.PEPPERon April 17, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top