Monday, February 1, 2010

Pink Floyd, The Wall, Part 2

By Steve Coyne

In The Thin Ice, we hear the lyrics;
Momma loves her baby
And Daddy loves you too
And the sea may look warm to you babe
And the sky may look blue

As the lyrical story unfolds, the movie shows us a different, more cynical view of life. The hell of war is depicted as soldiers wince in pain from their injuries. The lyrics imply a sense of dismay on the part of the mother sung by David Gilmour as if to complete each statement "the sea may look warm, but ..." and "the sky may look blue, but ..."

David sings a soothing melody on the words ooooh babe, but that melody comes back seconds later as an anguished and wailing guitar showing us a different emotion all together.

Also, there is an element of denial present on the part of the mother as she speaks of Pink's father as if he is alive, which later serves to suspend Pink's ability to get past his fathers death. There is a sudden musical shift as the gentle rubato lullaby turns to a 12/8 feel, sharing a chord progression with "Stand By Me". This is where another side of Pink's mother is revealed as she cautions him in a rather sick and angry way. The word reproach suggests feelings of disapproval, blame and guilt.

If you should go skating
On the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you a silent reproach
Of a million tear stained eyes
Don't be surprised if a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice

David then recalls the soothing melody he sang in C major, but this time the drums drag us into an angst ridden fit of rage as he wails out the same notes in A minor. The violent and desperate image of clawing returns to the lyrics, connecting the images of "clawing through this disguise" and "clawing the thin ice" both related to Pink's mental condition and Pink's symbolic clawing at himself throughout the movie. The ending C major chord clashes with the new tonic in D minor, creating some musical dissonance and a feeling of unrest as we are led into Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1.

Steve Coyne is a Rock/Jazz/Fusion guitarist living in the New Haven, CT area. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Science degree from Western Connecticut State University.

Currently, Steve is gigging regularly in cover bands throughout the Fairfield/ Westchester area. Steve is also writing and recording music with his original band FREERIDER. FREERIDER will be one of the first bands featured in their own video game on Rock Band 2/Rock Band Network.

Article Source:,-The-Wall,-Part-2&id=3630916

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