Pink Floyd is a very popular rock band from London England. The band was formed in 1965 and it's original members were Nick Mason, Syd Barrett, Richard Wright and Roger Waters. In 1967 David Gilmour joined as their fifth member. A year later Syd Barrett left the band due to mental health problems. After he left, Roger Waters became the primary lyric writer. The most successful single Pink Floyd wrote was released in 1979 called, “Another Brick In the Wall Part 2.” It sold more than 4 million copies worldwide. Rolling Stones magazine put the song in its list of 500 greatest songs of all time as number 375. The album that song was placed in was called “The Wall”. In an interview with Roger Waters, he explains where the concept of The Wall was inspired from:
“Well, the idea for "The Wall' came from ten years of touring, rock shows, I think, particularly the last few years in '75 and in '77 we were playing to very large audiences, some of whom were our old audience who'd come to see us play, but most of whom were only there for the beer, in big stadiums, and, er, consequently it became rather an alienating experience doing the shows. I became very conscious of a wall between us and our audience and so this record started out as being an expression of those feelings.” During one of the concerts in 1977 a fan was invited on stage and the fan spat on Roger's face. That caused Roger to feel distanced from his fans and build a wall. According to the band, the "wall" is the self-isolating barrier we build over the course of our lives, and the "bricks in the wall" are the people and events that turn us inward and away from others.” Pink Floyd created a movie called “The Wall” released in 1982 which features the character, Pink who is a troubled rock star that is going through events that make up the story of the song “Another Brick in the Wall.”
Part 1 Analysis of Song and Film
Roger Water's father left to go fight in World War II and was killed when Roger was only five months old. So Roger never got to have any memories of his father, he just has photos of him. That put a brick in his wall. Which is one of the reasons it caused Roger to shut him self off from the world and isolate himself.
In Part One of the song, Roger Water's voice is so intense when he sings those lyrics. I feel he is upset with his dad for leaving him and his mom to go to war. He never got to know his father and grew up without him. That caused Roger to build a brick in his wall. He had to forget about that part of him that really wanted to have his dad in his life.
If you just listen to the song you won't feel the aura of sadness. In the movie, “The Wall” Part 1 of “Another Brick In the Wall” you will see the sadness of those lyrics. It shows a young boy,(Pink) and a women in church. The women is Pink's mother who is crying at the loss of her husband and Pink is playing with his toy airplane at church. After church his mother drops him off at the park and he sees an older man that resembles the father figure that is not in his life. Pink goes up to him, grabs his hand and asks him to put him on the ride the other kids are on at the park. He thinks this man is his real dad. So he follows the man and his son around the park and doesn't understand why the man is ignoring him and only paying attention to his son. Pink grabs the man's hand but, he pushes him away. The little boy grabs his hand again and the man tells him to go away. Then Pink walks away and sits on a swing that he needs someone to push him on it. He looks over at the man swinging his son on the swing and he feels very alone.
Part 2 Analysis of Song and Film
The lyrics in Part 2 are towards every person and everything that did not let Roger be the person he is. The people that made him feel restricted in life. That is where the analogy of teacher student in the song come from. Teachers don't let students misbehave and be themselves. He is saying that authority figures are the peoples' bricks in the walls. The deep meaning of the song is that the teacher actually represents the government and the students are the people. The government doesn't let people do what they want and the government wants to control everyone.
The film of “ The Wall” “Another Brick in the wall Part 2” became the music video. I think Pink Floyd released Part 2 as a music video because it was the most popular part of the song. The character Pink in the film for part two is in class daydreaming about students marching together and wearing masks. The students all look like clones wearing the same creepy masks. The students are marching blindly and they fall into a meat grinder. Toward the end Pink is dreaming about the students burning down the school and destroying their chairs and desks. I think this means that eventually people get really tired of being controlled by the government which results in war, strikes, and other violent events. Pink wakes up from his daydream when a teacher smacks his hand.
When listening to Part 2 of "Another Brick in the Wall" in the car you probably just feel its about rebelling against the school system. When watching the video you will see that the clones of students and the teacher shouting represent the true meaning which is about the government controlling the people.
Part 3 Analysis of Song and Film
The lyrics of Part 3 is intense. Pink is telling himself that he is able to live without all the things that he has always wanted in his life like, love from his father. He is saying taking medication won't help, but will make him feel worse. He has had a hard life and built this wall that no one else can hurt him. In the 90 minute movie “The Wall” the character Pink encountered his father dying in the war, his mother being overprotective, having a hard school life, his wife cheating on him, and the road manager has to put him on drugs so he can perform well. Pink gets tired of feeling so weak and breaks down his wall so he can feel free. In Part 3 of "Another Brick in the Wall" video it shows the flashbacks Pink is having. All the events in his life that caused him to build a wall. He is tearing down that wall.
You probably never knew this song has a really deep meaning to it. With all the reproductions of this song it ruined the true meaning of it. I agree when Walter Benjamin said, “When the age of mechanical reproduction separated art from its bass cult, the semblance of its autonomy disappeared forever.” He is saying that ever since we started to replicate art the deep meaning was lost and people just looked at the surface of the art. When Alice Cooper sings this song with “Schools Out” people will look at the surface of “Another Brick in the Wall” which is about children not wanting to go to school, get an education and not let themselves be bossed by teachers. People don't look into the deep meaning of it. Also since Part 2 was the most popular it makes people not care about Part 1 and 3 which causes the story of the song to be ruined.
Watching the film, "The Wall" has an aura of sadness which is what "Another brick in the Wall" is. The wall that people build when they go through bad events in life. When you just listen to the song without watching the film you won't feel the aura of sadness. You will probably feel like “Yeah I hated school!” or just get happy because the song has a nice melody.
When an art is created it shouldn't be replicated because the real emotions the artist used to make the song will be truly unknown unless someone does research and analyze, but most people are too busy in their lives to do that. When someone makes an art it shouldn't be replicated, so people will be able to truly grasp its aura and feel what the artist felt.
Elizabeth Balkian enjoys being with her family and shopping.