Pink Floyd The Wall Mother

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Pink Floyd The Wall Mother



Mother (Pink Floyd song)

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Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Wall
Published Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd
Released 30 November 1979 (UK)
8 December 1979 (US)
Recorded April–November 1979
Genre Progressive rock
Length 5:32
Label EMI
Writer Roger Waters
Producer Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Waters
The Wall track listing

"Mother" is a song by Pink Floyd.[1] It appears on The Wall album, released in 1979.[2]



"Mother" is 5:35 in length. The majority of the song is in G Major, though the chorus is predominantly a plagal cadence in C Major. The song is notable for its varied use of time signatures, such as 5/4 and 9/8. Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason found these time-signature changes difficult to learn, and, with the band recording on a very tight schedule, conceded the drumming duties to session drummer Jeff Porcaro.[3]

The song begins quietly with solo voice and a single acoustic guitar, and gradually expands its instrumentation to include, by the song's end, reed organ, piano, drums, electric bass, and electric guitar. The song has a minimal introduction, consisting only of a sharp inhalation and rapid exhalation before the first verses are sung by Roger Waters. With exceptions (as noted above), the majority of the verses are in 4/4, or "common time".

David Gilmour sings a chorus, mostly in 3/4 (or "waltz time"), in a narrative response to the first set of lyrics. Then an instrumental interlude follows. Waters sings another verse, which is once more followed by Gilmour's chorus (with different lyrics). Finally, the song concludes with an arrangement stripped back down to one acoustic guitar and Waters's voice, and a ritardando in which Waters sings, "Mother did it need to be so high?", a reference to the metaphorical wall constructed by the character Pink. The song ends on the subdominant, C Major, which may create an "unfinished" or "dissatisfying" feeling.

Waters explained to Mojo magazine that the song is about, "The idea that we can be controlled by our parents' views on things like sex. The single mother of boys, particularly, can make sex harder than it needs to be."[4]

Following 9/11, this song was one of many (including another Pink Floyd song, "Run Like Hell") to be included in the Clear Channel memorandum of songs with "questionable lyrics" which were generally not aired by Clear Channel radio stations.[citation needed]


The Wall tells the story of Pink, an embittered and alienated rock star. As told through the song "Mother", part of Pink's sense of alienation comes from being raised by an overprotective single mother, who lost her husband, Pink's father, in World War II. The song narrates a conversation by Pink (voiced by Waters) and his mother (voiced by Gilmour). The listener learns of the overprotectiveness of Pink's mother, who is helping Pink build his wall to try protect him from the outside world, evidenced by the line "Of course Momma's gonna help build the wall," spoken by Pink's mother. She insists that Pink stay by her side even after he grows up, and cannot stand it when Pink eventually grows older and falls in love.



Cover versions

Natalie Maines covered "Mother" for her 2013 album, also titled Mother. The cover was praised by critic Ann Powers of NPR Music for its "tender" depiction of a sympathetic mother, as opposed to Waters' "prissy and cruel" mother.[6]

Further reading


  1. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X.
  2. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5.
  3. ^ Vintage Pink Floyd Interview, Classic Rock magazine.
  4. ^ "Mother by Pink Floyd". Songfacts,com. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Fitch, Vernon and Mahon, Richard, Comfortably Numb — A History of The Wall 1978–1981, 2006, p.78.
  6. ^ Powers, Ann. "Hearing A Mother's Song After Tragedy". NPR: The Record. Retrieved 15 January 2013.

External links


Author:Bling King
Published:Mar 21st 2013
Modified:Mar 21st 2013

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