Pink Floyd The Wall: Complete Analysis
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In his book, Pink Floyd The Wall: A Complete Analysis, Bret Urick breaks down one of the most complex rock albums ever recorded, Pink Floyd’s 1979 release, The Wall . Made into a film in 1982, The Wall “tells the story of a man named Pink Floyd who, as a child, lost his father in World War II. Being raised by an overprotective mother, Pink leads a dreary life, finally turning to drugs. As a result of the drugs and his gloomy memories, Pink spirals into a void of insanity”. One of the most haunting and poignant songs on the album is Mother, in which Pink asks his mother questions about the world, a world she has tried so hard to protect him from. The result is a frighteningly real look into the influence that parents and childhood events can have on a child’s developing psyche.
The structure of the song is a free flowing narrative style. There is no real chorus, but rather a bridge used to send the song from one section to the next. The bridge begins with line “Hush now baby, baby, don’t you cry”. This change in the song represents the change in who is speaking in the song. The Pink character begins the song by asking his mother a series of questions, and the bridge signals her reply. This pattern is repeated twice in the song, and in between each there is a chorus of “Oooh baby, oooh baby, oooh baby”. The song moves in a dreamy and childlike pace, in keeping with the concept of the album and with the psychedelic style of Pink Floyd music.
Urick interprets Mother as “a song in which young Pink expresses his concerns to his overprotective mother” . The song opens up with Pink’s concerns of war, (“Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?”), rooted with his father’s death. He then wonders if “they”, (meaning society, his peers, the world) will like his song or try to break him down. Then he asks his mother if he should build a wall to protect him from all these dreadful possibilities. His mother’s haunting answer can be found later when she says, “Of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall”. At the end of the verse, Pink asks, “Is it just a waste of time?” with “it” referring to life. At this point, Pink’s mother begins to sing. Urick writes, “In her verses, we learn that she is extremely overprotective of her child, but she has good reason to be.